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Next Level to play in two top tournaments over the weekend

The Next Level girl basketball program has several tournaments scheduled for the next few weeks.

Top of the list is the Foreverland Invitational in Mansfield June 18-19 that will draw two Next Level squads. Next Level team members are Grace Gates, Aubrey Matthews, Sydney Lough, Sydney Robinson, Sierra Schaeffer, Kloe Shannon and Zaria Solis, both of Burnet; Ellison Lehmberg of Faith Academy of Marble Falls; Kennedy Smart of Lampasas; Ciara Hayes and Keaton Owen, both of Llano; and Alyssa Berkman, Lexi Edwards, Izzy Fernandez, Bethany Fry, Emma Koziel, and Tea Rodriguez, all of Marble Falls.

Next Level director and coach Sonny Wilson said the tournaments will challenge the players.

“It has great competition,” he said. “There will be teams from Oklahoma, the Metroplex, you’ll get out-of-state teams there. You’ll see (NCAA) Division II coaches there. There’s a lot of traction at these events, a lot of great competition with kids who plan to play at the next level.”

The Burnet Lady Dawgs will play in a state qualifying tournament June 16-17 designed for high school teams. Lady Dawgs who are playing include Abi Aguillon, Gates, MaeSyn Gay, Lough, Matthews, Danielle Oakley, Robinson, Schaeffer, Shannon and Solis.

“It’s an invitational for all school teams to come out,” Wilson said. “We’re really excited to keep that group together for (Lady Dawgs head coach) Rick Gates.”

Wilson said these tournaments are serving a purpose that will benefit the players and their high school teams during the winter season.

“We’re working hard and putting in the time and effort and making huge jumps and playing at a different level,” he said. “They’re getting to see that talent across the states. Our girls are reaping that. A lot of these girls have been playing for me for a long time. They’re keeping their eyes on the prize. It’s a big deal. We’re very proud of them and their work ethic. It’s a big deal. They bought in and are having success in a lot of ways.”

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