Extensive coverage of
Tennessee High School Basketball
by Andre Whitehead

Category: Latest News

Magic Moments at String Music Showcase


Nashville was the place as the second annual String Music Showcase took center stage at the spacious A-Game facility.

My scouting associate Chris Pierson made the trek to Nashville to cover the event for us and gave this report on the action.

In the tournament finale the Memphis Magic Elite behind 20 points from Adonis Thomas (Melrose) bested the BA Hoyas 87-73 to bring the crown back to the Bluff City.

The Magic cruised through the competition after besting the vaunted Atlanta Celtics 80-59 in pool play action. Thomas grabbed high scoring honors in this game as well with 15. Joining him in the scoring column were Andre Hollins (White Station) with 12 points and "Mighty" Chris Jones (Melrose) and Cameron Golden (Ridgeway) adding 11 each.

Hollins also dropped a game high 20 in another pool play victory over the Shining Stars. Nino Johnson (White Station) added 19 in the win.

Heading into bracket play action the Magic got a tough game from fellow city rival the Memphis Hawgs before pulling away. Jones led the scoring brigade with 28 while Thomas added 25. Denzel Hardy (Southwind) led the Hawgs with 14 and played well all weekend according to Pierson.

A crowd pleasing match-up with the host Nashville Celtics was a hard-fought contest with the Magic coming out on top 83-76 behind 21 points from Thomas and 18 from the mighty one, Jones. Kendall Anthony (Liberty Tech) led the Celtics with 19 points. DeAndre Barnette (Liberty Tech) added 16 and super sophomore Alex Poythress (Clarksville Northeast) contributed 14.

Also playing well for the Celtics during their tourney run was Zavion Williams (West Creek).

The Memphis Magic Black played some tough competition with D.J. Wooten (Lausanne) standing out for his contributions.

The Mid-State Ballerz received serious hoops contributions from Jeff Graham (Hamilton) and Oscar Butler (Siegel).

The Tennessee A-Game suffered through placement in the super pool drawing the Magic and the Atlanta Celtics in their openers. Pierson sighted Nilan Hodge (USN) for his consistent effort. He also mentioned the play of Chase Argo (Lancaster Christian) and Chris Dansby (Lancaster Christian).

The Knoxville Panthers made the most of their time in the ‘ville including a last second victory over the Mid-State Ballerz on a running lay-in by rising senior Morrease Barber (Gatlinburg-Pittman). Pierson sighted Chase Buckner (Union County) and Cory Billingsley (Sweetwater) for their consistent efforts. Skylar Brown (Seymour) also drew mention after leading the Panthers in scoring in one contest with 16.

In the 16 and under division the Nashville Celtics fell in the semi-final but received outstanding play from Taylor Barnette (Kentucky), David Howard (MBA), Kielen Blanks (Spring Hill) and John Ross Glover (USJ). Daijon Williams (Clarksville) played solid according to Pierson.

The Pilot Rhinos from Knoxville had a solid weekend finishing in the semi's losing to Charlotte Court. Brandon Cole (Stone Memorial) was a consistent scorer for the Rhinos the entire weekend. Also playing well were DeJuan Wright (Bearden), Jamaal Calvin (McCallie), Kaymon Dial (LaVergne), Drew Standifer (Bearden) and despite missing some games with injury Logan Ramsey (Livingston Academy).

Derek Wheeler (Morristown East) and Daniel Cartwright (Sequatchie County) were two of the bright spots for the Mid-State Ballerz in the 16 and under division.

The Memphis Magic received some fine play from Dre-Sean Looney (Wooddale) and Allante Mitchell (Oakhaven).

Lake County and Middleton to Meet in Class A Championship Game

Lake County 63

Hampton 52

Rafeal Tyler (Lake County) dropped 18 points and the Falcons of Lake County moved onto championship Saturday with a 63-52 victory over Hampton.

Tyler and sophomore Devon Jones (Lake County), who finished with 12 points, led a final flurry that pushed them past a very good group of Bulldogs.

Nathaneal Hughes (Hampton) finished with a game high 24 points on a variety of drives to the bucket and three-point shots.

The Falcons will meet West Tennessee counterpart Middleton for the crown on Saturday.


