With the championship crown coming the way of the Volunteer State, the remainder of the field from our state faired very well during weekend action at the Real Deal.
The Mid-State Ballerz put the stamp on the weekend with their victory over the powerful Compton Magic. The Ballerz came through pool play unblemished and after dousing the Magic fell in second round bracket action to the Atlanta Express and nationally ranked big man Robert Carter.
The Ballerz played a six man rotation and each and every player contributed everything they had in every game. Dee Oldham (Wilson Central), Caleb ‘Jimmer" Chowbay (Mt. Juliet), Cody Malicoat (Jellico), Rafeal Tyler (Lake County), Cedarius Taylor (Dyer County) and Aaron Wheeler (Morristown East) did the Ballerz organization very proud.
The Tennessee Ice also pulled off a sweet win over a California powerhouse when they bested Belmont Shores after finishing second in their pool with the only loss coming to the tournament champion Memphis YOMCA.
The Ice then bested the Houston Celtics before falling to the Dallas Heroes. Hunter Leveau (Science Hill), Ben Arnold (Cumberland Gap), JayJuan Mitchell (Knoxville West) and Calvin Walker (Knoxville West) were the standouts on a balanced and fun group of kids.
Team Nashville had another fine showing as they bested the Tennessee Tigers in opening round bracket play before falling to Dream Vision and national Top 5 player Shabazz Muhammed.
Team Nashville was in this game till well after halftime but size eventually took over. Vari Craig (Riverdale) clearly outplayed national recruit Robert Upshaw scoring off the block with either hand and making his short jumper. If Craig continues his improvement he will be a player that commands a lot of attention from college coaches. Braylen "Vitamin B" Bennett (Carter) gave Team Nashville some valuable minutes at various spots on the floor.
Strong backcourt play, always a Team Nashville staple, was again in full effect as Corn Elder (Ensworth), Devin Robinson (Ravenwood), Fred Yarbrough (Dyer County) and John Hudson (Dyer County) played solid all weekend.
The Tennessee Tigers finished 2-1 in their pool advancing to the championship round. Logan Ramsey (Livingston Academy) and Kyle Weldon (Rossview) played well on the interior for the Tigers while Jarvis Webster (Columbia Central), Ross Welch (USN) and Nilan Hodge (USN) played inspired minutes in the backcourt.
The Nashville Celtics finished 2-1 in their pool moving into championship bracket play losing a tough one to the Kansas City Keys. Demarc Richardson (Briarcrest Christian) was a shiny bright star the entire weekend for the Celtics. Josh Williams (Mississippi), who played in both the 16 and 17 and under age category, was outstanding according to sources.
M33M Elite advanced to the championship round losing in the opening bracket game to the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. Robert Hubbs (Dyer County) played very well the whole weekend according to onlookers. Andre Applewhite (Memphis Central) was lauded for his efforts in the event. Josh Jones (Memphis Central) showed out very well for M33M and Charlie Oswald (CBHS) was mentioned for his solid play as well.
In the consolation bracket the Memphis Hoopers won four straight games and captured the crown to make it a clean sweep for the Volunteer state.
Dontavious Sears (Manassas) was a bright spot for the Hoopers with his play from start to finish in this event.
In consolation action the Memphis Hawgs won three games and the Memphis Stars captured two wins.
The Memphis Select moved into the consolation bracket and won their initial contest before falling to Belmont Shores in the second round. Robert Houston (Craigmont) was outstanding the entire weekend for the Select. Marquail Carson (MASE) proved he belonged with his efforts throughout the tournament. Sam Edwards (Memphis East), is a 7'0 sophomore who has fought injuries the past two seasons and looks to be rounding into playing shape.
The Memphis Magic won their first contest in the consolation bracket before falling to the Memphis Hawgs. Cameron Golden (Ridgeway), John Ross Glover (USJ), Alex Anderson (Memphis East) and D.J. Wooten (Lausanne) stood out for the Magic.
The Tennessee Chosen Few finished 1-2 in pool play despite some outstanding double/double work from Drew Standifer (Bearden). TCF got a victory in their opening consolation bracket game before falling to the Dallas Showtyme Elite. Jervon Johnson (Ooltewah) was the leading scorer for TCF at around 14 per game while Zach Howard (Science Hill) and Brandon Cole (Stone Memorial) had some outstanding games of their own.