17 and under action at the Tennessee Prep Hoops Best in State featured some of the top players in the Class of 2016 from around the state. The event was designed to give everyone three solid games of competition in their respective age brackets and get them ready for the all important July run. Lets check out how the game action unfolded.
The WACG squad from Nashville got their Best in State experience off to a quick start behind very balanced scoring led by Thomas Booker (Kentucky) with 14 markers as they topped the Highland Knights to the tune of 60-28. Isaiah Blacksmith (East Nashville) added 10 in the easy victory.
The action picked up for the WACG in their second contest a hard fought 80-67 win over the Tennessee Tigers. Booker again took scoring honors with a cool 24 spot while Yalen Reed (Station Camp) and Mo Muhammed (Alabama) chipped in with 17 each. Kenny Cooper (FRA) added 10 points while controlling the tempo of the game with his pass first point guard mentality.
Outside the WACG got several timely long buckets from the likes of Case Bouldin (Ravenwood), Evan Heskje (McGavock) and Patrick Murphy (Independence).
In the nightcap the WACG used 19 each from Booker and Blacksmith to best the Chattanooga Elite 97-72. Thomas Smith (Hillsboro) had his best game of the event scoring 17 points while Reed added 15 to the total. Heskje finished with 10.
TENNESSEE BOBCATS 17s
The Tennessee Bobcats got off to a rousing start getting 17 from John Fulkerson (North Carolina) and downing the Chattanooga Elite 61-49. Corey Stearns (Kentucky) and Raheem Young (Greeneville) added 11 each in the win.
Peyton Wingate (Science Hill) put on a masterful shooting display hitting seven three's on his way to 21 points as the Bobcats bested the Highland Knights 86-49. Fulkerson added 12 while Danny Bates (Jefferson County) and Makale Foreman (Prep School) added 10 each.
Foreman outdid himself in the final contest a hard fought 74-71 triumph over the Tennessee Tigers. Foreman notched 27 markers while Trey Blevins (Kentucky) added 20. Fulkerson did his usual work adding 12 in the tight victory.
The Bobcats got massive contributions on the interior from several players including Nick Gillespie (Kentucky) and Conley Hamilton (Powell).
MUSIC CITY HEAT 17s
The Music City Heat found themselves in several battles throughout the day at Best in State and managed to come out victorious and finish the day at 3-0.
Alex Shaw (Hillwood) took scoring in a balanced attack with 12 as the Heat got past the Tennessee Tigers 51-43. Tyler Faulkenberry (Mt. Juliet) began a very productive weekend with an 11 spot in the tight victory.
Trey Pfifer (Big Sandy) lit it up from deep to the tune of 21 markers as the Heat dusted the Highland Knights 65-43. Malcolm Walker (Independence) pitched in with 12 points while Faulkenberry and Dominique Washington (East Nashville) added 10 points each.
Pfifer and Faulkenberry dropped 17 and 16 respectively as the Heat captured win #3 with a 69-59 win over the Chattanooga Elite. Washington was solid adding 13 points and several tough rebounds while Walker finished with 11.
TENNESSEE TIGERS 17s
Coming into the event shorthanded the Tigers felt another blow as Jarrell Reeves (Blackman) aggravated a leg injury and was forced to sit out the Best in State leaving the Nashville crew down several key contributors.
Ross Cummings (Creek Wood) did his best to overcome the departures including a team high 14 in the 51-43 loss to the Music City Heat.
Cummings dropped another team high with 21 as the Tigers battled hard with a deep WACG squad falling 80-67 in the end. Matthew Norl (Kenwood) added 14 points while Lipscomb commit Kenny Bunton (Walker Valley) chipped in with 11.
Cummings again led the charge in the final contest, a narrow loss 74-71 to the Tennessee Bobcats, with 14. Rising sophomore guard Gray Michael (Franklin Classical) played up with the big boys in this one and held his own just fine scoring 13 markers. Norl added 12 while Bunton chipped in with 11 in the tough loss.
The Tigers battled with their depleted roster and got solid play from a host of cats including Cannon Campbell (Rossview), Gabe Cummings (Creek Wood) and Dequan Summers (Hillwood).
CHATTANOOGA ELITE 17s
Another squad playing with a depleted roster due to injuries the Chattanooga Elite battled hard with 7 players giving effort to the end.
Ryan Montgomery (Chattanooga Central) had the hot most of the day at Best in State including an 18 point effort in a loss to the Music City Heat. Dejonte Ross (Brainerd) had his best game of the day adding 17.
Montgomery took scoring honors with 11 as the Elite fell to the Tennessee Bobcats 61-49. Ross added 10 in the loss.
Brad McCurdy (Bradley Central) brought his jump shot to the final contest finishing with 22 points yet it would prove to not be enough as the Elite fell hard to the WACG 97-72. Montgomery continued his outstanding day with 15 in the loss.
HIGHLAND KNIGHTS 17s
The Knights also showed up without their best player in tow yet stayed the course and competed to the end. Isaac Phillips (Jackson County) and Austin Schrum (Upperman) scored 12 and 11 respectively as the Knights fell in their opener to WACG 60-28.
Wyatt Mabry (Clay County) got his scoring groove on with 16 but it would prove to not be enough as the Knights fell to the Music City Heat 65-43. Bryric Savage (Cookeville) added 12 in the loss.
Mabry again led the scoring with a game high 22 as the Knights fell to the Tennessee Bobcats 86-49.
TOP INDIVIDUAL SCORING EFFORTS
Makale Foreman (Prep School) 27pts (Tennessee Bobcats)
Thomas Booker (Kentucky) 24pts (WACG)
Wyatt Mabry (Clay County) 22pts (Highland Knights)
Brad McCurdy (Bradley Central) 22pts (Chattanooga Elite)
Ross Cummings (Creek Wood) 21pts (Tennessee Tigers)
Trey Pfifer (Big Sandy) 21pts (Music City Heat)
Peyton Wingate (Science Hill) 21pts (Tennessee Bobcats)
Trey Blevins (Kentucky) 20pts (Tennessee Bobcats)
Isaiah Blacksmith (East Nashville) 19pts (WACG)
Thomas Booker (Kentucky) 19pts (WACG)
TOP SCORING AVERAGE
Thomas Booker (Kentucky) 21.0 (WACG)
Ross Cummings (Creek Wood) 16.3 (Tennessee Tigers)
Trey Pfifer (Big Sandy) 15.3 (Music City Heat)
Makale Foreman (Prep School) 14.7 (Tennessee Bobcats)
Ryan Montgomery (Chattanooga Central) 14.7 (Chattanooga Elite)
John Fulkerson (North Carolina) 13.7 (Tennessee Bobcats)
Yalen Reed (Station Camp) 13.7 (WACG)
Wyatt Mabry (Clay County) 13.3 (Highland Knights)
Tyler Faulkenberry (Mt. Juliet) 12.3 (Music City Heat)
Dejonte Ross (Brainerd) 11.7 (Chattanooga Elite)