Mingus Union High School head coach Dave Beery mentioned something he learned early in his career as an assistant at the 2017 Cowboy Summer Shootout, hosted by Camp Verde High School’s boys basketball team, on Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17.
“Nobody wins championships in the summer,” Beery said.
Nobody was crowned a champion at the tournament’s end, either.
Both the Marauders and Cowboys played five games over the two days, winning some and losing some.
One of the most important aspects to the tournament was the variety in playing style that the teams saw. Opponents like Page High School, Williams High School and Sedona Red Rock High School brought different challenges to the table.
“That’s one of the fun things about this,” Cowboys head coach Dan Wall said. “Mingus executes well in the halfcourt, Page is full court, up and down. It’s important for these kids to see different styles of play and how to adjust to it.”
For the Marauders, they were without a number of key players throughout the weekend. Despite not being at full strength, Beery knew how beneficial it was to his younger players.
“We’re missing guys, so we get younger guys some minutes,” Beery said. “It’s good for them to get the feel of the speed and physicality. It gives them a chance to show what they’re capable of and put them in uncomfortable situations and see how they react.”
On Friday, the Marauders and Cowboys faced off, with the Cottonwood team winning 58-49. It was the third time in two weeks the teams played; each took turns hosting round robin scrimmages the last two Wednesdays.
Mingus led 32-19 at halftime, but the Cowboys’ improved play saw them pull to within eight before senior Michael Bryan rattled off five points in one minute to reopen the lead to 10 with little time remaining.
“It was really good for us. It was good for us to play against tough, physical teams,” Wall said.
Mingus is at a camp at Dixie State University in Utah all week, while the Cowboys travel to a camp in California on Friday, June 22.