Nashville was the place as the second annual String Music Showcase took center stage at the spacious A-Game facility.
My scouting associate Chris Pierson made the trek to Nashville to cover the event for us and gave this report on the action.
In the tournament finale the Memphis Magic Elite behind 20 points from Adonis Thomas (Melrose) bested the BA Hoyas 87-73 to bring the crown back to the Bluff City.
The Magic cruised through the competition after besting the vaunted Atlanta Celtics 80-59 in pool play action. Thomas grabbed high scoring honors in this game as well with 15. Joining him in the scoring column were Andre Hollins (White Station) with 12 points and "Mighty" Chris Jones (Melrose) and Cameron Golden (Ridgeway) adding 11 each.
Hollins also dropped a game high 20 in another pool play victory over the Shining Stars. Nino Johnson (White Station) added 19 in the win.
Heading into bracket play action the Magic got a tough game from fellow city rival the Memphis Hawgs before pulling away. Jones led the scoring brigade with 28 while Thomas added 25. Denzel Hardy (Southwind) led the Hawgs with 14 and played well all weekend according to Pierson.
A crowd pleasing match-up with the host Nashville Celtics was a hard-fought contest with the Magic coming out on top 83-76 behind 21 points from Thomas and 18 from the mighty one, Jones. Kendall Anthony (Liberty Tech) led the Celtics with 19 points. DeAndre Barnette (Liberty Tech) added 16 and super sophomore Alex Poythress (Clarksville Northeast) contributed 14.
Also playing well for the Celtics during their tourney run was Zavion Williams (West Creek).
The Memphis Magic Black played some tough competition with D.J. Wooten (Lausanne) standing out for his contributions.
The Mid-State Ballerz received serious hoops contributions from Jeff Graham (Hamilton) and Oscar Butler (Siegel).
The Tennessee A-Game suffered through placement in the super pool drawing the Magic and the Atlanta Celtics in their openers. Pierson sighted Nilan Hodge (USN) for his consistent effort. He also mentioned the play of Chase Argo (Lancaster Christian) and Chris Dansby (Lancaster Christian).
The Knoxville Panthers made the most of their time in the ‘ville including a last second victory over the Mid-State Ballerz on a running lay-in by rising senior Morrease Barber (Gatlinburg-Pittman). Pierson sighted Chase Buckner (Union County) and Cory Billingsley (Sweetwater) for their consistent efforts. Skylar Brown (Seymour) also drew mention after leading the Panthers in scoring in one contest with 16.
In the 16 and under division the Nashville Celtics fell in the semi-final but received outstanding play from Taylor Barnette (Kentucky), David Howard (MBA), Kielen Blanks (Spring Hill) and John Ross Glover (USJ). Daijon Williams (Clarksville) played solid according to Pierson.
The Pilot Rhinos from Knoxville had a solid weekend finishing in the semi's losing to Charlotte Court. Brandon Cole (Stone Memorial) was a consistent scorer for the Rhinos the entire weekend. Also playing well were DeJuan Wright (Bearden), Jamaal Calvin (McCallie), Kaymon Dial (LaVergne), Drew Standifer (Bearden) and despite missing some games with injury Logan Ramsey (Livingston Academy).
Derek Wheeler (Morristown East) and Daniel Cartwright (Sequatchie County) were two of the bright spots for the Mid-State Ballerz in the 16 and under division.
The Memphis Magic received some fine play from Dre-Sean Looney (Wooddale) and Allante Mitchell (Oakhaven).