By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Basketball championships, it’s said, are won in the work players do in the off-season, especially the summer months.
That’s one reason why Enid’s Haven Bay and Andi Pierce were spending this week playing for the Pacers’ team in the Mid-America Youth Basketball tournament and in various summer camps and leagues.
“You’re trying to get better,’’ said Pierce, who scored 13 points in a 50-22 win over the (Timberlake) Lady Tigers in the girls’ third-place high school game. “You try to get some more playing time and develop team chemistry. It makes a huge difference what you do in the summer.’’
Bay, a junior and two-year starter, agreed. She had 11 points Sunday.
“I definitely think it makes a lot of difference what you do in the summer,’’ she said. “I feel we have done a lot better as a team this summer. We have some girls playing together, which will help us the rest of the season.’’
Pierce, a sophomore who averaged 7.4 points a game a year ago, felt her defense has gotten better this summer. She was working improving her pull-up jump shot.
“I feel I made improvement and the team has made improvement,’’ Pierce said.
Bay was working on her inside game.
The summer may be even more important for the duo than in the past. All-Stater Courtney Chelf, arguably the top player in EHS history, was watching from the stands taking a break from summer classes and workouts at Oklahoma State.
Both are ready to take on bigger roles.
“Graduation is a part of high school sports,’’ Pierce said. “You have to go on. Everyone has to step up. I think everyone on our team is capable of being leaders. We have to pick each other up.’’
“Everyone has to step up,’’ Bay said. “I’m excited about the season.’’
Neither was totally satisfied with the third-place medal.
“We take losses personally,’’ Pierce said. “We could have done a little better as a team. We should have been in the championship game. These games are still competitive.’’
“We did better after the first night,’’ Bay said. “We didn’t play well Friday, but we did better yesterday and today. These games go a little quicker.’’
Bay and Pierce were playing their first games at the new Enid Events Center, the new home of the Pacers.
“The depth perception is a little different from the goal not being on the wall,’’ Pierce said, “but it’s really nice. It was definitely an experience to be the first team to play on this court. It’s just going to be a little different.’’
“Like Andi said, the depth perception is a little different, but it’s really fun playing here,’’ Bay said. “I’m excited to be playing here. It’s really nice.’’
Both girls are multi-taskers. Bay spent her summer going from softball practice to basketball. She and her Pacer teammates will resume workouts Aug. 1 in anticipation of a Aug. 12 opener.
Pierce started cross country workouts recently. She estimates she will be running from four to four-and-a-half miles today.
“It’s easy to go from one sport to another,’’ Bay said. “The coaches work with each other pretty well about it.’’
Savannah Blasi, a sophomore-to-be, had 13 points for the Pacers.
Some Tonkawa players were recruited for the tournament. Some missed the tournament because of other conflicts (i.e. vacations).