The Memphis Magic Elite were one of the many Tennessee squads competing this weekend at the prestigious Wallace Prather Memorial Tourney in Georgia.
The Magic faired well loosing a close game to a powerful Southeast Elite squad despite the play of Joe "The Real Thing" Jackson (White Station), who held his own against one of the nations top five players, Brandin Knight.
Jackson was one of many Magic hoopers who helped them finish in the round of eight and get ready for their trip in two weeks to the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.
Coaches sited Carlos Denton (Hamilton), Wil Martinez (Lausanne), Adonis Thomas (Melrose) and Chris Crawford (Sheffield) for their efforts and were especially high on the ocntinued progress of Ronald "Tank" Brown (Raleigh-Egypt), who has truly blossomed in the early summer hoops scene.
Team Nashville continued their success this early season finishing second in their pool while beating a very good Worldwide Renegades squad in pool play. Teraes Clemmons (Mt. Juliet) got back to his successful summer with a sterling effort in the Atl. Emmanuel Andrews (Shelbyville) and Fred Lee (Maplewood) also played well during the event.
The Tennessee Tigers had a very productive weekend finishing pool play at 2-1 before falling to the Nashville Celtics in bracket action. Cory Stanton (Springfield) really turned some heads with his outstanding play. His name was mentioned to me by more than one onlooker as someone who truly shined.
Carter Sanderson (Lipscomb) continues his outstanding summer shooting the twine off the nets and showing he can put the ball on the deck and find his open mates when forced to play out front. Michael Bradley (Tyner Academy) continues to attract attention with his skill level and more than servicable game in the post.
Also playing well for the Tigers were Reggie Gilmore (Tyner Academy), Blake Bell (Lipscomb), Mykal Titlow (Greenback) and Dex Johnson (Overton).
Playing without the likes of Casey Prather (Jackson Northside), Austin Hollins (Germantown) and Kedren Johnson (Marshall County) could force a mere mortal team to its ultimate demise...not this squad.
Behind inspired efforts from Levon Tate (Siegel), Meiko Lyles (USN), Jay Murphy (Bolivar Central), Arthur McMillan (Hillsboro) and Ish Sanders (Cleveland) the Celtics got past a very tough Tigers squad in bracket play before falling to the mighty Atlanta Celtics by one.
Bobby Parks (St. George's) played this event exclusively with the 17's and had moments where his satr shined a bit brighter than the rest of the group. This young man is simply loaded with ability and we will see this rise to the top as the summer really gets underway with the Memorial Day events in a few weeks.
Down in the 16's the Knoxville Panthers made a fine showing, finishing 1-2 in pool play but being in each game late despite missing majority of their post players.
Cory Billingsly (Sweetwater) had a coming out party of sorts finishing as the teams leading scorers with games of 15, 16 and 18 against the powerful Atlanta Celtics. The smooth operator is making the most of his opportunities and his game has not gone unnoticed.
Also playing well for the Panthers were Tyler Tilson (Seymour), who also averaged double digits for the tourney, Dylan Ward (Hampton), who appeared to be a demon on the defensive end, and Preston Vaught (Science Hill), Phillip Cox (Union County), Skyler Brown (Seymour) and Darius Gallaher (Harriman).
The Nashville Celtics finished 1-2 in their pool as well playing without their entire core. Alex Poythress (Clarksville Northeast) is moving straight up the Class of 2012 charts with his constantly improving effort. DeAndre Barnette (Liberty Tech) also made the most of his opportunities playing well in each game.