Despite of what you may have seen on the various media outlets do no be fooled....Team Thad was the champion in the 17U division of the Knox Vegas Heat Invitational.
The dominant Memphis crew dispatched of all opponents with ease and decided to make the long trek home instead of playing the title game against a team they beat by almost 30 in the quarter-finals.
Team Thad rolled through pool play at 3-0 starting with an easy win in the opener behind 15 points from Jaylen Fisher (Bolton), 14 from sharp-shooting Nathan Hoover (Arlington) and 13 from emerging star Jordan Bone (Ensworth).
The hype of the tournament was the potential pool play finale between Team Thad and the Hoop Dreams outfit from Kentucky featuring several national Top 100 players according to various media outlets.
The game wasn't even as close as that gaudy score indicated as Team Thad took this one personal and rolled Hoop Dreams.
Everyone scored as Hoover led the balance with 14. Mikkel Normant (Fayette-Ware) showed deep range with his stroke, Demonte Person (Kingsbury) brought defensive effort and hustle to everything he did on the floor and Micah Thomas (Briarcrest) quickly established himself as a player who will make highlight films all summer with his outrageous length and athleticism. Clayton Hughes (USJ) showed a sweet touch from outside.
Bracket play went much the same as pool play as Team Thad blasted the Tennessee Elite to the tune of 69-42 behind 16 from Bone and 12 from Normant before doing another bashing on the Raptors from South Carolina with the score of 80-64.
The aforementioned finale with Hoop Dreams was simply to be a formality.
The Chattanooga Elite shown a bright light on the event as they cruised through pool play at 3-0 before falling to the South Carolina Raptors 73-59 in bracket action.
Patrick Good (David Crockett) and Dvonta Ross (Brainerd) showed out well in the backcourt while on the wing Ryan Montgomery (Chattanooga Central) proved he was a player to watch this summer. Todd Lansden (CSAS) was a monster on the glass and provided tough defense and inside scoring for the Elite.
The Tennessee Elite managed a 2-1 pool play finish good for second place and won their initial bracket contest 93-89 over TBL Elite before falling to the Team Thad machine.