Cathedral travel basketball team Mississippi Flamingos wins its first AAU tournament

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

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NATCHEZ — For the first time in its school’s history, Cathedral School has a travel basketball team. Not only that, but this new team was very successful in its first tournament earlier this month.

The Mississippi Flamingos, led by Cathedral girls’ basketball coach Taylor Strahan, is a 10-and-under team made up of only Lady Green Wave players. In their very first tournament as a team, the Flamingos won their division at the Peach Festival Classic, an AAU tournament held in Ruston, Louisiana on the weekend of Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4.

As for who came up with the idea for this team and why, Strahan said, “We really just wanted to get this started so they could play year around. Just the school in general.”

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The Flamingos were one of eight teams in their division to play in the Peach Festival Classic. Strahan noted that they won four or five games against teams from Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee as well as from around Ruston.

Strahan added that he was very surprised that his team came out on top against a stacked field of longer-lasting travel teams.

“It’s impressive for a school team to come together and win. Most teams are players within around a 30-mile radius,” Strahan said.

The Flamingos consist of Lillie Bertelsen, Molly Shirley, Hannah Hargon, Ella Shares, Caroline Carlton, Anna Arthur, Anna Leigh Jordan, and Wells Linton.

“Lillie, Molly, and Ella stood out the most against the competition on offense. Lillie was the best player on the court every game,” Strahan said. “Molly was extremely impactful on the offensive end, and Ella dominated the paint.”

What also stood out and probably surprised the competition during the tournament was how well the Flamingos stood out defensively.

“The team was successful because of their lights-out man-to-man defense. They gave up an average of 10 points per game,” Strahan said.

As for what’s next for the Mississippi Flamingos, Strahan said the team will return to Ruston on Saturday, June 24 to play in the Arkansas-Louisiana Regional Championship. He said there will be 16 teams in the 10-and-under division.