Aptly named event which took place in Starkville, Mississippi this past weekend had some serious Tennessee representation.
The Mid-State Ballerz South finished with a spot in the final four falling to a very good Brandon Bass squad from Louisiana and the Tennessee Travelers made a run finishing in the final eight before losing to the same Brandon Bass squad.
The Travelers got well balanced efforts from inside and out. Joe Meady (Knoxville Carter) had one of his better weekends drawing some serious attention from some mid-major coaches. Meady played tough against some very good big guys and showed the potential we all knew was inside of him. Jay Reynolds (Maryville) also had some solid moments showing his hustle and relentless effort on both ends of the floor.
The Travs guards continue to be their bread and butter with superb efforts from Emmanuel Andrews (Shelbyville), Jalen Steele (Fulton) and Stephen Cook (Chattanooga Christian). James Gallman (Fulton) played hard but was limited with some naggging injuries.
Cook was sighted for his outstanding play, especially in the leadership and defensive aspects of the games.
The Travelers also sported their 16's and 15's at the event and both had solid showings.
The 16's finished 2-1 with great efforts from the likes of Fred Sturdivant (Brainerd), Devin Jackson (Knoxville West), D'Angelo Williams (Spring Hill) and Brandon Herman (Grace Baptist).
Jordan Cross (Sullivan East), Galen Campbell (Bearden) and Alex Tipton (Maryville) all had consistent efforts for the 15 and under squad who finished 2-1 as well.
The Mid-State Ballerz South had another good showing after a scorching Real Deal last week. Deep and talented ,different players stepped up in different games and helped Mid-State finish the event 4-1. Skylar McBee (Rutledge) was consistent all weekend drawing the glare of college coaches and the praise of his opposition. C.J. Crittendon (Dyer County) continues his meteroic rise in the Class of 2009. His stock is certainly in the buy mode right now as his offensive game has caught up to his defnesive efforts. The summer is very bright for this Choctaw.
Deonte Alexander (Glencliff) turned heads in high school with his scoring outbursts and is now turning them the other direction while running the point and showing his leadership and unselfish skills. Alexander has been a very pleasant surprise for the Ballerz and gives them one of the best and deepest backcourts in the Southeast.
Special mention has to be given to one of the unsung heroes of the weekend Davell Lloyd (Westview). This youngster made the most of his playing time knocking down threes and taking the personal challenge of defending the opponents best player, regardless of position.
Other Ballerz who simply balled, include Chance Jones (Austin East), who went crazy for 23 large in one particular contest and 'Stat-Man" Nathan Parker (Bearden) doin his best to make the ink in the statisticians pen simply run out from overuse.