Fast becoming one of the must stops on the "Live" basketball circuit, the guys at Phenom Hoops do a great job of running quality events with good competition and variety. Lets see how teams from the Volunteer state faired in this highly competitive event.
Nothing like getting off to a blistering start.
EABC blazed through the 16 and under division at the Phenom Hoops Challenge bringing home Gold besting Team Loaded 72-54 behind 20 points from Tripp McEachern (Goodpasture).
Keon Johnson (Webb School) and K.J. Johnson (Marshall County) each dropped 12 in the title game victory.
Johnson was one of the bright spot for EABC with his play throughout the event. He caught the eye of coaches near and far and haestablished his name as someone to watch in the Class of 2020. His 18 points led EABC to an opening game victory over the Columbia Hoyas 65-55.
McEachern added 14 in the opening game triumph.
McEachern started with 15 while rising sophomore Luke Burnett (Heritage) pitched in with 13 and Johnson added 10 EABC moved to 2-0 with a 60-32 crashing of the Lake Murray Flight.
Deron Perry (Riverdale) led four in double digits with 14 as EABC kept their record unblemished with an 86-48 overthrow of the Carolina Conquerors. K.J. Johnson dropped 13, Keon added 12 and McEachern concluded with 11.
Semi-Final action saw EABC unnerving Wilson Elite to the tune of 88-58 behind 23 from McEachern and 21 from rising sophomore Mason McKnatt (Grace Christian).
Bryce McCormick (CPA) had his best game of the tournament with 14 while Keon added 13 advancing EABC to the 'ship.
TENNESSEE BOBCATS 17U
Things started slow but picked up nicely as the Tennessee Bobcats finished 3-2 at the Phenom Hoops Challenge in the Carolinas.
Cooper Robb (Kentucky) took scoring honors in the opener with 17 but the Bobcats just couldn't hold off SEBA Select from Florida 62-60. Unsigned senior Tajoin Jones (Oak Ridge) added 14 while Chris Clayton (North Carolina) finished with 10 points and 12 boards. Dillon Fountain (Wartburg Central) had one of his best games of the weekend dropping a 9 spot in the narrow loss.
Robb and Jones each netted 15 as the Bobcats fell to a very good EA Prep Stars squad 73-69. Clayton added 12 and Brock Jancek (Knoxville Catholic) finished with 10.
The Bobcats came alive late besting WCBA Ballerz 76-74 behind 22 from Jones. Robb added 16 while Clayton, Jancek and Grant Ledford (Grace Christian) each finished with 13 moving the Bobcats to 1-2.
Jancek took scoring honors with 18 as the Bobcats squeezed the Orangeburg Express 62-31 evening their tourney mark to 2-2. Ledford had another strong performance with 14, unsigned seniors Tristan Norman (Stone Memorial) and Justin Barnett (Sevier County) scored 12 and 10 points respectively.
Ledford set the tone again with 23 markers lifting the Bobcats to their third consecutive victory 68-53 over the Soldiers Elite. Jones finished with 15, Jancek added 14 and Robb finished with 12.
TEAM NLP 17U
The Chattanooga crew had a solid tournament finishing 2-2 with losses to Team TMP and SEBA Select.
Jaylon Baker (Baylor) really raised some eyebrows with his 22 point, 8 assist performance in the loss to TMP. His stock will continue to rise as he shows a special array of talent.
Several NLP players turned college coaching heads with their efforts including:
Patrick Urey (Baylor) who had been bothered by injuries periodically but has seemingly overcome this dilemma and has established himself once again on the mid to low major radar.
K.K. Curry (Cleveland) continues to draw attention with his mixture of length, athleticism and skill. He showed some defensive prowess this weekend and secured an offer from ETSU and others.
Coaches were quick to praise the contributions of Isaiah Sulak (Believe Prep). The CAK product showed an consistent shooting range and got some people scribbling his name down.
Big men always draw the interest of coaches and scouts and this NLP crew has a pair that everyone will wish to get to know.
Boris Ristanovic (Baylor) he uses his European game skills in cahoots with his newly incorporated interior skills to really draw some attention with that 6'8 frame. This young man will be lathered in offers by the time we get to July.
The real talk of the event was the continued maturation of 6'10 behemoth Jason Jitobah (Hamilton Heights). This kid has come such a long way and I am pleased to see him get the recognition he deserves. His back to the basket skills are much improved, his footwork just gets better as his body gets in better shape. He averaged about 5 blocks per game in the event and secured offers from.......you ready.....Florida sand Auburn.
EAB TIGERS 17U
In their first event of the summer, the newly formed EAB Tigers had some ups and downs but the effort and toughness known from this squad seems to already be there.
Jaden Lewis (Summit) had a solid weekend scoring in double digits in most every game and playing tough defense against the primary ball-handler whomever he was matched up againstGray Michael (Franklin Classical) had shining moments shooting the rock while coaches were quick to point the rapid contributions in the backcourt from the likes of Austin Jackson (Rossview), Isaac Holt (Summit), Bryce Watts (Franklin Classical) and Justin McMurray (Station Camp)
Jaden Jamison (Oakland) got himself on the floor with his quickness and ability to guard the ball. The Class of 2019 product will be a high level producer down the road for the Tigers.
Inside the Tigers held there own at times despite an obvious lack of size. Wesley Hennis (Franklin Classical) and Dalton Coleman (Monterey) showed marked improvement.
On the wing the combination of Will Midlick (Rossview) and Jacayah Webster (Columbia Central) proved promising as each showed flashes of overt athleticism and lack of strength. Midlick is on the verge of being a sought after prospect while Webster is confidence away from being someone that everyone is checking out.