Middleton 64

Perry County 56

Javonte Woody (Middleton) scored 29 points leading the Tigers into the Class A finals and a date with Lake County with a 64-56 victory over Perry County.

Woody was outstanding seemingly squashing every Perry County run with a timely basket or steal.

The Vikings closed the gap in the fourth quarter behind some determined play from senior guard Dray Mercer (Perry County) and junior guard Jacob Tucker (Perry County).

Mercer led the Vikings with 21 points while Ticker chipped in with 18.

Middleton nows moves on to tangle with Lake County in the Class A championship game on Saturday.

Observations and Notes from 15/17 Eastern Sub-State


On Saturday, Maryville College was the place as the 15 and 17 and under AAU Eastern Sub-State took to the floor at the Home of the Scots.


In the 15 and under division, three teams comprised the field and thus only three games were needed to determine the order of finish for the trip to the state.


The Prime Time Elite came away with the top spot defeating the Tennessee Travelers 73-60 in one of the more emotional games of the weekend in either age group.


Jaylin Henderson (Oak Ridge) played very well in his two games scoring 25 points in an opening win over the Tri-Cities Tarheels and leading his squad in scoring with 15 in the win over the Travs.


Vic Wharton (Knoxville Catholic) played very well on both ends of the floor, controlling the tempo and getting his team out in transition. Wharton finished with 13 in the Travelers win after scoring 11 in the earlier contest.


Isaac Edmonson (Maryville) scored 14 markers in the opening win and was consistent in both contests, a solid team effort from the Prime Time Elite as they played with emotion throughout the event. Austin Glasgow (Hardin Valley), Xavier Maddox (Oak Ridge), Charles Mitchell (Carter) and Peyton Wall (Knoxville Catholic) all made major contributions.


Rob Marberry (FRA) was a bright spot for the Travelers scoring 25 points in the loss to Prime Time. Devin Sibley (Karns) added 18 points in the loss as well.


Trevon Fields (Science Hill) led the scoring in the opening game win against the Tarheels with 13, while Clay Leatherwood (Gatlinburg-Pittman) added 12 in the win.


Tyleke Love (Dobyns-Bennett) was a bright spot for the Tri-Cities Tarheels scoring 17 in the opening game and showing some solid skills and athleticism. Calvin Songster (Science Hill) led the scoring with 22 points in the opening game and 14 in the loss to the Travelers.


In the 17 and under division, I was able to see all the teams and some even multiple times during the day.


The Tennessee Tigers won both of their games on Saturday with a solid overall team effort. Ross Welch (USN) had the hot hand in the second game scoring 17 points. New addition Braylen "Vitamin B" Bennett (Carter) seemed to mesh well with his new teammates cracking double digits in the second game with 10 points. Will Downey (Ensworth) was the only Tiger to score in double digits in both contest with 12 and 10 respectively. Kyle Weldon (Rossview), Nilan Hodge (USN) and Casey Smith (Morristown East) all contributed to the two wins.


The Music City Jags did a great job playing as a team and making every game they were in a close contest. Jamonte Graham (Father Ryan) dropped 18 in the morning contest and was very solid throughout the day. Dijon Dozier (Hillsboro) and Tim Gaines (Hillsboro) were vital cogs in the Jags machine.


Tennessee Team Hustle playing in what was essentially their first event managed to make a nice showing by getting better as the games went on. Trey Suttles (Tyner Academy) played well in all three contests on Saturday scoring 23, 18 and 13 for the Hustle. Ross "Loaded" Cannon (Anderson County) was big in the early game scoring 22 points and added 10 in the afternoon game. Tre Tate (Alcoa), Gabe Dando (Alcoa) and Spencer Shoffner (Oak Ridge) played solid for the Hustle.


Donya Burnette (Riverdale) had a steady day scoring 17 and 15 for the Tennessee Contenders on Saturday. Keshawn Carter (Ensworth) exploded for 24 points in the afternoon game. Nick Drake (East Literature) also played well throughout the weekend.


Moving on with two wins, The Tennessee Chosen Few are finding their way as a team. Blake Williams (Farragut) was the high scorer in both of yesterday's games with 27 and 20. Nick Litton (Campbell County) was big in the opening game with 20 points, while Jervon Johnson (Ooltewah) added 12 points. In the afternoon game, Tanner Torres (Anderson County) came through with 15 points and Drew Standifer (Bearden) finished with 13.


