Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions 17 and Under Notes and Observations


The Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions has become a staple
for the April "live action" scene.


Hoops mania sweeps the Southeast; as well as, the rest of
country as we close out the initial viewing session for the college coaches.


The TOC saw some nice action in both the National and
American division in the 17 and under age bracket.


Chattanooga Elite (3-1, Final 8 of the American


A very nice showing for the boys from Chat town. They
finished with a solid 3-1 record losing only to the Georgia Stars who advanced
to the title game of the American division. The Elite got the excitement
started right from the jump as Logan Cox
(Bradley Central)
drained a game winner leading Chattanooga
past Team Athens
63-60.  Sadik Spence (Tyner Academy) led all scorers with 22 while Orlando Moore (Brainerd) pitched in with 17.


Spence again led the scoring brigade with 18 as the Elite
drubbed the Jacksonville Lee Bulls 67-54. Alex
Watkins (Tyner Academy)
finished with 17. Moore added 15 in the


took scoring honors as the Elite moved into the Silver Bracket semis dousing
Team Phoenix 72-58. The rising senior netted 18 and his running mate Spence
finished with 12.


Hall Allen (Boyd
gave the Elite some solid minutes at both guard spots and was a
sparkplug on the defensive end.


finished as one of the top scorers in the event at 18 per game followed closely
by Spence who finalized at 16.7.


Tennessee Velocity (1-2, Bronze Bracket of the
National Division)


The Velocity had their motors on high as the tourney got
underway with a 69-49 mercy rule drubbing of Team Winston. Jack Graham (Bearden), Levi Woods (Meigs
County) and Isaac Merian (Oak Ridge)
well in the opening game victory.


Game #2 saw a loss to the powerful Birmingham Ice followed
by a narrow loss (81-76) to the North Florida Elite.


Deonte Bizzle-Brown (Hardin Valley),
Austin Glasgow (Hardin Valley), Isaac Edmiston (Maryville) and Isaiah Campbell (Bearden)
had significant contributions over the weekend.


Team Nashville (National Division)


The defending 17 and under champions got things off on the
right foot with a 61-42 demolition of the Georgia Hornets. Ryan Jones (Siegel) and Jacob Williams (Wilson Central) had nice
outings for the Music


Game #2 came to a dramatic end as Q6 Elite from Florida cashed in on a
last second drive to the hole to slip past Team Nashville 41-39. Williams had
the hot hand early as buckets were hard to come by for either squad in this low
scoring affair.


Jordan Darden (Cheatham County) and Juaun Jennings (Blackman) had
some nice moments over the weekend.


Tennessee Chosen Few (3-1, Final 8 of the American


Coming off a championship at Big Shot the previous week the
Tennessee Chosen Few were riding high. Opening the TOC with a 68-41 dousing of
the Marietta Heat followed by a 69-43 clipping of the Greensboro Aggies.


Clay Leatherwood
had his stroke on this weekend while point guard play
was a premium among the triumvirate of Imani
Miller (North Carolina),
Luke Matthews (Stone Memorial) and Oterriah Lee (CAK).


TCF came out on the wrong end of a 60-42 decision to the
eventual American division champion SC Rators Elite/North for their only
blemish and closed on a very strong note with a win over the Bull City Select.


Zak Carter (Hardin Valley),
Tre Fields (Virginia),
Tyler Yoder (Stone Memorial) and Justin Simmons (Stone Memorial)
were all
lauded for their efforts from coaches and on-lookers alike.


Nashville Celtics (4-1, Silver Bracket of the
National Division)


Fresh off a big week in Chicago
the Nashville Celtics came rolling into Atlanta
with things to prove. The engine revved high as the Celtics dismantled the Atlanta
Select Black by mercy rule 68-21 and came back even stronger against the
Charlotte Nets to the tune of 84-63.


Braxton Bonds (CPA) was
a steady force the entire weekend. Making plays and getting everyone involved,
Bonds showed natural leadership and was a ball hawk on defense. He scored in
transition and set up several scores with his above average basketball IQ.


The Florida Elite were the next hurdle for the Celtics and
this one proved to be much too steep. Bonds was tremendous in the face of
danger and high majors coaches began to sit and take notice of rising senior Makinda London (Summitt).


High major tools for certain, London has size, is getting
bigger and stronger, handles adequately, shoots ok and has the length that
coaches covet. He is certainly one to keep an eye on as we gear up for all important
July phase of the summer.


Falling behind by double digits was not how the Celtics
wanted to regroup from the Florida Elite loss and things looked dim before Jake Allsmiller (CPA) finally started
connecting on his patented jumper and the Celtics rallied to defeat a very good
Upward stars squad 72-61.


The win energized the Celtics and they closed with a
flourish against Xpress United to the tune of 61-47.


Jaylen Barford (Jackson Southside) and
Daniel Norl (Kenwood)
played steady all weekend knocking down shots and
providing solid in your face defensive effort.


Barford finished the tourney as the teams top scorer with a
14.2 points per game average.