Chaffin 8th Grade Girls Win the City Championship!


Maddie Martin

Chaffin Middle School’s 8th grade girls’ basketball team beat Darby Middle School in the first 8th grade city championship on February 16th, at Northside High School.

This year Northside hosted the very first 8th grade Fort Smith city championship. In previous years, when middle schools were still junior highs, only 7th and 9th grade basketball teams had city tournaments. Last year only a 7th grade tournament was held.

Chaffin, the third seed in the tournament, beat the number one seed in the tournament, Darby, by three points. Chaffin was the underdog of the championship due to previously losing to Darby two times in the season. Darby had gone undefeated in the city.

Chaffin trailed behind Darby the entire game until a minute left in the fourth quarter. Chaffin was up three in the fourth quarter, and fought brutally until the clock turned zero.

When asked whether or not he was surprised with the tournament’s outcome, head coach of the Chaffin 8th grade girls’ basketball team Coach Blake Branham stated, “I was not. I knew my girls could do that. They were capable, and had the potential. It did not surprise me at all that we came away with the win in the fashion that we did. They gave everything they had until the last second. We came out with the win, and I could not be more proud.”Basketballs clipart images and royalty-free illustrations |

This basketball season was Branham’s second year of coaching, and assistant coach Sydney Parker’s first.

“I think we did because we have worked so hard all year on getting everything right. We used our teamwork, effort, 110% the whole game, and I think we won the game because of it.” 8th grade Chaffin Middle School student and basketball player Layla Brewer said after being asked why she thought the girls won.

This year’s 8th grade girls’ team only consisted of eight 8th graders, and two 7th graders playing up. Members of the basketball community such as 8th grade Chaffin Middle School student Kaylin Underwood are hoping next year “more girls will try out knowing how good the basketball team was this year.”