Notes and Observations from 16’s and 15’s at Knox Vegas Heat

The KnoxVegas Heat Tournament has become the stepping stone
for many as they begin their summer trek throughout the country.


In it's sixth year of operation the event has become bigger
and better each and every season with teams representing majority of the
Southern states make their way to Knoxville to see who stacks up where.


In 16 and under action the Tennessee Chosen Few made some
serious noise advancing to the final four before bowing out to a very good E1T1
squad from Florida.
The TCF finished the event 4-2 advancing from pool play behind quality guard
play from the likes of Gage Spence
(Stone Memorial), Brady Nease (Union
), Jordan Bowden
(Carter) and Joc Bruce (South Doyle).


Spence was special as he controlled the tempo for the TCF.
Nease was lauded by several on-lookers as a major cog in the Chosen Few


In  bracket play the
Chosen Few bested Team United before a narrow 58-57 win over fellow Tennessee representative
Nashville Celtics. Will Doerger
was lauded for his impressive work on the interior and on the
glass, while Kelvin Jackson (Fulton) and Kordell Henderson (White County)
did major work from the wing.


Speaking of the aforementioned Nashville Celtics they also
had a very impressive run advancing to the final eight before falling in a
tight game to the Tennessee Chosen Few. The Celtics finished 2-1 in pool play
behind serious efforts from Kyler
Douglas (Haywood) and Justin Jenkins (Knoxville
Douglas is a name you will get to
know on the scene in these coming up hot months. An incredible athlete, Douglas
plays hard and is a pleasure to watch. Jenkins has massive upside and
phenomenal hops as he continues to grow and mature with his game.


James McPherson (Brentwood) continues to impress with his feel and unbridled
understanding of what exactly is happening on the court at all times. The
rising junior is calm and really has taken the leadership role on this squad.


Solid efforts from the likes of Jalen Duke ( MLK), who was relentless on the glass, Will Shelton (Hardin County) and J.T.
Marable (Pearl Cohn)
round out weekend for the Celtics.


2-1 in pool play and advancement to the bracket round was a
major accomplishment for the surging and improving Tennessee Bobcats. The first
year program has been on the road for several weeks and their continued
improvement is obvious.


John Bryant (Jefferson County) did man's work on the
interior with an array of post moves and offensive chances as he battled the
bigs all weekend. His effort and hustle will take him places as he learns to
add some dribble moves and mid-range shooting to his repertoire. Makale Foreman (Dobyns-Bennett) was
simply solid the entire weekend. The diminutive lead guard was knocking down
shots, playing terrific on-ball defense and keeping the Bobcats in several
games with his quickness and unselfish style of play.


Down in the 15 and under division the Nashville Celtics had
a very productive weekend finishing in the final four losing to the eventual
champions Heat Check from Georgia.


The Celtics finished 2-1 in pool play including a 65-31
drubbing in their early Saturday contest.


Caleb Hollander
was high man with 18 as the Celtics got a big quarter-final
victory over Team Manimal from Kentucky.
Trailing late in the game, Gage Upshaw
converted inside giving the Celtics the lead for good. Thomas Booker (East
finished with 13 markers, while Upshaw added 12 and
Gabe Cummings (Creek Wood) managed


In the semi-final loss to Heat Check, Hollander busted loose
for 22 followed closely by Ross Cummings
(Creek Wood),
who came out of his shooting slump to contribute 17. Booker
added 10 in the loss.


Kenny Cooper (FRA) had
himself an outstanding tournament making big shots, providing solid on-ball
defense and making unselfish plays to help his team advance to the final four.
He affected the game without scoring. A role that should be relished by any
lead guard.