Copper State Donates $1,450 To Schools, Teams

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The success of the Copper State Jam youth basketball tournament has enriched the coffers of two local schools and a girls basketball team.

Tournament Director Steve Rensch said he will send $750 to Payson High School, $500 to Rim Country Middle School and $200 to the Payson Hot Shot girls basketball team. The funds represent the proceeds from the Jam held Feb 9 to 11 in RCMS and PHS gyms as well as Wilson Dome.

The money, Rensch said, can be used in any way seen fit but should "be used in the spirit of the Jam's theme of 'honoring the excellence in children.'"

The Jam, now in its third year, drew 31 junior high/middle school teams from around Arizona and one from Las Vegas, Nev.

The teams competed in one of two brackets over the course of three days. The large school division comprised teams from schools with students populations greater than 300.

In it was the Rim Country Middle School eighth-grade squad that finished 2-2.

Tonto Village's Shelby School entered the small school division and finished 2-2.

In the large school shoot-out, Phoenix Desert Foothills emerged as champion, whipping Tucson Fickett 51-50 in the finale.

Throughout the tournament, Foothills relied on depth to carry them to victory.

"They went 10 deep and most of those players were 6-foot plus," Rensch said.

Third place and the team sportsmanship trophy in the big school division went to Tucson St. Joseph's.

In small school action, San Manuel Gardner advanced through the fray unbeaten and claimed the title in the gold-medal round with a 50-39 win over Sanders.

Third place and the small school sportsmanship trophy was garnered by Superior.

Local players tapped to the tournament All-Star teams included Harper Kamp (Shelby), Jeff Mulcahey (Shelby) and Donnie Wilbanks (RCMS).

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