Shock the world....well almost
Will "The Thrill" Alexander (Maplewood) drained a big time three with .12 remaining on the clock and Team Nashville blocked several last second attempts and came away with a 50-48 victory over EYBL charter member the Arkansas Wings Elite and secure a spot in the final four of the 17 and Under AAU Nationals in Louisville.
Team Nashville would fall in the semi-final to the eventual champions The 'Ville but not before putting their stamp on the competition.
Team Nashville rolled through the Gold bracket dispatching the Florida Saints 76-67, mowing down Grassroots Indiana 57-44 then squashing the Florida Tarheels to advance to the Elite 8 and the date with the Wings.
Alexander found his groove from the outside all tourney long and his refuse to lose attitude helped the psyche of the squad as they found their groove.
James McPherson (Brentwood) came up with key plays and ran the show for Team Nashville while Leon Howard (Nashville Overton) was a sterling defender and provided leadership and scoring when called upon.
Anthony Ramsey (Pearl Cohn) provided quality minutes off the bench and was especially effective against some of the bigger more athletic guards with his quickness and determination.
Yalen Reed (Station Camp) played his best game of the summer against the Wings Elite dropping foul line jumpers and rising high to block shots and snatch caroms over bigger more athletic players.
Coaches lauded the efforts of wing man Tripp Davis (Lighthouse Christian) and Kevonte Davis (Hillsboro). Tripp provided scoring from the outside while the interior Davis was a monster on the glass and did yeoman's work defensively against bigger and stronger athletes the entire tournament.
Jy'Lan Washington (Stewart's Creek) finished his summer with several coaches ready to inquiry on his availability. He showed athleticism and used his length to score on the break and in the half-court set. Washington, despite his lack of strength, battled hard inside and showed toughness and a motor that was not there early in the evaluation period.
Coaches also applauded the effort of rising junior Ruot Monyyong (Hunter's Lane) who is improving his overall game at an alarming rate. Ruot blocked shots and fought hard on the glass.