All we can ask as coaches, evaluators and anyone associated with a team is that the kids give their all, they play to win despite all the obstacles that stand in the way. At the 6th annual Best in State these kids did just that...gave their all.
Chattanooga Elite 15U Grey played with heart. They were undermanned by size and strength but they competed. The were projected as the second 15U squad in the Chattanooga Elite program hierarchy so their effort has to be commended.
Despite the obvious differences in size and depth this squad took their lumps but they kept fighting including a rousing first half against one of the best 15U squads in the Southeast, the EAB 2021 squad.
They were introduced to the talented BMaze Elite squad in their opener and fell 76-36. Jeremiah Melton (Tyner Academy) was the one player in double digits for Chattanooga.
EAB 2021 would be their second round opponent and the crowd cheered as they held their own during the first half even taking a late lead behind some inspired efforts from Melique Hambrick (Tyner Academy) and Vincent McKenzie (Chattanooga Central).
EAB would eventually push on through to the rune of 83-58. McKenzie would finish with 18 while Hambrick would close with 17 large.
In their final contest, Chattanooga would fall to the Free Agents 71-34 despite 14 from Cameron Bell (Red Bank).
While nobody finished the afternoon averaging double digits we were impressed with the hustle and determination of the diminutive foursome that made up the Elite backcourt.
Hambrick, who stands 5'8, is a dynamo who just need to learn to better pace his effort and get everybody more involved.
McKenzie showed he could put the ball in the basket, his size dictates point but if he grows a move to the wing is not out of the question.
Melton, who goes 5'7, is another Lilliputian back court mate who has a big motor in a little body. His skill level needs time to develop but he gives effort and that's a fine place to start.
Ryan Barber (Lookout Valley) is the final member of the smallish backcourt. He had a 9 point effort in the finale and like the others needs more confidence and mental growth to be more effective.
Bell, who goes 6'4, was the lone semi-big for the Elite. He was rock solid in the EAB game but with the scene so guard dominated he found himself not as much a part of the action as he was when things were flowing in the successful half. Something to think about, just saying.