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December 30, 2013

Mid-America Tournament had a distinct Latta flavor on Thursday

Ada —    There was a whole lotta Latta in the Latta-Cheyenne matchup Thursday in the first round of the 2013 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic.

   I was knee deep writing a story about Shawnee’s victory over Tishomingo and hadn’t really paid attention to the roster for the Cheyenne Lady Bears just yet.

   As Mid-America announcer Mick Cowan was introducing the starting lineups for Latta and Cheyenne, I thought I had heard him say something like “And for Cheyenne, somebody Latta.” I thought I had just misunderstood.

   Back to writing I went, while trying to watch some of the game being played right in front of me at the same time. “Basket by Morgan Latta,” Cowan announced.

    This time I knew I heard it correctly.  What are the odds of that, I thought? I heard her name announced several other times while I was wrapping up my Shawnee-Tish story, but when I got a copy of the final boxscore, I saw she had led her team in scoring.

   This alone was a very cool event for a sports writer. A girl named Latta just leads her team to a victory over my local Latta team.

   Of course, many of you saw how much fun I had with it in Friday’s edition of The Ada News. My headline screamed, “Latta helps Cheyenne knock off Latta.”    Priceless.

   But there’s more.

   It got even better for this sports guy. I was sure hoping chief photographer Richard R. Barron had captured an image of Ms. Latta to publish with the story, and indeed he had. I was very pleased.

   It still got better.

   When I placed the photo on the page, I grabbed my Latta roster to see which Lady Panther player was guarding the Cheyenne sophomore. Much to my delight, the Latta girl pictured was none other than ShiAnn Henderson.

   I couldn’t have planned it more perfectly — a photograph of Latta’s ShiAnn guarding Cheyenne’s Latta.

   It was a priceless sports journalism moment.

   I had the pleasure of visiting with Ms. Latta from Cheyenne about her experience playing Latta, and she said it was fun. Morgan admitted she didn’t even know Latta school existed until the bracket came out for the Mid-America Classic.

   “It was cool,” she said. “My grandpa was like, ‘I wonder if I’ll see any Latta people at the Latta game.’”

   Just goes to show a sports writer from Ada can never get too much Latta.

———o———

   I couldn’t believe my ears when the Mid-America All-Tournament team was announced Saturday night.

   How could HER name not be on the list? She got my vote.

   Who in the world am I talking about you ask?

Why, Lomega senior Cali Glazier, of course! How many points she scored or assists she dished out is not important.

   With a name like that, Glazier is bound to do big things. Or maybe it’s despite a name like that ...

———o———

   A special thank you goes out to Mid-America board members Carla Harris and Shawna Senkel. Despite being deeply entrenched with their duties of taking care of the hospitality room, Harris and Senkel helped out the Ada News sports department with game coverage.

———o———

   Ada standouts Aaliyah Blakley and Cory Kilby were among the Vype Magazine’s Top 100 players to watch.

   Upon receiving this honor, the players were asked to submit any honors they may have achieved during their basketball careers. When reading Blakley’s bio, I couldn’t help but chuckle when it read that she received “The Jeff Callie Award” last year.

   Although I kind of like the ring to it, she really meant the Ada News All-Area Girls Player of the Year award.

   Congrats to both Blakley and Kilby for receiving the honor.

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