Fifth-grade Craig AAU basketball players Adrie Camp, Kendal Snyder and Annie Sadvar like the new experience of traveling for a weekend sporting event. They like it so much they tried to convince their parents to let them stay in a hotel this weekend even though the tournament was at home.
"We tried pretty hard," Camp said. "But we'll probably just end up spending the night at one of our friends' house."Fifth grade is the first year that AAU basketball is offered in Craig. For most of the athletes, it is also the first time they'll travel farther than Northwest Colorado for a tournament.
"We went to Rock Spings," Sadvar said. "They'-re a lot better than anybody we've seen."
Without basketball at Craig Intermediate School, AAU is the first competition for fifth- and sixth-graders for basketball.
"My sister plays both AAU and at school," Camp said. "It's a big difference."
The fifth-graders lost their first game of the tournament, 22-4, against Snake River. They said Snake River was the toughest team they would face. Their second game is today at 8 a.m. at Craig Intermediate School.
The fifth-grade girls were in one of six tournaments that Craig AAU is hosting this weekend. CIS is the home of fifth- and sixth- grade tournaments. Across the parking lot at Craig Middle School, sixth- and seventh-grade teams are playing today. At Moffat County High School, the eighth-grade tournaments are being played.
On Friday night, eight Craig teams took the court. The tournament hosts finished with four wins and four losses. One of the winners was the eighth-grade girls.
Last weekend, the girls team spent most of their time watching and cheering the boys on in Laramie, Wyo. This could be their week to earn the cheers.
They won their first game, 25-14, against Hayden.
This morning they face an unknown opponent from New Castle.
The girls welcome unknown opponents bec-ause in middle school ball, they see the same four teams all season.
"Other than Meeker, everybody we see in AAU is a step up in competition," Kylie Bauman said. "This is more of a challenge."
Sixth-grad-er Brian Davidson mov-ed to Craig from Colorado
Springs this year. He played in a program similar to AAU in his old home called Gold Crown.
"This is our first yeartogether," he said. "We're learning what it takes to be a team."
Davidson's sixth-grade team defeated the Baggs, Wyo., fifth-grade team, 37-21, to move on for a game at 3 p.m. today.
In other Craig games the fifth-grade boys lost to the sixth-grade Meeker team 57-17, they play today at 11 am; both sixth-grade girls teams lost, and they will face each other at 2 pm; the seventh-grade girls were victorious 20-14 against Hayden they play again at 9 a.m.; the eighth-grade boys held off Steamboat Springs 48-44 and they play at 8 a.m.
All championship games will be played Sunday.