They’re coming together.
That’s what the kids say. It’s how they feel.
It’s how they play the game.
They play to win.
“We’re winning and I feel like we can make it a habit,’’ said Calae Wilson, the point guard for the Golden Circle Elite girls AAU basketball team.
It sure looks that way, especially after the way the GC Elite played in San Antonio last weekend. The Elite not only won the Prime Time AAU Tournament, going unbeaten at 4-0, but they didn’t have a close game, and won the title with a 61-49 win against Dallas Prodigy.
It’s been a rollicking fun summer for these kids who have now won two tournaments and finished second in another, losing the title game by just two points.
“It’s been a big summer for all of us,’’ said Ariel Bartee, a rising senior from Corsicana who is averaging 15 points a game for the Elite. “It felt great to win the tournament this weekend. We came out like we wanted it, and our demeanor was to go and get it.’’
They’re 11-1 so far this summer and they’re just getting started.
“It’s been a good summer, but it’s only going to get better,’’ said Elite coach Chris Baston, who has been coaching the team for five years. “The tournaments we go to in July are all NCAA sanctioned and there will be a lot of college scouts there.
The Elite are all high school players made up from kids from Corsicana High, Kerens High, Mildred High and Frost High. They literally have to come together from all over the Golden Circle area just to form the team, and they had to come together on the court.
“One thing that has played a big part in this team is their growth, their togetherness,’’ Baston said. “They are so much more together than they were a year ago. They have been working hard in the weight room, and they are so much tougher, and they are much better defensively.’’
Baston loves defense, and he believes he has the best defensive player in Texas in guard Sha-Sha Taylor, a 5-4 whirlwind from Corsicana who was the Daily Sun’s Defensive Player of the Year this season as a sophomore.
“She plays lockdown defense,’’ Baston said. “We played a team in San Antonio in the finals and they had a girl averaging 20 points a game, and Sha-Sha held her to two points. She shut her all the way down. She’s 5-4 and she can guard players taller than her and smaller than her because of her quickness.’’
That quickness can dictate a game.
“She can turn a game around, just like that,’’ Baston said. “We could be down by six and she can go on an 8-0 run by herself just by making steals and drives. I’ve seen a lot of basketball, and she’s probably the best defensive player I’ve ever seen.’’
The go-to-girl on the team is Kerens’ rising junior Breanna Wells, who was the Daily Sun’s co-offensive Player of the Year this high school season. Wells, a 6-0 post, is averaging a double-double this summer with a little over 11 points and 11 rebounds a game.
“I don’t even have words to describe her,’’ Baston said. “She’s awesome. She can play inside. She can score. She can rebound. She can defend.’’
While Wells and Jamie Reeves, a 6-1 post who Baston said has simply gotten better and better this summer, give the Elite an inside presence, Bartee has been raining 3s from beyond the arc. Over the weekend, Bartee went 12-of-15 from 3-point range, and Baston said she is “shooting the lights out.’’
Wilson runs the show, and Baston believes he has “one of the best point guards in Texas,’’ in Wilson, who has been on the team since she was a freshman and relishes the new-found winning.
“We have come a long way from a long road,’’ Wåilson said. “The first couple of years was really hard. When I was a freshman I had to run the team, and I really didn’t know how to do that.”
She savors every victory.
“When you lose a lot and winning starts coming you learn to appreciate it,’’ she said. “It feels good. It’s so much better, it is tremendously — way better. It just feels great to win, period.’’
Wilson’s a big part of it. She’s averaging 11 points and six assists a game, and is the leader on the court. She is being recruited by UT San Antonio, UT Arlington, Lamar and others, and not only loves winning but knows the secret of the Elite’s success.
“The difference is we have talent, attitude and heart,’’ she said. “We have talent because we’re always in the gym. They call us gym rats. I like that. I just don’t like the rat part.’’
The other members of the team are Mildred’s Shelby Adamson, a 5-11 forward who averaged six points and six rebounds over the weekend, Frost’s Joycelyn Roberts, and Corsicana rising sophomores Alexis Baston, Destini Lunsford and Kennady Betts.
They’re coming together.
GC Basketball: Frost Tournament -- Frost, Dawson sweep, Rice, Blooming Grove boys and Wortham girls win
The Frost Polar Bears and Lady Bears each won their opening games at the Frost Invitational Tournament on Thursday and Dawson's boys and girls swept. The Rice and Blooming Grove boys stayed unbeaten for the season and meet in the semifinals, and the Wortham girls also won. Hubbard's girls won the opening game at the Hubbard Tournament.
CHS Football: Tigers land six spots on District 16-4A all-district football first teams
Corsicana’s Tigers had a tough-luck season, losing several close games, but the Tigers were recognized when the District 16-4A all-district football team was released.
Kishawn Kelley, a freshman who is the future quarterback at Corsican, was voted the Co-Defensive Newcomer of the Year and the Tigers landed five players and six positions on the District 16-4A first teams, including Tiano McDonald, who was voted to the first-team offense as a tight end, and the first-team defense as a defensive tackle.
GC Basketball: Roundup -- Hubbard wins as it prepares to host 3-day tournament
Hubbard's boys and girls basketball teams tuned up for their tournament this weekend by winning games on Tuesday.
The Corsicana boys lose while the Blooming Grove boys stay perfect and Mildred's Eagles come back to win on the road.
High School Football: Pairings for Texas high school state football playoffs
Here's a look at the Texas high school football playoff scores, pairings.
GC Basketball: Kelly, Kerens rip defending Class 3A state champ Mexia, 81-39
Marqueshia Kelly hits 11 of 13 shots, including two 3's and has a 25-point, 12-rebound night to help lead Kerens to a 81-39 win over defending Class 3A state champ Mexia.
GC Basketball: Frost hosts tournament, beginning Thursday
Five Golden Circle schools and eight Golden Circle teams are in the Frost Invitational Tournament, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday.
GC Basketball: Roundup -- Rice boys, Frost girls stay perfect
The boys teams from Rice and Kerens won Tuesday while the Frost girls stayed perfect, the Wortham girls staged a comeback and Rice's girls lost on the road.
Updated Texas High School football playoff pairings
Here are the updated Texas High School football playoff pairings, including the Class 3A DI semifinal between Kilgore and Stephenville that will be played in Corsicana Saturday.
GC Signings: Mildred's Bland inks with UTD
Mildred’s Callie Bland signed with the University of Texas at Dallas, where she will play softball while furthering her education.
Brazos Valley Bowl: Wright, Navarro storm back to beat Hinds 34-27
Navarro's Tim Wright rushes for 249 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winner with 10 seconds left, to lead Navarro -- which trailed 27-13 late in the third -- to a 34-27 win over Hinds in a frozen Brazos Valley Bowl.
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- GC Basketball: Frost Tournament -- Frost, Dawson sweep, Rice, Blooming Grove boys and Wortham girls win