The inaugural Tennessee Hoop Fest could not have been a more perfect venue for Team Nashville's 16 and under troop to show the basketball landscape what kind of team they have developed into.
Trailing by 20 points late in the title game, against an always powerful Spiece Select squad, things did not look bright for the crew from Team Nashville.
Turning to their guards for direction the backcourt crew of Corn Elder (Ensworth), Devin Robinson (Ravenwood) and Zach Jones (Alabama) quickly turned the 20 point deficit into a 69-64 victory and garnered Team Nashville the 16 and under crown.
Elder, who has quickly become one of the most talked about young guards in the state, and Robinson, who would have garnered MVP honors had their been such an award, took matters into their own hands scoring buckets, making plays and using the inside prowess of emerging junior big man Vari Craig (Riverdale) and William Powell (Alabama) to assist them in overcoming the large margin and gathering the victory.
Sources could not have been more adamant about the performance both offensively and defensively from the rising junior Robinson. His all out hustle and instinctive defensive feel make him a nightmare for opposing guards with any shred of hesitancy with their handles or lack there of, that ball belongs to Robinson.
In the 17 and under division Team Nashville advanced to the semi-finals losing to the eventual champion B.A. Hoyas. Andre Brown (Clarksville Northeast) had a fine tourney scoring a team high 30 points in a pool play win and showing a more consistent scoring attitude each and every game.
Also drawing praise for their efforts were Isiah Harrison (Hillsboro), Jaleel Querry (Maplewood) and Joevantae Arnold (Jackson Northside).
Staying at the Tennessee Hoop Fest the Drake Reed Basketball Club had a strong showing losing to the Eric Gordon All Stars 64-55. DRBC played strong early winning games against the Nashville Grizzlies and Team Force behind 20 points in each contest from Lipscomb commitment Malcolm Smith (Clarksville Academy).
Fellow Bison commitment and remarkably similar sibling Martin Smith (Clarksville Academy) broke out for 30 points in the contest against the Kentucky Blazers. Drawing praise for their efforts for the Drake Reed Club included Keenan Froedden (Sycamore), who ran the show from the lead guard spot and was solid on both ends of the floor. Tyler Fuqua (Sycamore) and Roger Huntley (Kenwood) were lauded for their defensive efforts.
Despite playing with a relatively depleted roster several bright spots shone bright for the Mid-State Ballerz as they battled over in Memphis at the River City Showdown and then down in Augusta at the Peach State Classic.
Jacob Lloyd (Westview) continued to lead the squad in scoring at around 18 per game. E.J. Miller (USJ) had an especially outstanding event down in the Bluff City and Ryan Yeates (Liberty Tech) performed admirably in his stint as the lone point guard on the roster for both events.