The Kentucky Hoopfest got off to a rousing start with action tipping off on Friday in all three age groups.
Starting in the 15 and under division and coming fresh off a championship appearance in the Hoosier Shootout, fatigue may have got the best of the Tennessee Tigers in their opening pool game but nothing was going to deter them after they got their rest.
10 players etched their names in the scoring column and the Tigers blasted the Brampton Warriors 54-45. Kevin Peterson (Marshall County) led the balanced scoring barrage with 10 points while C.J. McEwen (DCA) added 9 points and Jalen Lindsey (CPA) finished with 8 markers.
Pyro-Mania was in full effect as the East Tennessee Pyro bested their first two pool opponents in relatively easy fashion. A 75-68 dispatching of the Spiece Northwest Stars behind balanced scoring from Rian Hall (Oak Ridge), Jordan Hall (Lenoir City), Blake Golden (Knoxville West) and Camion Patrick (Clinton).
The Common Bond was the next opponent to feel the Pyro fire with the Halls, Jordan and Rian, scoring 17 and 13 points respectively.
The final pool play opponent would prove to be the toughest with the Kansas City 76ers, who finished in the final four of the 15 and under division at the adidas Invitational, took off to a huge lead and seemingly were prepared to coast to the top spot in the bracket action.
Not so fast my friends, the Pyro lit the proverbial fuse and came storming back tying the game with a huge three before running out of gas and falling 65-62. Jordan Hall was huge in the win scoring 25 points.
John Ross Glover (USJ) scored 18 points and dished out 8 assists as the Nashville Celtics 16's won their second pool play game by 14 points. Glover was the top scorer in the opening game as well. Daijon Williams (Clarksville) set the temp with his deep shooting and pure hustle while Kielan Blanks (Spring Hill) continued to attack the rim with abandon. Trey Suttles (Red Bank) was a manster on the boards.
Team Nashville got off to a quick start behind a strong performance from Andre Brown (Clarksville Northwest) ,who excited the coaching throng in attendance with 20 points including four 3's from deep, with a 65-42 victory. Isiah Harrison (Hillsboro) and Vari Craig (Riverdale) both had solid inside performances with Harrison finishing with 8 points. Devin Robinson (Ravenwood) added 8 points and was sterling on the defensive side of the ball.
Dustin Clarke (North Carolina) went coast to coast scoring at the buzzer lifting the Knoxville Panthers past the Dayton Nets 82-80 in their final pool play game. Clarke finished with 20 points and the Panthers moved to 2-1 with the victory. Darius Gallaher (Harriman) added 12 points while Nathaniel Hughes (Hampton) and Morrease Barber (Gatlinburg-Pittman) added 11 and 10 respectively.
Barber was high man in their second pool play victory scoring a team high 18.
The Chattanooga Steam rolled the Camp Darryl 2011 squad behind 18 points apiece from Randy Boyd (Hixson) and Nick Ross (Red Bank) in pool play action.
The return of the Alex Poythress (Clarksville Northeast) and the newfound confidence of the Indianapolis Palladium title lifted the Nashville Celtics to a first round pool play win with an easy 71-36 trouncing. Poythress and Kendall Anthony (Liberty Tech) finished with 18 points apiece to lead the Celtics. Zavion Williams (West Creek) finished with 10 points in the win.
Williams was huge, scoring 15 points and changing the dynamic of the game with his defensive efforts leading the Celtics to their second pool play victory with a 76-61 drubbing of a very good Shining Stars-Kentucky squad.
Poythress and Anthony Hickey (Kentucky) finished with 13 points. Anthony added 12 and Mark Brown (Station Camp) finished with 10 points.