Greensboro was host to the Rick Lewis North Carolina Phenom Hoops Grassroots Tip-Off Classic, that's a lot of title, featuring a couple of Tennessee squads in the Tennessee Bobcats and the Tennessee Fury. Lets see how they faired.
TENNESSEE BOBCATS 17U
Coming off a spectacular weekend in Atlanta the Tennessee Bobcats picked up right where they left off going 2-1 on the weekend.
In the opener the Cats exposed the Mid-State Magic 71-66 behind 26 points from Tyreke Key (Clay County). Key has been one of the most talked about players on the circuit and he shone just as bright in the Carolinas. 2016 Seth Battle (Sweetwater) chipped in with 17 markers and Morgan McKay (North Carolina) added 10 in the victory.
Key again was the "key" for the Bobcats dropping 21 markers in a 78-66 win over the Upward Stars. Chris Clayton (North Carolina) added 18 and Battle finished with 15 in the win.
Key exploded for 28 but it wouldn't be enough as Team Winston edged the Bobcats 69-62 finishing their North Carolina venture at 2-1. Hunter Reynolds (CAK) finished with 11 while Clayton added 10.
Coaches were quick to acknowledge the contributions of Cameron Gregg (Jefferson County) and Grant Ledford (Grace Christian). Ledford, a Class of 2019 member, has a major upside and is playing two age groups above his own. Look for big things from this young man in the coming years.
TENNESSEE FURY 17U
Fresh off a pretty nice opening live weekend performance the Tennessee Fury were charged up for their chance to play at another outstanding event here in Greensboro.
Not injury nor football were the cause for the lack of participation in the Friday night opener we simply must blame the prom. The Fury seemed strapped with only five guys but that's why they play the game. Behind 21 markers from Luke Smith (Knoxville Catholic) these five guys pulled out the victory over the PSB Select 71-58. All five players finished in double digits including Bowden Lyon (Science Hill) with 17, C.J. Massengill (Hamilton Heights) with 13 and Josh Releford (David Crockett) and Ty Patterson (Knoxville West) with 10 each.
The Fury appeared at full strength for their second contest but the competition level went way up as the Fury fell to the pool champions River City Reign 65-51. The Fury got off to a rousing start but a 25-4 run in the second stanza was enough to put things away. Smith and Connor Arnold (Grace Christian) each tallied 14 for the Fury.
In what amounted to a game with no playoff consequences the Fury and the Charlotte Nets didn't let that deter them from an instant double overtime classic with the Nets pulling out the 75-73 win. Smith led the scoring charge with 23 while Arnold pitched in 19. Lyons added 13 and Releford 10 in the title loss.
Smith finished the weekend at a 19.3 per game scoring clip and was mentioned as a "New Kid on the Radar" by the Phenom folks. We've known about him for years now. Arnold finished at 16.5 and Lyon having his best tournament to date finished at an 11.0 per game clip.
Coaches wanted to mention the contributions of Nate Jackson (Science Hill).