A rivalry in the making.
The East Tennessee Pyro behind 21 points from Jordan Hall (Lenoir City) slipped past the Tennessee Travelers to capture the East Tennessee AAU Sub-State at Seymour 69-66.
A close game throughout became enthralling after two consecutive threes from Kaseem Davidson (Oak Ridge) and Rashad Gray (Oak Ridge) knotted the score at 58 with just under 4 minutes remaining on the clock.
Hall converted a series of free throws late and Blake Golden (Knoxville West) made the steal on the games final play thwarting a chance for the Travs to get off a game tying shot.
Hall was assisted in the scoring column by Gray and Rian Hall (Oak Ridge) each with 14.
Shannon Hale (Science Hill) led the Travelers with 19 points and Asa Duval (Brentwood Academy) added 14.
The road to the title was a bumpy one for both the Travelers and the Pyro; as well as, the tough competition they faced along the way.
The Pyro got past a talented and athletic Tennessee Tigers squad 61-53 in the semi-final game with Jordan Hall dropping 16 and Davidson adding 10. In addition they swept their pool play action including a big 66-44 win over the Knoxville Mayhem. Rian Hall led the scoring with 18 in the win.
The Tigers made the semi-finals with a 66-59 victory over God's Chosen Few. Jalen Lindsey (CPA) led the scoring with 16 while JaQuan Lewis (Dickson County) and Al Cobb (Giles County) added 12 apiece. In pool play the Tigers used an outstanding 12 point, 15 rebound effort from the wunderkind Lindsey to defeat the Future Stars 68-35. Lewis added 17 and C.J. McEwen (DCA) added 12. Eric Reed (Stratford) led the Future Stars with 8 points.
DeJean McGill (Austin East) led the way for the up and coming young men playing for God's Chosen Few with 20 points in the loss to the Tigers. Chris Reeves (Fulton) added 17 and Preston Moore (Halls) contributed 12.
In pool play the Travelers battled with a very good Chatt-Town Suns squad before pulling away at the end 62-53. Hale, who was simply outstanding the entire weekend using his skills and athleticism to score from inside or out, led the scoring with 18 points. Duval chipped in with 17. Reggie Upshaw (Baylor) led Chatt-Town with 14.
The Travelers continued to roll with a 79-36 victory over the Mid-State Ballerz in another pool play outing. Hale led the scoring with 15, joining the talented Hilltopper were Blake Rowan (Stone Memorial) with 14, D.J. Bowles (Notre Dame) added 12 and emerging frosh Alex Fountain (Wartburg Central) added 10.
A tough contest in the semi-final left the Travelers on the winning end of a 66-57 decision over Team Tennessee Hustle. Hale exploded for 25 points and was simply unstoppable putting an emphatic end to the game with a two-handed flush at the buzzer. Bowles was outstanding as well adding 15 points in the semi-final advance.
Jay Cade (Gibbs) led the Hustle with 12 points and was joined in the scoring column by Chris Cox (Knoxville Catholic) with 10.