One of the things I am most thankful for is growing up and living in East Texas where the people are friendly, love their communities and are passionate about their sports, Greenberg Turkeys, barbeque, roses and music, just to name a few loves.
From my childhood I remember watching one of the all-time basketball greats in Poo Welch, who played for Floyd Wagstaff’s TJC Apaches and later Arp’s Guy V. Lewis at the University of Houston.
Welch averaged more than 30 points a game his sophomore season. Can you imagine what he would have put up if the 3-point line had been a rule then?
Welch’s game was as Colonel Sherman T. Potter once said, “Not enough o’s in smooth to describe this.”
Now a few years later, Welch’s granddaughter, Amari Welch, is dazzling on the hardwoods.
The junior point guard helped the Canton Eaglettes win the 17th Annual Macy Chenevert Memorial Basketball Tournament at Bishop Gorman’s Haddad Gymnasium in Tyler on Saturday.
The Eaglettes edged the Bullard Panthers, 44-43, in overtime for the championship.
Welch was named Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.
Canton teammate and freshman Allison Rickman was voted Offensive MVP while Bullard’s Carly Tucker, sophomore, was the Defensive MVP.
Other all-tournament members were:
Athens — Breanna Killingsworth; Bishop Gorman — Elizabeth Mahfood; Bullard — Tre’anah Coppock, Jadyn Welch; Canton — Hannah Cordell; Cypress Christian — Lynden Yough; East Texas HomeSchool — Jordan Parker; Fort Worth Christian — Layla Powell; Jacksonville — Kaniah Anderson; Lindale — Marley Keith, Brenley Philen; Emory Rains — Jasey Campbell; Fort Worth Southwest Christian — Ananda Jenerson; Tatum — Trinity Edwards; Addison Trinity Christian — Grace Leverton, Olivia Brennan; and Tyler HEAT — Elena Gonzalez.
In the championship game, Rickman hit a shot with eight seconds remaining in OT to put the Eaglettes ahead.
Welch led with 14 points, while Rickman and Ashtyn Norrell added nine points each. Both Welch and Rickman hit three points each in OT. Others scoring for Canton were Cordell (7) and Airianna Pickens (5).
Bullard’s Jadyn Welch led her team with 14 points, including all five of the Lady Panthers’ points in overtime. Tucker added 12 points, followed by Coppock (11), Anna Turgeau (4) and Brooke Minton (2).
In the third-place game, Addison Trinity Christian scored a 49-44 win over the Lindale Lady Eagles.
Brennan led the Lady Trojans with 28 points with Leverton adding 16.
Philen led the Lady Eagles with 17 points, followed by Maggie Spearman with 11 points.
Athens won over Bishop Gorman, 55-44, in the fifth-place game.
Janessa Kiser paced Athens with 16 points, followed by Lolo Tatum (12) and Killingsworth (10).
Mahfood led the Lady Crusaders with 25 points.
The Chenevert family and Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School continue to honor the spirit of their daughter with the annual Classic. The tournament is hosted by Steve and Becky Chenevert and Gorman. The tournament is an annual Tyler event in memory and honor of Bishop Gorman student and basketball player Macy Chenevert, who died from cancer at the age of 14 in 2005.
The Cheneverts like to pay honor to another individual who lived his life for others. The 2021 recipient of the Macy Chenevert “Leave a Legacy” is Michael Mahfood, who passed away earlier this fall.
Sponsors of the tourney were Natural Beef Locally Raised, Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System, Estelle and John Cater, Kathleen and James Ward, Mary and Robert Mills and Danny Matherne.
The Cheneverts added, “Our hope is that our daugther’s story will continue to encourage these young girls to ‘always give your best effort and never give up.’”