Let me set the mood for those of you that were unable to attend.
Two programs. Same city. Bitter rivals. Getting the picture?
The 14 and under AAU State Tournament commenced this past weekend in Sevierville with 12 teams vying for those all important bids to the nationals in Orlando.
In the end it turned out just like we suspected....Team Thad vs. Team Penny
Allen Hatchett (???) and Alex Lomax (Memphis East) each canned one of two from the foul line in the waning seconds of the game lifting Team Penny-Black to a hard fought 62-60 win over a determined Team Thad.
Penny got the ball rolling in a big way jumping out to an 11-3 lead and cruising to a comfortable 16-6 margin to close the quarter.
Leland Kirkendall (Southwind) brought Team Thad back with his scoring exploits to start the second stanza. The 2017 product scored 9 straight and before the dust settled and this game was officially...on.
Trading buckets was the norm before Derek Craig (Memphis Catholic) drained consecutive deep threes giving Team Thad their first lead of the game at 35-34 early in the third quarter.
Lomax and Taelyr Gatlin (Brighton) were proving to be the go to guys for Penny as the game got into "Memphis" mode for the final stanza.
Back and forth we went Kirkendall scored on a leaner while Bruce Guy (Memphis Central) converted keeping Thad up 46-44.
Gatlin continued his scoring blast sandwiched around another Craig bomb the game was all knotted up at 56 with 2 minutes left on the game clock.
Guy drained two charity tosses before Lomax added two of his own and Penny clung to a 59-58 margin with under a minute to play.
Kirkendall hit an off balance runner putting Thad up for the last time at 60-59 before Lomax and Hatchett closed things out from the charity stripe.
Lomax led Penny with 20 markers followed closely by Gatlin with 15. Hatchett added 11 in the win.
Kirkendall led all scorers with 22 for Team Thad who also got 12 from the deep stroke of Craig.
Great action and exciting prospects for the future of Tennessee Hoops.
Below I will list the top scoring exploits from the weekend.
Later in the week I will have my list of the top 25 players from the event.
Tournament Scoring List:
Parker McKinney (Tennessee Playmakers) 24pts vs. Mid-South Kings
Peter Hunt (Chattanooga Elite) 23pts vs. Mid-South Kings
Torrian Kirkendall (Team Penny-White) 23pts vs. Team Power
David Smith (Team Nashville) 23pts vs. Team Thad
Leland Kirkendall (Team Thad) 22pts vs. Team Penny-Black
Torrian Kirkendall (Team Penny-White) 22pts vs. Tennessee United
Parker McKinney (Tennessee Playmakers) 22pts vs. Chattanooga Elite
David Smith (Team Nashville) 21pts vs. Middle Tennessee Impact
Cameron Jones (Team Penny-White) 20pts vs. Tennessee United
Jeremy Elston (Chattanooga Elite) 20pts vs. Tennessee United
Alex Lomax (Team Penny-Black) 20pts vs. Team Thad
Beyuan Hendricks (Tennessee United) 19pts vs. Team Thad
Jeremy Elston (Chattanooga Elite) 18pts vs. Tennessee Playmakers
Leland Kirkendall (Team Thad) 18pts vs. EOTO
DeAndre Litaker (Middle Tennessee Impact) 18pts vs. Team Nashville
Junior Clay (Tennessee United) 17pts vs. Team Thad
Garrett Golday (Team Thad) 17pts vs. Team Nashville
Jordan Johnson (Team Penny-White) 17pts vs. Team Power
Leland Kirkendall (Team Thad) 17pts vs. Middle Tennessee Impact
Kevin Spencer (Mid-South Kings) 17pts vs. Team Penny-White
Jordan Branch (Mid-South Kings) 16pts vs. Team Penny-White
Junior Clay (Tennessee United) 16pts vs. Team Penny-White
Justin Dozier (Tennessee United) 16pts vs. Team Penny-White
Jordan Johnson (Team Penny-White) 16pts vs. Tennessee United
Ty Kelly (Mid-South Kings) 16pts vs. Tennessee Playmakers
Alex Lomax (Team Penny-Black) 16pts vs. EOTO
Braxton Winford (Team Thad) 16pts vs. Tennessee United
Junior Clay (Tennessee United) 15pts vs. Chattanooga Elite
Caleb Fields (Middle Tennessee Impact) 15pts vs. Memphis Heat
Taelyr Gatlin (Team Penny-Black) 15pts vs. Team Thad
Leland Kirkendall (Team Thad) 15pts vs. Team Nashville
Alex Lomax (Team Penny-Black) 15pts vs. Memphis Heat