NOAH takes homeschool basketball tournament by storm

By Darlene Warren

A basketball team that includes some Church of God girls won a national championship in March.

The Northeast Oklahoma Association of Homeschools (NOAH), an organization that provides educational and athletic services to families of homeschoolers, sent eight teams to San Antonio, Texas, March 6-10 to compete in the week-long National Homeschool Basketball Tournament.

The invitational-style competition played host to 110 teams in five age divisions for both boys and girls, with teams coming from as far away as Alaska.

The Tulsa NOAH Lady Jaguars Varsity team claimed top honors for the first time. However, for two of the players, Bridget Kurr and Heather Perkey, it is their third time to take first place at the national tournament.

Bridget, 17, daughter of Ray and Pam Kurr, and Heather, also 17, daughter of Bob and Virginia Perkey, received All-American honors.

Both players attend the Church of God Tulsa Fellowship, an independent congregation.

Bridget intends to continue playing basketball through her senior year. But this was Heather's last season because she plans to concentrate on music rather than basketball.

With homeschoolers dispersed throughout the area, NOAH depends on private schools in northeastern Oklahoma for practice time and games during the season.

"There really isn't a homeschool league," said Mrs. Kurr. "Homeschoolers are just too spread out."

By playing larger private schools, the Tulsa team elevated its level of play to bring home the championship.

The Lady Jags bested four teams before coming up against their cross-state rival, the Oklahoma City Lady Storm, in the championship game of the tournament.

"I guess all of our practicing finally paid off," Heather said. "We went to the tournament and came together as a team when we really needed to."

Seeded No. 2, the Lady Storm came into the game confident, but it quickly became clear the Lady Jags were the superior team, clawing their way to a 48-34 championship victory.

Other teammates included Rachel Duntley, Stephanie Ellis, Lyndie English, Jennifer Hiatt-Frink, Carol Hovenesian, Lauren Lewis, Sarah Maynard, Joy Nichols and Micha Vandervort, all of the Tulsa area.

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