Yoe basketball qualifies for state summer basketball tourney

For the first time in program history, Yoe basketball will be playing in the summer state basketball championships in Grapevine. The Yoemen competed in the Salado state qualifying tournament on Saturday and finished with a perfect 3-0 mark to clinch their spot at state.


These basketball games are similar to 7 on 7 football, where you are required to qualify for state through tournaments that are spread across the state. Cameron defeated both Lampasas (63-61, OT) and San Saba (56-29) to win their pool, which automatically earned the bid for state. Cameron stayed to play the championship game as they defeated the Salado Eagles, 63-48.


For newly hired basketball coach Nicholas Burns, the experience that this young roster is gaining should prove to be invaluable.


“Our goal is to get these guys a lot of playing time as a group,” said Burns. “We have a lot of sophomores and we knew there would be some intense competition over here with Salado, Killeen and Lampasas. We are talking about hosting one ourselves next year, but we wanted to get them over here get the feel of that camaraderie like they have in 7 on 7 football.”


LaRondre Booze, one of Cameron’s projected top returners for next season, led the way with 20 points through the first three quarters in the championship game.


“I think we performed great,” said Booze. “It’s definitely going to benefit us. We have good chemistry and all of us get along well.”


Other top performers included Kobe Young (12), Nico Vargas (8) and Keanu McCarter (7). Booze had 7 rebounds while Vargas came in with 6.


Burns takes over Yoe basketball

Burns will be replacing a retiring Ed Glendening, who most recently led the Yoemen to its first playoff season since 2011.


“Five years ago I started out as a freshmen coach for two years,” said Burns on his previous experience in Cameron. “Then, I got promoted to JV coach. I was here for four years and then I had a family accident and my brother passed away and I helped my dad’s business. So, I took a year off.”


The former Milano Eagle says he is excited to take over a program that has potential to grow in the coming years. “I am excited to be back at Cameron,” said Burns. “It’s a great community. I wasn’t planning on getting back into coaching, but when the Cameron job came open, I just couldn't pass it up.”


Burns also noted that he plans on implementing some changes along the way to hopefully push the Yoemen to the next level.


“We are going to play very up tempo and we will play some zone defense. We’ll definitely focus on moving the ball on offense. I think you will see a lot more 3-pointers put up than in the past. I think we have some shooters. There will be a couple of dribbles and then we are going to get rid of the ball. We are going to play a fast-paced brand of basketball.”


State Tournament Information

The state tournament will be played on June 23-25 in the Grapevine area.


The final week of qualifying will take place this weekend. More information on location and game times will follow shortly thereafter.