BONNERS FERRY — With a high of 95 degrees for the day, the players showed their heart and love of basketball, by giving it their all in Swish, the 3-on-3 basketball tournament put on by the Boundary County Parks and Recreation, held on July 8.
Main Street, Bonners Ferry was shut down the night before to set up for the event, with back to back courts, running almost two blocks. The competition started at 9 a.m., ensuring the first games could take advantage of the cooler air.
Swish brings out the community, year after year, allowing players to interact with one another, and the community to cheer and visit.
“I think that it keeps the ball in their hands throughout the year and teaches them good fun with basketball,” said Gina Young, the mother of 9-year-old competitor Payton Young. “3-on-3 is always a little more challenging, I think, so it is good for them to learn to play better. I think it is great. I think it is awesome that they shut down the street to let the kids do this. Couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Payton was part of the Tigers team, up from Blanchard, which won the female age 9-10 division championship. Her favorite part was, “Having fun and being with my friends.”
Payton’s teammate, Marissa Needs, was competing in the event for the second time. She said she liked everything about the event, but added that “driving to the basket and walling up” was her favorite part.
“There is a little more contact than regular basketball and the ref doesn’t call really stupid fouls.” said Krista Jezek, who came from Spirit Lake, and played with the Tigers.
Boundary Ambulance was on scene, monitoring the players, and handing out ice cold water bottles.
“It’s been a really good event. So far it has been pretty low key. The heat is definitely a big factor for today,” said Boundary Ambulance Paramedic Michaela Burt.
The heat didn’t beat the players, though, and the strongest teams played their way up to take the championships in each division. However, players didn’t have to win to have fun. First time competitor, Taren Bateman, said with a smile that her team didn’t win, but they got close. “My favorite thing is that you get to get more experience with basketball and get better at it,” she said.
The day was not all about the competitors, as the event brought out an array of spectators, all lining the sidewalks, cheering and shouting encouragements for their teams. Many volunteers kept the whole event running smoothly.
Dina Cook was a court monitor this year, after playing for three years. “Basically I just make sure that they are playing fair and calling their fouls and everything.” She admitted that she would rather be playing, though.
“I keep score of what’s going on, as far as points go, for each team; the times and the brackets,” said scorekeeper Sharlene Petty. “I think it’s great. I think it is just perfect for a small town. It was a little big a couple years ago. This is perfect, I think.”
“A lot of people had a lot of fun,” said coach Thomas Bushnell. “Everyone is out having a good time and that’s what we are here for.”
Swish 2017 ended with tired, hot, but happy competitors, content spectators, and handshakes of good sportsmanship.
Female Ages 9-10
(Krista Jezek, Payton Young, Malia Miller, Marissa Needs)
Males Ages 9-10
The Three Stooges
(Malachi Hubbard, Eli Blackmore, Jackson Ansley)
Female Ages 11-12
(Emma Tompkins, Martie Peterson, Asha Abubakari, Jordan Fairchild)
Males Ages 11-12
(Blake Rice, Ridge Williams, Travis Peterson, Dillon Mai)
Female Ages 13-14
(Holly Ansley, Sierra Hill, Mercedes Hill, Emmaline Pinkerton)
Males Ages 13-14
Below Average Joes
(Hayden Stockton, Anthony Cooper, Nick Cooper, Dylan Hines)
Female Ages 15-35
(Abby Davis, Hannah Lysne, Shaleyna Higgins)
Males Ages 15-16
(Wyatt Dickson, Dylan Bishop, Max Kennedy, Luke Ryan)
Males Ages 17-18
(Chris Sabin, Seamus Skeen, Charlie Shelton, Evan Wasmer)
Males Ages 19-35
Just Do It
(Jonathan Borntreger, Anthony Hochstetler, Titus Kauffman, Justin Stoltzfus)