North Arkansas College’s basketball tournaments are my favorite time of the year.

I didn’t get to the see the finals this year because of moving my daughter Hannah and her family from St. Louis.

However, I saw plenty of games and it is always good to see friends that have become family members and friends from all of the local schools at the games.

This year I took a few minutes and thumbed through the program to see all of the records that are listed from the games.

While looking through it, I saw several names that brought up good memories from yesteryears.

The senior girls invitational tournament was started when basketball was 6-on-6. That changed in 1979, but before that, it allowed girls to score a lot of points in those games.

Gina Luney was one of the names that jumped out to me from the 6-on-6 days. She was a tall blonde from Alpena that could score points. Lots of points.

Then there was Tammy Poor of Omaha. Tammy was much older than me (just joking). She is a few years older than me, but we went to church together at Emmanuel Baptist in Omaha. We played a lot of basketball before and after church. I learned a lot of things playing against Tammy as an elementary kid.

When it came to scoring points, the Newton County women could rack up points.

Lois Hudson at Western Grove was a great player that was always scoring a lot of points. 

The highest four point totals for 5-on-5 girls comes from Newton County women. 

Becky Martin of Deer had 42 while April Young and Shannon Jones, both of Deer had 37 points. 

Jones went on to play at Northark and then the University of Arkansas.

The third 37-point total effort in modern times was Kim Greenhaw of Mt. Judea. Greenhaw is now a teacher at Harrison and watches her daughter play for the Junior Lady Goblins.

Another fond name on the list is Cheryl Jenkins of Lead Hill. She is a great educator and one of my daughters was so lucky to have her as a teacher.

Other names like Linda Wienert of Valley Springs, who is tied with Hudson for the most points. Wienert was the first great basketball player to come out of Valley Springs after they started basketball back in 1977 or 1976 (I can’t really remember).

Former Harrison coach Sherry Raney of Bruno-Pyatt, and Pam Phifer of Valley Springs had their share of points.

The list of coaches with victories is a who’s who of great coaches. Charlie Berry of Huntsville has the most wins with Bobby Howard finishing second. Berry has 35 and Howard has 34.

Howard is tied with J.B. Bryant of Valley Springs with 34.

Ole Vernie Harris of Flippin is fourth with 31 wins and Kimberly Wilson Jenkins of Valley Springs is fifth with 30 wins.

Had Jenkins and the Lady Tigers played in the tournament each season and had not taken 6 years off, she would have been the winningest coach in the event.

Corky Howard of Bergman, Rick Keeter of Bruno-Pyatt and Betty Berge of Harrison are all on the winningest coaches list.

The 125 point club (meaning a player scoring 125 points while playing in the tournament) has so many great players 

There is Tami King of Harrison, Jennifer Richardson of Valley Springs, Karen Tabor of Bruno-Pyatt, Shawna Tavares, Bergman, Lisa Zeigler of Yellville-Summit and a bunch of Lead Hill girls, Joveta Saylors, Angi Whited, Beth Journagan and Sandra Vail.

One of the things about North Arkansas College basketball is that the women have always been successful with mostly home grown products.

Looking at the list of these names, a basketball fan can see why.

Jeff Brasel is the sports editor of the Newton County Times. E-mail him at or follow him at

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