The Thanksgiving Holidays are a wonderful time for family and friends but to those of us Hoops junkies it also marks the beginning of the real basketball season. Tournaments spring up everywhere and hopefully we have ascertained some information on some of the ones I attended; as well as, some others whom I received information about.
Murrmaid Mattress Thanksgiving Classic
On Friday I was able to make three games including a 29 point performance by Kendrick Thompson (Cleveland) in a victory over Polk County. This event was not in a tournament format but each team got two games over the course of the event.
Andre Wilson (Austin East) dropped 25 points on Friday as the Roadrunners slipped past Bradley Central 69-65. A back and forth affair saw the Knoxville crew take the lead for good late despite some serious late scoring heroics from senior guard Bryce Copeland (Bradley Central) who finished with 23. Austin East got solid effort from fellow seniors DeJon McGill (Austin East) and Darryl Sligh (Austin East).
McMinn County overcame a huge deficit as the nailed a buzzer beater to nip Hardin Valley in the final game on Friday. Zak Carter (Hardin Valley) scored 20 for the Hawks.
On Saturday Thompson continued his heroics hitting a late three to lift Cleveland to a miraculous 70-69 win over Austin East. The Blue Raiders found themselves down by 17 in the third quarter but rallied back for the victory.
Bradley Central also overcame a nice deficit to squeak out a victory over Hardin Valley on Saturday.
Bojangles Thanksgiving Tournament
Siegel High School was the place on Saturday as several teams ascended on the ‘Boro for some quality early season action.
Liberty Tech used scrappy defense and their usual brand of hustle to sneak a 70-64 victory against a talented Tyner Academy squad. Daniel Hill (Liberty Tech) had the hot hand for the second night in a row. The senior guard busted 26 markers on the host school on Friday night in a close loss.
Tyner got solid play from rising senior guard Jemicah Bowman (Tyner Academy), Sadik Spence (Tyner Academy) and Alex Watkins (Tyner Academy).
Jacob Williams (Wilson Central) had the hot hand as he scored 31 points leading Wilson Central past a scrappy East Ridge squad 56-52.
Jason Stone (Maplewood) and Donald Clendenon (Maplewood) scored 21 and 18 points respectively as Maplewood showed they were for real besting Stone Memorial. Tyler Yoder (Stone Memorial), Gage Spence (Stone Memorial) and Brock Rowan (Stone Memorial) stood out for the Panthers.
In the finale on Saturday Siegel needed overtime but got the best of Clarksville Northeast 62-60. Charles Clark (Siegel) had a solid tournament dropping 24 in the Northeast victory after scoring 25 in the win over Liberty Tech on Friday. Robert Brandon (Siegel) and Ryan Jones (Siegel) added 16 each for the Stars in the narrow victory.
Darrius Brown (Northeast) led the Eagles with 23 points on the night.
MLK Thanksgiving Tournament
Melrose was out to show the Bluff City that the Golden Wildcats are definitely for real. Playing without injured Memphis signee Markel Crawford (Melrose) several players stepped up including Tournament MVP and rising sophomore Deonta Fitzpatrick (Melrose) who finished with 16 as Melrose cruised to a 79-53 victory. Josh Jones (Memphis Central) led his squad with 18 in defeat.
Rumble at the Ridge
Forrest City, AK
JuJuan Johnson (Southwind) scored 19 and the balanced scoring attack of the Jaguars lifted Southwind to the tournament championship at the Rumble at the Ridge in Arkansas. Johnson, a Marquette signee, had an outstanding event and was complemented in the scoring column by Missouri signee Johnathan Williams (Southwind) who scored 14 and rising senior Deckie Johnson (Southwind) with 10. Deckie had an outstanding tournament including a 24 point effort in an earlier contest.
Leroy Wright Holiday Classic
Tennessee State commitment Jamonte Davis (Hillsboro) was big for the surging Burros with 22 markers as Hillsboro captured the crown at the prestigious Leroy Wright Holiday Classic in Nashville with a 61-44 victory over Centennial. Matt Pond (Centennial) led his troops with 20 points in the night.
Kroger's Thanksgiving Tournament
Devin Sibley (Karns) finished with 28 points as the Beavers got past Powell 77-73 at the Kroger's Thanksgiving Classic at Gibbs High School. Powell was led by Dallas Fields (Powell) and Clay Payne (Powell) with 21 and 20 respectively.
Jay Cade (Gibbs) poured in 25 points as the Eagles flew past Farragut 60-57. DeMarcus Martin (Farragut) added 25 in the loss for the Admirals. Martin had a solid tourney including a 35 point performance in a showdown with Alex "The Franchise" Fountain (Wartburg Central), who finished with 32 in a narrow Farragut victory.
B&E Roofing Thanksgiving Tournament
Burton "Big Money" Sampson (Knoxville Webb) is doing damage folks. The Belmont commitment scored 23 points as Knoxville Webb bested South Doyle in Saturday action at the B&E Roofing Thanksgiving Tournament in Knoxville over the weekend. Sampson had an outstanding event scoring 22 and 24 in his other games and leading the Spartans to some solid wins in the process. Jacob Elliott (South Doyle) dropped 19 for the Cherokees.
Kenny Dean (Alcoa) and Mason Ramsey (Livingston Academy) had a showdown for the ages as the Tornadoes slipped past "Hog-Eye" 74-72. Dean finished with 37 in his first action of the season after coming from the gridiron, while the rising senior Ramsey dropped 29 in the narrow defeat.
Marcellus Roberts (Knoxville Central) scored 16 markers as Knoxville Central and first year mentor former Tennessee sharpshooter Jon Higgins edged Carter 70-62. Tucker Green (Carter) led the Hornets with a game high 28 points.
Pizza Plus Grizzly Thanksgiving Classic
Balanced scoring was the key as the Highlanders of Gatlinburg-Pittman slid past Daniel Boone in the finals of the Pizza Plus Grizzly Thanksgiving Classic this past weekend. Clay Leatherwood (Gatlinburg-Pittman) was high man in this contest with 15 but the outstanding efforts of Blade Durbin (Gatlinburg-Pittman) and Davis Soehn (Gatlinburg-Pittman) lifted G-P throughout the event. Soehn and Durbin were both chosen for the all-tournament squad. Dylan Repport (Daniel Boone) led all scorers in the contest with 26. Ryan Gaitor (Daniel Boone) added 13 in the close defeat.