The second annual Best in State concluded this weekend with a day full of hoops as everyone readies themselves for the all important July run in front of the coaches.
16 teams from three age brackets found their way to Stone Memorial High School in Crossville and the action shall we say was hot and heavy.
We will break this down into the three age brackets starting with 15 and under for three separate stories. This story will feature the 16 and under division.
Nashville Celtics 16s
Big day for the Nashville crew as they completed a 3-0 tournament with some balanced scoring from their formidable core.
Cedriontis Wilson (Blackman) was option #1 for the Celtics taking the lead with 12 in the win over the Team Nashville, 18 against the Tennessee Tigers and 12 against the Highland Knights. Desmond Cambridge (Ensworth) took scoring honors in the win over the Knights and dropped a dozen in each of the other two wins.
Brandon Levier (Columbia Central) was very consistent scoring double digits in every game and leading the team in assists while controlling tempo and running the show on offense. D.J. Wilkes (Liberty Tech) was tough on the glass despite being undersized most of the day.
Team Nashville 16s
The Music City crew was playing a bit shorthanded but battled and came within a whisper of taking their final game against Chattanooga Elite after surrendering a huge early lead. James Boone (Kentucky) was consistent throughout the day scoring 15 against the Tennessee Tigers and closing with 16 against the Elite.
Case Bouldin (Ravenwood) held scoring honors in the opener against the Nashville Celtics with 11 while Jahod Lang (Pearl Cohn) jumped his way into a 19 point effort against the Elite.
Anthony Ramsey (Pearl Cohn) played consistently throughout the event for Team Nashville.
Tennessee Tigers 16s
Ross Cummings (Creek Wood) put the summer on notice that he is realizing his potential and is ready to explode onto the national scene after his efforts at Best in State. The rising junior was a consistent threat as the Tigers finished the event 2-1. Cummings was at his best with a 26 point effort against Chattanooga Elite in a big win for the Tigers.
The Elite also produced a 27 point effort for Kenny Bunton (Walker Valley), who had a nice day in many aspects of the game. Brad Allen (Greenbrier) chipped in with a pair of double digit efforts while Sterling Hewitt (Portland) had a consistent event for the Tigers.
Gabe Cummings (Creek Wood) had himself a nice weekend as well scoring 13 in the tough loss to the Celtics in the middle game.
Chattanooga Elite 16s
The Elite fought the heat of the non-working air of the auxiliary gym and made the most of things including a huge come from behind effort in their final game against Team Nashville.
Ryan Montgomery (Chattanooga Central) had a consistent weekend scoring 19 in the opener against the Tennessee Tigers and upped that with 20 in the Team Nashville victory. Devonte Jones (Tyner Academy) was very consistent scoring 14 and 17 in his two games.
Adrian Thomas (McCallie) opened with a 15 point effort against the Tigers while Brad McCurdy (Bradley Central) saved his best for the final game notching 16 points in the win.
Highland Knights 16s
The Knights filled in for us at the last moments and came with a superb effort in their two games. Colton Blevins (York Institute) was the talk of the event. The 6'7 new age post finished around the rim, converted several putback dunks, rebounded at a high level and played very well on both ends of the floor. The rising junior notched 13 markers in the opener against the Nashville Celtics and 19 in the second game.
Isaac Phillips (Jackson County), Camron Huff (Smith County) and Austin Schrum (Upperman) all had solid moments for the Knights.
Huff contributed 18 in the second contest while Schrum posted an 11 spot against the Celtics in the narrow loss.
Top Scoring Efforts 16U
Kenny Bunton (Walker Valley) 27pts vs. Chattanooga Elite
Ross Cummings (Creek Wood) 26pts vs. Chattanooga Elite
Ryan Montgomery (Chattanooga Central) 20pts vs. Team Nashville
Colton Blevins (York Institute) 19pts vs. Tennessee Bobcats
Jahod Lang (Pearl Cohn) 19pts vs. Chattanooga Elite
Ryan Montgomery (Chattanooga Elite) 19pts vs. Tennessee Tigers
Camron Huff (Smith County) 18pts vs. Tennessee Bobcats
Cedriontis Wilson (Blackman) 18pts vs. Tennessee Tigers
Devonte Jones (Tyner Academy) 17pts vs. Team Nashville
James Boone (Kentucky) 16pts vs. Chattanooga Elite
Desmond Cambridge (Ensworth) 16pts vs. Highland Knights
Brad McCurdy (Bradley Central) 16pts vs. Team Nashville
Top Scoring Averages 16U
Ryan Montgomery (Chattanooga Central) 19.5
Ross Cummings (Creek Wood) 17.3
Colton Blevins (York Institute) 16.0
Devonte Jones (Tyner Academy) 15.5
Kenny Bunton (Walker Valley) 14.3
Cedriontis Wilson (Blackman) 14.0
James Boone (Kentucky) 13.0
Desmond Cambridge (Ensworth) 12.7
Brandon Levier (Columbia Central) 11.0
Brad McCurdy (Bradley Central) 11.0