Defense wins ball games.
The statement is true on every level and has been the mantra for the Tennessee Ice while in Orlando for the 16 and under AAU Nationals.
During a 3-0 pool play run and an opening championship bracket victory the Ice were only giving up an average of 45 points per game.
Carson Brooks (Knoxville West) led the charge with 16 points as the Ice froze out the Illinois Wolverines 58-50 in their pool play opener. JayJuan Mitchell (Knoxville West) added 13 points and Hunter Leveau (Science Hill) chipped in with 11.
The Orlando Monarchs were victim number two as the Ice polished off the home team 69-49 behind 24 strong points from Mitchell. Brooks added 13 in the win.
In their final pool play game the Ice used 16 points from Ben Arnold (Cumberland Gap) to dim the Stars Basketball squad 77-57. Brooks added 14 in the win while Calvin Walker (Knoxville West) pitched in with 12 markers.
Brooks was again the man of the hour dropping 15 points as the Ice crowned the Northern Kings 47-27 in their championship bracket opener. Andrew Barnett (Pigeon Forge) added 9 in the balanced scoring attack.
A rematch with the Memphis Stars was played hard and tough but the Ice fell to the Memphis crew 58-52. Then in another tough contest the Ice succumbed to the Bull City Select in a very close game 83-81.
Overall a very successful first year venture with this 16 and under crew, who would finish 27-12 during the month of July.
Jake Wright (Onieda), Ormond Robinson (Knoxville West), Nigel Bethel (Knoxville West), V.J. Brown (Hardin Valley) and Sabian Smith (Knoxville Central) all provided valuable minutes and timely scoring for the Ice throughout their summer run.
A total team effort by one of the new kids on the AAU block, who hopefully will become a stalwart on the scene for many years to come.