Catching up on some past stories we begin with the annual Best in State event. Our annual event proved to be the best we have ever fielded with a high level of competition as we gave these programs some real tests as they prepared for the "live period" the following weekend.
Our 17 and under division featured eight teams, lets see how they fared.
BMaze Elite 2020 77
Tennessee Bobcats 59
Akeem Odusipe (Knoxville Catholic) dropped 17 as BMaze took their opener 77-59 over the Tennessee Bobcats. Edward Lacey (Fulton) added 14, Darlingstone Dubar (Athens Prep) had 13 and Dante Harris (Lakeway Christian) closed with 11.
Tyler Nordin (Bearden) led the Bobcats with 16 followed by Ben Bryson (North Carolina) and Charlie Browder (North Carolina) with 11 and 10 respectively.
EAB 2020 65
Team WHBH 54
Keon Johnson (Webb School) made his summer return a bright one scoring a game high 22 points and leading his EAB squad to a 65-54 victory over Team WHBH.
Luke Burnett (Knoxville Webb) added 14 in the victory.
Ray Tyler (Blackman) led WHBH with 18 followed closely by Ryan Wilcox (Hillsboro) with 12.
Tennessee Bobcats 67
Sevier County Select 61
Kendrick Holland (South Doyle) led a balanced attack as the Bobcats slipped past Sevier County Select 67-61 to move their tournament record to 1-1.
Uriah Powers (Knoxville Webb) added 13 in the win. Bryson and Nordin pitched in with 11 and 10.
Wes Maples (Sevier County) took game high scoring honors with 22. Cam Burden (Alcoa) and Marvin Castro (Sevier County) added 14 each while Jonathan Zhao-Olmos (Svier County) finished with 12.
PSB Chattanooga 61
Upward Stars 2020 59
Blake Campbell (Walker Valley) scored a game high 22 as PSB Chattanooga got past the Upward Stars 61-59.
Morrell Schramm (East Hamilton) chipped in with 13 and Gabriel Johnson (Boyd Buchanan) added 11 in the win.
Patrick Garrett (Centennial) led Upward with 18 following right behind was Clay Holmes (Brentwood Academy) with 11.
Tennessee Tigers 2020 75
PSB Chattanooga 66
Ryley McClaren (Eagleville) scored 17 as the Tigers go their first win of the tournament downing PSB Chattanooga 75-66.
Gage Wells (Mt. Juliet) added 13 while T.J. Cross (Blackman) finished with 10 for the victors.
Johnson scored a game high 22 for PSB while Campbell had another strong game with 18.
Sevier County Select 61
Upward Stars 2020 52
Castro and Maples dropped 17 and 15 respectively as Sevier County moved to 1-1 with a narrow 61-52 triumph over the Upward Stars.
Holmes led Upward with 13.
Sevier County Select 78
PSB Chattanooga 39
Maples led four in double digits with 18 as Sevier County closed the event at 2-1 with a 78-39 win over PSB Chattanooga.
Castro added 17 while Zhao-Olmos and Tyler Wilson (Sevier County) each dropped 15 in the win.
Schramm led PSB with 13 while Campbell closed with 10.
Tennessee Tigers 2020 78
Upward Stars 2020 61
Will Pruitt (Mt. Juliet) scored a game high 16 as the Tennessee Tigers moved to 2-0 with a 78-61 win over Upward. Dalton Marsh (Red Boiling Springs) finished with 15, Dusty Williams (Centennial) added 14 and Wells closed with 10.
Garrett led Upward with 13 followed closely by Holmes with 12.
Tennessee Tigers 2020 76
Team WHBH 2020 69
McClaren led all scorers with 23 as the Tigers finished Best in State unblemished with a 76-69 win over Team WHBH.
Marsh had another strong game with 18 followed by Williams with 14 and Kevon Blankenship (Station Camp) with 12.
Daniel Loos (Clarksville Academy) led WHBH with 14 followed by Tyler with 13, Wilcox and Belmont commitment Jacobi Wood (Cleveland) with 12.
