- Ada, Oklahoma

December 26, 2013

Mid-America Classic kicks off today

Mick Cowan

Ada — Bertha Frank Teague never played the game of basketball but became the winningest high school girl’s coach in the nation during her years at Byng High School, compiling the incredible record of 1,157 wins and only 115 losses starting in 1926 and ending in 1969. 

She was elected to several Halls of Fame. In 1976, Mrs. Teague, Omega Johnson, one of her players, and several local business men and women organized the Mid-America Tournament and named it after Mrs. Teague. 

Omega’s grand daughter, Lisa, starred on the first 5-on-5 state championship team for the Lady Cougars in 1995. In 1976, Ada had just restarted basketball under head coach Bill Johnson and the Lady Cougars were a fixture in the tournament until Ada moved to 5-on-5 and the tournament remained 6-on-6. 

Following is a recap of the tournament over the years with emphasis obviously on the Ada Lady Cougars. 

In 1976, the teams involved included four Oklahoma schools: Ada; Byng; Choctaw; and McLish and four Texas schools: Vernon; Archer City; Electra; and Grandview. The Oklahoma teams won all four meetings. 

Schools from outside of Oklahoma have won very few games and none in the winner’s bracket. Below are listed the champions through 2006 which is the last year that the Lady Cougars participated. Ada did not enter the tournament in all of the years since it began.

The Lady Cougars have won 13 and lost 7 in Round 1, won 11 and lost 9 in Round 2 and won 8 and lost 12 in Round 3. Thus, their overall mark is 32 wins and 28 losses but this truly is one of the most difficult tournaments in the state of Oklahoma. They won the title four times: in 1980, 1985; and back to back in 1996 and1997 and also own four runner-up finishes.

They have finished third once, fourth three times, won the consolation championship twice, finished sixth twice, seventh once and last three times. In the days of 6-on-6, an MVP was named for both a guard and a forward. From Ada, Tammy Wood won the MVP on the forward end in 1985 while on the guard end, in 1980, Anita Walker was selected. Then in 1982 Cynthia Sparks was named. 

When the switch was made to 5-on-5, only one player was named as MVP and an Ada player won the award three years in a row during the incredible Ada run from 1996-98. In 1996 La’Neisha Caufield was selected and then in 1997 in an incredibly close vote, Caufield was edged by Caton Hill as both had superb tournaments and Ada won the championship game by 21 points. Caton became the first player on 5-on-5 history to repeat as MVP when she took the award once more in 1998.