The Early Years of Girls Basketball

1915 SHS Girls Basketball Team

Only four years after Slaton was incorporated as a town, in 1915, the Slaton Tigresses took to the court wearing long purple sweaters and deep purple skirts. They wore long stockings beneath the heavy skirts. Each player wore a matching crotcheted hat.

The team consisted of eight members; Zona Bean, Rachel Haney, Mae Stewart, Alma Meyers, Pauline Robertson, Beatrice Robertson, Cleo Yantis and Marguerita Hoffman.

Aside from a brief hiatus during the depression, girl’s basketball has always been a popular activity for Slaton girls and by 1932 the Tigresses had won the Lubbock County Championship game and went on to compete at the state tournament held in Celeste.

By the 1970s, girls were obsessed with basketball. Especially when young girls watched the 1974 team capture the attention and approval of many by winning the Texas state championship and were now known as the Slaton Tigerettes.

“Slaton’s little girls forsake dolls early, for basketballs,” The Slatonite reported in 1975.

“Beginning at age 9 or 10, when most girls are still playing with dolls,” Sandy Martin wrote in an article for The Slatonite in 1975, “Many Slaton girls forsake the fairy tale world of toys for the drive and competition of basketball.”

By February of 1975, according to The Slatonite, the defending state champions had won their fifth district championship title and were well on their way to another state title.

“Locally,’ Sandy Martin wrote, “they’re known as Benson’s Bunch but throughout the state of Texas, Slaton’s Tigerettes are known as a winning team.”

“The defending state champion Slaton Tigerettes wrapped up the district title for the fifth straight year,” The Slatonite reported on February 13, 1975. “This week they will begin the playoff trail to what hopefully will be another trip to Austin.”

However, 1975 would not be a winning year on the state level. The team fell short in the regional finals.

It wasn’t until three years later when the Tigerettes had another chance to capture a state title.

In 1978, coming off of many heartbreaking upsets in the regional championships for the 1975-1977 school years Slaton had one focus, state champions – again.

The team, that year consisted of; Lynn Webb, Cynthia Robinson, Chris Kennedy, Linda Lewis, Debbie Heinrich, Jill Basinger, Roxanne McDonald, Debbie Bednarz, Janee’ Jenson, Esoleta Whaley, Sherrie Eakin, Teri Huckabee, Barbara Anzley and Peggy Alspaugh.

The 1978 2AA State champions beat Granbury High School in a dramatic 55-45 win to prove that Slaton Tigerette basketball was, indeed, the best in Texas.




About slatontx

The ramblings of one of the few remaining small town newspaper reporters left in the world!
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