The Tennessee Tigers 15 and under group completed a solid 6-0 run and came home with the Gold Championship at the 2013 Kentucky Hoop Fest which just concluded in Louisville this past weekend.
The Tigers moved through their pool with quiet efficiency snapping the Pontiac Cobras in their first game 60-55 behind 22 points from newcomer Caleb Hollander (Homeschool). Keaton Dotson (Station Camp) added 10 in the victory.
Hollander again took scoring honors with 21 as the Tigers diffused the Louisville Magic 74-62. Sterling Hewitt (Pearl Cohn) was a beast on the glass and finished with 17 markers. Dotson added 13 and Jordan Long (Chattanooga Central) finished with 11.
The Shining Stars would prove to be dim as the Tigers completed pool play unblemished to the tune of 74-42. Ben Bell (Lipscomb Academy) led the scoring with 18 large followed by Hewitt with 16 and Kenny Bunton (East Hamilton) also with 16. Dotson finished with 11. Gabe Reasor (Franklin) chipped in with 8 markers in the victory.
Hollander was back at it in the quarter-final leading with 19 as the Tigers bested the Kentucky Heat. Hewitt finished with 16 and Bell added 9.
In the semi-finals Hewitt lead the scoring with 23 including some clutch charity tosses down the stretch as the Tigers willed out a victory over Team Manimal from Kentucky to the tune of 59-58. Cannon Campbell (Rossview) finished with 11 points and was a valuable cog in the machine throughout the entire weekend.
Hollander went big in the title game notching a tourney high 28 and leading the Tigers to the 'ship with a 65-57 victory over Indiana Elite. Bunton came up big as well notching 19 points in the win.
Coaches were quick to single out the contributions of Matt Norl (Kenwood), Brad Allen (Greenbrier) and Javon Vaughn (Rossview) over the weekend.
Team Nashville 15 and under got off to an equally rousing start finishing 3-0 in pool action before falling in the final four to the Indiana Elite.
Pool play action was exciting including a buzzer beating win that saw Jordan Bone (Ensworth) execute a sweet dish on the baseline to Clayton Hughes (USJ) for the game winner.
Tavin Lovan (Kentucky) took scoring honors in two of the games with 16 and 12 respectively. Hughes led with 17 in one pool victory. Bone and Nick Hopkins (Fayetteville) played steady the entire weekend.
Yalen Reed (Lebanon) had some big scoring moments in pool play and coaches were quick to laud the accomplishments of Anthony Ramsey (Pearl Cohn), Ross Plunkett (Creek Wood), Caleb Savage (USN) and Case Bouldin (Ravenwood).