In previous years, Cache’s summer basketball league has hosted just a handful of teams.
This year, Cache high school boy’s basketball coach Zack Ange made sure to advise local gas stations to stock up on gas for the many buses and enough snacks to satisfy the cohort of players converging on Cache.
“I went to Subway yesterday,” Ange said. “There were probably 15 boys in there. I waited in line and got up there. (The cashier) was like, ‘It’s always been like this.’”
Cache hosted 48 teams across a basketball festival spanning Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Though the tournament has been happening for years, Ange took it to the next level in 2023.
“Going from seven or eight teams last year to 48 this year is pretty crazy,” Ange said.
Classes from 6A such as Lawton High School to Class B schools like Duke and Cheyenne were represented, and the teams were divided into three high school divisions and two middle school divisions to create equal matchups. It is the most schools the event has drawn.
In addition to hosting teams from all around the state, a few schools from Texas joined the tournament.
“It’s a good time to have camaraderie with the coaches and see new kids play,” Ange said. “It gives us an opportunity to see a whole bunch of our kids.”
Each team played three games on the first day, and two or three the second day. The final day started with an overtime format where teams played two-minute games; and concluded with a single elimination tournament to crown a winner in each of the five divisions.
The tournament required a heady logistical effort.
Teams were housed on Cache’s campus in classrooms to keep costs low and games were played on six different courts. Ange got plenty of help to ensure it went smoothly. There were 25 volunteers manning concession stands over the three days, as well as seven clock keepers and 18 referees.
“We can’t do it without any of those volunteers,” Ange said. “My assistant coaches are great. Everybody always gives me the credit. I can’t do it without assistant coaches, parents volunteering, refs, other coaches from our school are reffing too.”