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15th annual Donell Woods Tournament success despite weather
Family tree! Members of the Woods' family and their first cousins the Bakers lined the corner of the stands and cheered for their Tiger team. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
The rain kept falling hard, as did the temperature but inside Bradwell's gymnasium it was hot shots and warm smiles for those at Saturday's 15th annual Donell Woods Basketball Tournament featuring area ninth grade and junior varsity squads.
Teams from McIntosh Academy, Wayne County, Beach and Bradwell competed in the daylong event.
In the far corner sat a row of cheering fans representing an entire branch of the Woods family tree.
The tournament is named after former Bradwell basketball coach, Donell Woods, who, at the young age of 40, succumbed to cancer. He began his coaching career, however, as the football coach of the old Liberty County High School and was honored posthumously by having the new football stadium at the new LCHS named after him. His son, Donell Woods Jr., along with Wood's brother Harold presented the trophies.
"It feels great to know that people thought that highly of him to start a tournament in his name and to know that it is still going on now after 15 years," Donnell Woods Jr. said. "My father died when I was 8 and I didn't really realize until I got older and talked to the folks who knew him and grew up with him just how much he influenced people and know what he was about. Now with the stories I hear and the tournament and the stadium being named after him it's a great honor to carry on his name and work."

During tourney play the girls' final game turned out to be a rematch of Beach High's junior varsity versus the girl Tigers of Bradwell.
According to junior varsity coach Dana King Sr., the teams played each other just a few days earlier in a heated match where the Tigers handed the Bulldogs their first loss of the season.
While the game was close during the first half the young Lady Tigers pulled it together to win 44-21 and the first place trophy.
"It felt pretty good," King said. "The ladies worked hard and is shows them what can happen when they work hard. For them to come out here and win this trophy is great. They stuck in there in a tight first half and pulled it out wide open in the second half."
"It feels good because we are 13-0 now," Lady Tiger, Suede Jones said.
The three-sport athlete competes in soccer, softball and basketball, but said her favorite is the hoops and she hope to play at Division one.
"I want to play at the next level and while my favorite school is LSU it really doesn't matter which one, if I can get a scholarship," she said.
Quintunya Chapman helped propel the second half for the Tigers with six steals, setting up her teammates and herself for scoring.
"I feel pretty good although I am hurting just a little bit," she said. "I had a feeling we were going to win and I have confidence in my team so it feels good. Basketball is my favorite. If I played at the next level I hope it would be at Tennessee," she added. Chapman also runs for the track and field team.
KeAndra Frasier said she loves basketball for now, but her dream is to become a paramedic so she can help others. Her driving and shooting skills helped the Tigers stay ahead of Beach throughout the second half.
"I did pretty good and I like how I did," Frasier said. "It's my favorite sport and I did something in this game I don't normally do a lot of, which is shoot the ball. I usually drive the ball, but today I did more shooting and they went in. I want to get better so next year I can play at the varsity level."
Shakayla Kennedy said it felt great to win and hopes to play at UNC before making it to the WNBA, while Jasmine Alonso said she wants to improve her shooting because she felt it was a little off and hopes to start varsity next year. Chapman and Quinanka Hatchell led the scores for the younger Lady Tigers.

Not to be left behind the Men's junior varsity Tigers took the first place trophy over Beach as well winning 42-26.
Boys division
Championship trophy, Bradwell Tigers
Second place, Beach High
Third place, Wayne County

Girls division
Championship trophy, Bradwell Tigers
Second place, Beach High

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