EAB 2020 67
BMaze Elite 2020 62
Keon Johnson (Webb School) had a tourney high 34 as EAB got past BMaze Elite 67-62. Burnett added 16 in the win.
Dubar had 24 for BMaze followed by Harris with 14.
Tennessee Bobcats 66
EAB 2020 65
In one of the more exciting endings of the day the Tennessee Bobcats survived a double overtime sudden death contest to advance to 2-1 on the day edging EAB 66-65.
Nordin led the scoring with 15 for the Bobcats. Browder pitched in with 12 and Bryson had 10 in the win.
Jalen Page (Blackman) picked up the slack scoring 19. Tre Carlton (Summit) chipped in with 15, Daniel Saylor (Sycamore) added 14 and Burnett closed with 11.
Team WHBH 2020 71
Bmaze Elite 2020 65
Wood had his best outing of the day scoring 24 as WHBH closed strong defeating BMaze 71-65. Loos had another fine contest scoring 16.
Dubar led BMaze with 15 and Harris added 11.
GIVE ME SOMEONE FROM EACH TEAM TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Dusty Williams (Centennial)
6'3 SG 2020
Tennessee Tigers 2020
Slick, lean competitor has an amazing stroke and a big shot mentality. His body remains slight but he plays tough. He needs to bring some ball skills to his resume as his projected position for the next level will be one the perimeter.
Gabriel Johnson (Boyd Buchanan)
5'10 PG 2020
Slight build lead guard who can really shoot the rock when in rhythm and fundamentals are followed. He played with effort but will need to continue to work on his decision making and shot selection. Basketball IQ is vital for the point guard position and he has the capability of being a solid one.
Tyler Nordin (Bearden)
6'3 SG 2020
A huge senior season is expected for the Knoxville product. Big and strong he makes himself scoring chances in the paint, his outside shot need some mechanical tweaking and he must avoid the nagging injuries that seemed to have plagued him. He is poised for a monster senior season.
Wes Maples (Sevier County)
6'4 SG 2020
Sevier County Select
Great size for a shooting guard, Maples turned several heads with his stroke and his competitive nature. Not blessed with overt athleticism, he uses his devastating stroke and intelligence to get scoring chances. He moves well without the ball and understands the offensive flow of the game. He will have a gigantic senior season.
Clay Holmes (Brentwood Academy)
6'2 SG 2020
Upward Stars 2020
One of the purest deep strokes in the event. This deadly lefty doesn't need much room to fire and when he is on, he gets them in droves. He doesn't have great athleticism but again he doesn't try to do things he in incapable of completing. He sees the floor, he spaces the floor well, moves great without the ball and is a perfect compliment for a dynamic scoring lead guard.
Akeem Odusipe (Knoxville Catholic)
6'8 PF 2020
BMaze Elite 2020
Young man has improved his foot work and overall basketball skill every year since he began playing in this area. He is a monster on the glass, he blocks shots and he ruins the floor. He has to learn how avoid the early fouls, that have plagued him throughout his career thus far. His foul shooting needs much work but he isn't afraid to put in the time to get better.
Ryan Wilcox (Hillsboro)
6'4 SG/WF 2020
Team WHBH 2020
Gifted athlete is sensational in transition, he loves to run the floor and even lead the break if he snares the carom. His outside shooting is very good when he follows foot work and spacing fundamentals. He tends to rush his shot and often gets lost in the flow of the game, when he doesn't have access to the ball. As his IQ grows his overall game will blossom, this is a kid to keep a big eye on.
Daniel Saylor (Sycamore)
6'10 C 2020
You smile when you watch this kid play. He is ripe with curiosity and really shows marked improvement from game to game when he is fully engaged. He has length, he plays hard, he is coachable and just for kicks he has a 33 on the test. His best basketball is still to come but if someone has the patience and resources to stash him away for a redshirt campaign they will be duly rewarded with a player who will sparkle when the light comes all the way on.