The inagural String Music Showcase left a couple of our Tennessee favorites just a tad short at the finish.
One short week after blistering the Atlanta Celtics to bring home the gold at the Real Deal in the Rock, the depleted Nashville Celtics 16's fell in the final to the Derek Smith All-Stars.
Playing without Kedren Johnson (Marshall County), who sat out the weekend with a foot injury and Bobby Parks (St. George's), who was injured during the tourney, the Cetlics simply did'nt have enough firepower to bring home the 'ship this time around.
Stepping up in the absence of the missing stars, Kendall Anthony (Liberty Tech) once again rocked with his performance.
"Ant Version 2.0" controlled the tempo of the game when he had the rock and proved he could score when his team needed tough buckets. DeAndre Barnette (Liberty Tech) had a fine tourney ,dropping seven threes in one contest, but proving he could play consistent the entire weekend.
Levi Randolph (Alabama) is the steady force on this Celtics squad. Scoring from inside and out he remains a go to guy even when the big dogs are in the lineup.
Alex Polythress (Clarksville Northeast) continues to impress with high basketball acumen and his workmanlike efforts on the glass. His offensive game is coming along nicely and he has a knack for passsing quickly out of the double team. He is as advanced a freshman in the post as we have seen, great high school coaching has been a benefit for this young man.
The Mid-State Ballerz South had some quality moments in the event ,special mention to Odgra Bobo (Liberty Tech), who played very well over the course of the weekend. Other Ballerz who deserve some ink include: Dion Fair (Bearden), Jacob Lloyd (Westview), Joevantae Arnold (Liberty Tech) and Jaeland Lawson (Bearden).
Miles Davis (Webb School) played a vital role in the success shared by his Team Nashville mates in this event. The 6'4 worker gave maximum effort on both ends of the floor, scoring on easy putbacks because of his efforts on the glass. He showed toughness in a very physical event.
Andre Brown (Clarksville Northwest) was a beast on the interior crashing the boards, getting easy putbacks and working hard defensively. Bre Hughes (Hillsboro) played a fearless game, making tough passes and getting his teammates involved.
Darryl Clack (Maplewood), despite his thin frame, was a frequent visitor to the glass, cashing in on some second chance points and showing a nice soft tournaround shot inside. Weldon Garlington (Brentwood Academy) played with passion on defense and shot it well from deep. He is fast and can pull-up from 15 on the dead sprint. Watch his progression as the summer moves along.
Over in the 15's the Memphis Select simply ran out of gas in the finale falling to All-Iowa Red 73-56. Jarnell Stokes (Central) was a man on the interior. His work on the boards continues to be on a high level while he gets a great deal of second chance buckets because he uderstands positioning.
Fred Yarbrough (Dyer County) caught the eye of my collegue with his hustle and aggressiveness on both ends of the floor. He can score in a multitude of arenas and has a knack for grabbing long rebounds and finishing hard.
The Nashville Celtics 15's also had a nice showing loosing in the semi's to the eventual champion. Vari Craig (Riverdale) and Jarvis Webster (Columbia Central) both had solid showings, while Austin Blackwell (MBA), John Ross Glover (USJ) and Cornelius Elder (Ensworth) played tough.
Elder is a Class of 2013 point guard who is a slight to behold. His command of the game at this young age is fun to watch and he is fearless in his approach to the game. This will be a good one for years to come.