Twenty-three fourth and fifth grade boys and girls teams competed in the 11th Annual Paul Denham DUSD Elementary School Basketball Tournament which was held all day Saturday in the DHS gym.
In the fourth grade girls tournament Faras won the championship beating Sarah Marley 6-2 in the finals. Faras finished the tournament with a 3-0 record. Four teams competed in this division. Joe Carlson came in third.
In the fourth grade boys tournament there were five teams competing and Faras won this tournament as well beating Sarah Marley 18-12 in the championship game finishing with a 3-0 record. Clawson finished third in this tournament.
In the fifth grade girls tournament there were seven teams playing, three of which were from Stevenson. It was a all Stevenson showdown as Stevenson Maroon beat Stevenson Gray 22-4 to win the championship. Stevenson Maroon went 4-0 enroute to the championship. Joe Carlson came in third.
In the fifth grade boys tournament there were seven teams two of which were from Joe Carlson and Stevenson schools.
Stevenson Maroon came back through the consolation bracket after losing to Joe Carlson A in the third round to beat this same team 14-6 in the championship finishing with a 4-1 record. Faras finished third in this bracket.
Brian Denham, son of the late Paul Denham, helped organize the event along the help of local volunteers.
“The action, the energy that was shown today never ceases to amaze me,” Denham said after the tournament was over. “I wish I had that energy again. It’s fun to watch them.”
Games began around 8:30 Saturday morning and finished around 5:30 that afternoon.
Denham said he noticed a sharp improvement in the talent level of both girls divisions.
“I felt the fundamentals, the discipline and organization they played with really stood out,” he said.
Denham said if his dad were alive today he’d be proud of this tournament and hearing the sound of basketballs in the gym and seeing the place full like it was all day long would have meant a lot to him.
“He was all about kids,” the son said. “He felt that if you were going to build something you had to start with the kids.”
Denham wanted to thank the members of the DHS boys and girls basketball teams who volunteered their time refereeing the games Saturday.
“We were able to raise some money for them through the concession stand for their basketball camps so their program can grow,” he said. “None of this happens without some funds and Freeport, they don’t hesitate. It’s one call and it’s done. They believe tremendously in this tournament and this community and they put their money where their mouth is.”
Denham said a lot of good things came out of the tournament and it seems all the kids had fun.
“Every kid got a basketball and I hope when they go to bed tonight they know they got a gift they can use as long as they take care of it,” Denham said.