A newcomer to the hoop scene led by one of our own showed some ups and downs but learned a great deal from the experience of playing in the Best in State.
Former Dickson County, UNC-Asheville and professional hooper J.P. Primm brought his proud group to the event and has staked his claim as a team that will forever remain relevant.
Team WHBH wanted to play against the big boys and they got their wish. They started with a tussle against one of the standard bearers of the state summer scene the Tennessee Tigers.
WHBH got down big early pushed back hard but fell at the end 75-67 despite 23 markers from Ryan Wilcox (Hillsboro). The lanky wing was dynamic the entire tournament and kept his squad in contention the entire day.
Jeff Normant (Bolivar Central) added 11 points and Daniel Loos (Clarksville Academy) concluded with 10.
The experience only made them stronger as next up was the powerful EAB 2020 crew. This back and forth affair showed that this squad had some gumption and desire as they went down to the wire falling on a three at the buzzer 87-86.
Four players finished in double digits led by Jacobi Woods (Cleveland) with 18. Wilcox and D'Arre McDonald (Oakland) added 14 while Loos finished with 10.
The final contest of the night showed they still have a ways to go but they are making great progress in their first year as a program. BMaze Elite and their juggernaut would rule to roost to the tune of 82-41. Wilcox continued his fine afternoon with 10 points.
Wilcox was one of the bright spots of the entire event with his length and ability to get buckets. he was staunch on the glass and fought for every possession. His desire and hustle really rubbed off on his guys during the EAB game and just about brought them a signature victory. He finished with a 15.7 per game average which was among the leaders in the age division.
Loos finished the event just short of averaging double digits at 9.7 but showed some skills with his ability to score over either shoulder in the post. He was good on the glass and has all the trick with his back to the basket. His shot needs some improvement but his work ethic and motor are things you cannot teach.
Woods was dynamic in the EAB game showing he could score against some high level defenders from the perimeter or off the dribble. His decision making with the ball will need some caressing as he likes to dribble to excess and doesn't always see the floor as well as he should. He has major handles and can seemingly get to the rack whenever he wishes but he tends to settle for short jumpers, use your gifts young man. He has an excellent support system so he will be gold.
Normant was a big surprise with his ability to knock down the outside shot. A true deadeye shot he kept them in the game on several occasion with his marksmanship. As others address his shooting prowess he will need to add some one and two dribble moves to his arsenal and really work on his commitment o playing more consistently on the defensive side of the ball.
McDonald has the body and size that coaches covet. He has a skill level as well that just needs to temper his decision making or lack there of. His shot selection was really in question during crucial portions of the game. He seemingly wishes to run the lead guard position but his lack of awareness in what's going on from possession to possession will need to improve. He has an excellent motor, he doesn't mind defending and he rebounds very well for a guard. He can start the break with a flourish and was more in tune when the game was played at this faster pace. This is a kid who just needs to slow his role, embrace when and where to use his gifts and become more a part of the whole team package.