The Brick Layers, a girls basketball team based out of Cleburne County, continued their consistent summer run by adding a Slammin’ Buckets Nation championship to their resume while improving to 13-4 on the season this past weekend in Conway. The squad consists of four Concord students (Sophomores Annalise Cornett, Avery Southerland, Ashlyn Deckard, and Jaylyn Jefferson) and two West Side students (Sophomore Alex Southerland and freshman Hailey Gentry).
Concord native and head coach Jacob Roark, who led the senior high Pirates to their first basketball state title in his senior year of high school in 2014, has guided the team to championship or runner-up finishes in all but one tournament so far, as they await word on if they get to travel back to Conway this weekend to play in the HoopPlay National Tournament.
While Gentry has served as the leading scorer for most of the team’s games, Alex Southerland or Cornett usually follow right behind her. Both Alex Southerland and Deckard use their size and strength to get to the rim to score and rebound, while Southerland and Jefferson can both heat up from beyond the arc and give the team more length if needed, and Cornett and Gentry provide quickness, ability to score from anywhere on the floor, and good court vision to find the open teammate.
“This group of girls have been awesome to be around,” said Roark. “They work extremely hard, but at the same do a good job of keeping everything fun. It’s really been a blast for me to just be a part of this and I hope that they all have gotten something out of it. The parents have also been super supportive and willing to help the team out in any possible way they can.”
Roark’s wife Taylor, who he wed at the beginning of this month, has provided support for the team in the form of assistant coaching, and friend and former classmate and teammate Hansel Bowman has helped out with coaching duties as well.

Photo cutline: The Brick Layers pose with their Slammin' Buckets Nation championship trophy following their tournament victory in Conway this past weekend. Standing: Head Coach Jacob Roark, Avery Southerland, Alex Southerland, Ashlyn Deckard, and Assistant Coach Taylor Roark. Kneeling: Annalise Cornett, Hailey Gentry, and Jaylyn Jefferson