A trio of hulking weekend warriors with statures professional and college football coaches drool over, used their bulk and height to pin down the championship of the Tonto Apache 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.
Matt McRae and Mike Barr, both 6-feet, 6-inches in height, teamed with 6-foot, 2-inch Denver White to claim the title of the inaugural shoot out played Jan. 19 in the reservation gym south of Payson.
The threesome might be the largest team to ever win a Rim Country weekend basketball tournament.
Barr and White were both two-sport stars at Payson High School while McRae is a Hashknife Pony Express rider who, since he was a teen, has had the heft to hunt mountain lions with a twig.
Tournament director Eric Pendleton said the champions finished the tournament undefeated and were closely challenged in only one game.
In winning the hardwood showdown, the gold medalists defeated the much smaller runner-up team of Alturo Domiquez, Derek Wimpee and Kyle Hubbard by a 59-38 count.
The silver medalists dropped their opener but then won three consecutive games to reach the championship round.
In third was the team of Jayson Waterman, Landen Johnson and Jordan Hinton.
Michael Blaylock, Derrick Hoosava and J. Hinton were fourth.
Fifth was taken by Chris Lombardo, Maria Cohen and John Davis.
"That was a tough team," Pendleton said.
Following the tournament, Pendleton called it a complete success that provided the players "with a lot of fun and some good games."
Also, he added, "Everybody had a good workout."
Pendleton, along with fellow Tonto Apache Gym Director Randy Pryor, are laying plans to sponsor another 3-on-3 tournament in February.
For more information, call (928) 474-7093.