The Mid-State Ballerz East played well at times on Saturday. Dee Oldham (Wilson Central) dropped 18 points and Cody Malicoat (Jellico) finished with 17. In the afternoon game, Aaron Wheeler (Morristown East) was the high man scoring 16 markers, while Jeff Long (Hendersonville) added 13 and Malicoat finished with 10. Matt Shown (Alcoa) made his presence felt on the boards and inside for the Ballerz.




James, O’Donahue, Upshaw and Suttles Shine at Best of Preps


The Chattanooga Times Free Press Best of Preps tournament kicked off this evening with some solid action including a match-up of some of the best backcourt players in the East Tennessee area.


McCallie 67

Cleveland 58

Cordell James (McCallie) was the big man on campus on Wednesday evening. The rising senior notched 23 points leading McCallie to a 67-58 victory over a determined Cleveland Blue Raider squad.


McCallie maintained a good lead for majority of the contest behind some inspired play from junior Terrence O'Donahue (McCallie).

C.J. Bryant (Cleveland) converted a foul shot and snatched his own miss and scored again narrowing the contest to 56-50 with a little under 3:00 minutes left to play.


D.J. Bowles (Cleveland) scored on a driving lay-in and the lead was shrunk to 2 with under 2:00 minutes remaining on the clock.


Never to be outdone, C.J. Reese (McCallie) scored on a three-point play the old fashioned way and McCallie was out of danger and came away with the solid victory.


Joining James in the scoring column were Reese and O'Donahue with 13 each and Jamaal Calvin (McCallie) with 10 points.


Bowles and Bryant finished with 13 each for Cleveland while Jarod Rhodes (Cleveland) added 11 in the tough loss.



Red Bank 61


In the nights opening round game, Red Bank got 18 points from Fred Matthews (Red Bank) and slipped away late from a young and younger bunch of Patriots to gather the victory 61-54.


Xavier Cummings (Red Bank) and Niquia McDuffie (Red Bank) finished with 14 points each for the Lions in the win.


Frank Brogdan (CSAS) led the young Patriots with 15 points while smooth Class of 2016 guard JaVaughn Craig (CSAS) added 11 in the close loss.



Baylor 53

Notre Dame 31

Welcome one and all to the Reggie Upshaw (Baylor) show. The rising junior was fantastic scoring 25 points and helping lead his Red Raiders to a 53-31 drubbing of Notre Dame.


Upshaw did majority of his damage in the first half as Baylor climbed to a 34-12 halftime cushion.


Upshaw knocked down several threes and was active on defense blocking shots and snatching boards. His stock is rising quickly.


Steadman Ford (Notre Dame) scored 13 to lead the Fighting Irish.



Tyner Academy 56

Ooltewah 51

Trey Suttles (Tyner Academy) was a machine on the interior squashing every Ooltewah run and finally lifting the Rams to a 56-51 victory in the nightcap and final game of the day at the Best of Preps Tourney at CSAS.


The Owl led at the half and after three by the narrowest of margins and saw the lead slipping away before Mycheal Creech (Ooltewah) brought the capacity crowd to their feet with a breakaway slam to push the Owls to within a point at 52-51.  


Suttles, who would finish with a game high 19 points, converted a tough reverse lay-in and the Rams held on from that point.


Andre Moton (Ooltewah) led the Owls with 18 points and senior Jervon Johnson (Ooltewah) finished with 10 markers.

My Mr. Basketball Ballot


Here is my ballot for the 2011-2012 Mr. Basketball selections.

Class A

Martavious Newby (BTW)

Rafeal Tyler (Lake County)

Cannon Rhodes (Perry County)

Class AA

Craig Bradshaw (CPA)

Montrae Williams (Spring Hill)

Brandon Cole (Stone Memorial)

Class AAA

Alex Poythress (Northeast)

Anthlon Bell (Bartlett)

Cameron Golden (Ridgeway)

DII/ Class A

John Ross Glover (USJ)

Rob Marberry (FRA)

Burton Sampson (Knoxville Webb)

DII/Class AA

Austin Nichols (Briarcrest)

Corn Elder (Ensworth)

C.J. Reese (McCallie)