The Real Deal in Nashville took place this weekend with the Memphis Hoopers making a big splash in the 17 and under division while in the 15's two Tennessee teams met for the title...details to follow.
The Memphis Hoopers played their best tournament to date finishing 6-1 and gliding by the competition before falling to the Arkansas Hawks in the championship game of the Real Deal in Nashville event this past weekend. The Hoopers snatched early wins over the Tennessee Tigers, Nashville Elite and TBA Tennessee.
Several Hoopers were applauded for their efforts on the weekend including several still unsigned seniors including Desean Dockery (Ridgeway), Ladarius Wilson (Whitehaven) and Jalen Smith (Sheffield).
Coaches were very high on the contribution of rising sophomore Justin Benton (Houston). The 6'2 guard had several double digit assist games and provided some timely hoops for the Memphis crew in their search for the 'ship.
The clash of 15 and under titans was inevitable as the tournament started to take shape during pool play. Everyone in the gym was certain the clash between the Nashville Celtics and Tennessee Tigers was immanent.
The Celtics starting things off with an easy 72-42 win over the Chattanooga Elite followed by a 71-49 dismantling of the Crew. The Arkansas Hawks would prove to be formidable but not unbeatable as the Celtics got the win 53-49 in overtime.
In the final four the Celtics would again see the Chattanooga Elite with the same result to the tune of 69-34 and set up a showdown with the Tigers.
The Tigers cruised through pool play and won their semi-final games by a large margin setting up the inevitable showdown with the Celtics.
The Celtics would come out on top in the title game to the score of 62-49 behind the inspired play of Caleb Hollander (Homeschool), Kenny Cooper (FRA) and Thomas Booker (East Nashville).
The triumvirate proved to be the scoring leaders for the Celtics during their march to the title. JaVaughn Craig (McCallie) came on very strong in this event showing his scoring prowess and providing the celtics with yet another scoring option as they move on during the month of July.
Jordan Wilson (MBA), Charquis Buchanan (Pearl Cohn) and Devonte Jones (Tyner Academy) proved more valuable than normal as the Celtics competed with a short roster during the event.
Special mention to Gage Upshaw (Baylor) who played sparingly due to obligations with the other ball but played hard during his time at the event.The Tigers were led in scoring by newcomer Kenny Bunton (East Hamilton) and Sterling Hewitt (Pearl Cohn). Bunton was high scorer in the title game for the Tigers with 15 while Hewitt had a team high 22 in the semi-final blowout.
Matthew Norl (Kenwood) and Jordan Long (Chattanooga Central) were lauded for their contributions on both sides of the court. Norl was exceptional scoring and playing tough defense while Long was steady and led in scoring with 11 against the Chattanooga Elite.
Brad Allen (Greenbrier), Cannon Campbell (Rossview), Ben Bell (Lipscomb Academy), Keaton Dotson (Station Camp), Javon Vaughn (Rossview) and Gabe Reasor (Franklin) were all sighted for their efforts.