Unexpected events kept me from putting up the second half of the 14 and Under State team profiles but let's get this show on the road now. I will have the top 25-30 players from this event up sometime this weekend.
Tennessee Panthers (Nashville, TN)
This group of Music City boys played hard and gave strong effort the entire tournament. The Panthers notched their victory in the opening game of pool play against the Tennessee Bobcats. Marquis Davis (Antioch) was solid dropping 17 points on a variety of lefty drives to the cup while shooting sensation Austin Douglas (Cheatham County) led the Panthers in scoring with 18 in the victory. Demarco Jackson (LEAD Academy) was strong on the interior scoring 16 in the balanced scoring effort for the Panthers. Anthony Ramsey (Pearl Cohn) cracked double digits with 11. Douglas continued his torrid shooting adding 17 markers against eventual champion Team Penny. Davis would drop 12 and Ramsey an additional dozen as the Panthers moved along in seeding play. Jackson would add 11 in the final game loss to the Tennessee Elite.
Team Thad (Memphis, TN)
Guard heavy squad showed some growing pains in their first game but rebounded well to finish in 3rd place with a tough revenge win against the Nashville Celtics. In the pool play opener, Team Thad placed four guys in double digits but couldn't overcome the scoring prowess of the Celtics. Emmitt Gooden (Haywood County) was big inside scoring 15 points. Demarcus Johnson (White Station) and Nate Hoover (Bartlett) added 12 while Lorenzo Hunt (Brighton) finished with 10. Gooden was huge with 19 and the sharp shooting Hoover dangled 18 as Team Thad disposed of Triple Threat in their final pool play contest. A deep roster chock full of small guards proved to be beneficial as Team Thad, behind 15 markers from Vince Gray (Arlington), bested the Tennessee Elite to advance to the semi-finals against Team Penny. Johnson added 14 in the win and was big in the loss to Team Penny with 18 points. Gray led some balanced scoring in the 3rd/4th place victory over the Nashville Celtics. Gray, Alto Jones (Bartlett), Javion Hamlett (Whitehaven) and Ernest Palmer (Germantown) proved size is irrelevant as they helped Team Thad to the third place trophy.
Tennessee Bobcats (Morristown, TN)
Noah Carter (Jefferson County) only got to play in three games at the event but the scoring phenom did what de does best dropping the weekend's two highest scoring totals with his 28 points against Triple Threat and 26 against the Tennessee Panthers. Size and depth got the better of the Bobcats and Carter when they tangled with Team Penny in their second pool play game and lost. Raheem Young (Greeneville) played inspired most of the weekend he added 17 in the opening game loss to the Panthers. Bryson Stephens (Morristown East) took scoring honors with 13 in the Team Penny loss, Carter finished with 8. Carter closed the weekend with his 28 points outburst on a variety of threes and finishes in transition.
Team Penny (Memphis, TN)
Size and skill describes the way Penny Hardaway once played the game. His namesake dons the uniforms of the next bunch of stars from the Bluff City who held on to capture the crown at the 14 and under state tournament in Pigeon Forge this past weekend. Dedric Lawson (Hamilton) is simply a big time talent. The 6'7 point forward has ridiculous passing skills, a good outside stroke, length and can finish inside. Team Penny played a very balanced attack with the scoring spread out over a slew of players. Lawson would lead in scoring at barely over 10 per game. Romero Hill (Whitehaven) got better as the weekend moved along including a staunch 18 in the championship game against the War Eagles. Size was crucial as Team Penny trotted out five players who topped the 6'5 mark including Isiah Stokes (Southwind), the younger brother of Jarnell Stokes. In addition to Stokes, pounding the glass were a pair of Arkansas youngsters in Maxwell Omili (Arkansas) and Collins Nmondi (Arkansas). While Lawson had his hands on the ball a great deal running the offense, point guard types such as Lucky Cheatham (Whitehaven) and Darrell Brown (Germantown) ran the offense when called upon.