Mid-America fans, meet Madi Surber

MADI SURBER, Tuttle Senior

Fans in attendance at the 2021 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic might have heard of Tuttle’s dynamic duo of Landry Allen and Hadley Periman — who have both committed to play college basketball at Division I schools — before they arrived in Ada last week.

Allen, a junior, committed to the University of Oklahoma’s new head coach, Jennie Baranczak and Periman, a senior, committed to the University of Tulsa earlier this fall.

However, after her memorable Mid-America performance — especially in the semifinals and championship game — fans won’t soon forget Madi Surber, another Tuttle senior.

In Tuttle’s 82-41 semifinal victory over Lomega, all Surber did was score a game-high 24 points while shooting 10-of-11 from the field with one 3-pointer and hit 3-of-3 free throws. Surber also had three steals, three assists and four rebounds.

Surber’s stat line in the Lady Tigers’ 52-20 win over Perry in the title game included 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 shooting from the free-throw stripe. She also had four rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Tuttle girls basketball coach and athletic director Brian Lester said Surber reminds him of a certain star of a battery commercial.

“She’s just an Energizer Bunny. She just goes, goes, goes. She’s a kid that literally goes 100 percent 100 percent of the time,” Lester told The Ada News.

“She’s just everywhere. I think she leads us with about eight deflections a game. She also gets about four steals a game,” he continued. “We can put her on other guards and they just don’t get off good shots. That’s what she means to us.”

That, in a nutshell, is Madi Surber the basketball player. But let me tell you the rest of her story.

During cross country season this fall, Surber ran exactly two meets — a Class 4A Regional race and the Class 4A State race. She won them both. Surber became a state champion in cross country with a time of 12:01.81.

That’s not nearly all. As a member of the Tuttle High School fastpitch softball team — she led off and played centerfield — she helped the Lady Tigers advance to the semifinals of the Class 4A State Tournament. Tuttle dropped a slim 5-4 lead to Tecumseh.

Wait, there’s more.

Last spring, she broke the state record in the 300-meter hurdles (42.75) and won four events at the 4A state meet, leading Tuttle to a third-place team finish.

“It’s unbelievable. She’s probably the best athlete I’ve ever been around. It’s such a privilege to coach her because she just goes so hard all the time,” Lester said.

Surber plans to attend Oklahoma State University on a track scholarship.

Of course, this season’s basketball journey is far from over. The Lady Tigers are ranked No. 1 in Class 4A — and none of their Mid-America opponents would debate that rating — and are favorites to bring home a state title.

Surber will be a huge part of whatever the Lady Tigers accomplish on the court this season. Of course, she helped Tuttle bring home the girls basketball gold during the 2020-21 campaign.

“Last year she shot 72% from the floor. She’s really a good 3-point shooter. She just doesn’t do it often enough. She has great form and shoots it extremely well,” Lester said.

The THS coach said he would love to see more high school athletes follow in Surber’s footsteps and play multiple sports.

“I wish other high school kids would look at her and realize they don’t need to specialize. They need to go do other things. That’s one thing I try to preach to our coaches as the AD — let those kids do other things,” he said. “It says a lot about her as an individual and about our school for being accepting of her and allowing her to do all those other things.”

Madi Surbers don’t come around very often. It was neat to see her do her thing on the basketball court and later find out she can do so much more.

“She’s not just good at everything, she’s great,” Lester said. “She’s special.”

Mid-America fans, meet Madi Surber.

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Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.

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