May 11, 2005 - The winning tradition continues for Lonnie Tvrdy of Pusch Ridge Christian Academy. On May 6, Tvrdy's Pusch Ridge Middle School girls basketball team won the championship game of the Tucson Independent League. The Lions cruised by St. Gregory's College Preparatory School by a score of 34-23, building a 16-point lead with three and a half minutes left to play. Hanna McLeod and Chelsea Beringson, who were both named to the all-tournament team, paced the Lions in defeating one of the school's closest rivals.

McLeod, an eighth grader at Pusch Ridge, is expected to see significant minutes for Tvrdy and the Lions next season. At five feet, nine inches, McLeod has the natural ability to play all five positions on the court effectively, Tvrdy said. This season, the high school girls squad won the Class 2A state title behind senior Reagan Sutton and a young corps of underclassmen.

Pusch Ridge Middle School swept the Independent League when the boys team won its championship game.

Take me out to the game

After six games in the big leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Scott Hairston has returned to Tucson and to the Sidewinders. Hairston, a former Canyon Del Oro High School standout, started the season in Tucson when the club broke spring training. He collected two hits in eight trips to the plate with the Diamondbacks. In Tucson, Hairston will resume his regular duties as left fielder for the Sidewinders.

As Hairston bounces between the majors and minors, other former CDO stars in the minor leagues to keep an eye on are Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers organization, Brian Anderson of the Chicago White Sox farm team and Dennis Anderson (no relation) of the Florida Marlins organization.

After hitting .402 with 52 RBIs in 59 games at low Single A Clifton last season, Kinsler's average has dipped to .248 to start the year for the Oklahoma Red Hawks. Look for Kinsler to be a late season call-up to the Texas Rangers when the rosters expand to 40 players in September.

Dennis Anderson, of the Carolina Mudcats, a Double A affiliate of the Marlins, recently set a franchise record for consecutive hits when the catcher reached base safely in eight straight at bats.

Brian Anderson is making a strong case to be the next minor leaguer called up to "the show." Anderson leads the Charlotte Knights of the International League with a .330 batting average, 20 runs, 35 hits and 10 doubles.

Take care of your shoes

More than 1,000 pairs of football cleats have been distributed to local gridiron players as part of American Youth Football's Give Back program. This is the third year of the program in Tucson. On average, about 1,000 pairs of cleats, donated by Nike Global, are dispersed to a wide variety of players from youth leagues up through high school. Participating organizations include the Marana Broncos' and the Oro Valley Dolphins' youth football leagues. It should be noted that Nike Global is not the same as the athletic wear outfitter Nike, and, in fact, has nothing to do with the retail of Nike shoes.


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