Classic Battles Highlight 17 and Under Runs at TOC

casey prather.jpg

It was so close you could taste it.

Pool winners, National Bracket. The drama played out just like you'd hoped it would.

Mid-State Ballerz slammed through their pool at 3-0, while the Nashville Celtics at 2-1 captured the top spot in their pool as well. For their effort the Ballerz drew the tourney's overall top seed the Indiana Elite and the Celtics met D-1 Sports.

What should have happened did'nt..what could have happened we can opnly speculate.

With so many top level guys the Inidiana Elite were preparing for a future date with the big powers like the Atlanta Celtics or Team Breakdown who was this team from Tennessee standing in the way of their proposed destiny.

I bet the Elite know who the Ballerz are now.   Final Score Indiana Elite 70 Mid-State Ballerz 68.

Close till the closing seconds the Ballerz used the savvy play of Deonte Alexander (Glencliff) and Skylar McBee (Grainger) outside and Chase Jones (Austin East), Travai Pryor (Austin East) and Sam Watson (Farragut) inside to scare the life of not only the Elite but all the media, fans, and onlookers crowded around Court #1 in the Dean Smith Center.


Over in the practice facility a similiar scenario was taking place. The Nashville Celtics get ready for tip-off against what many people in the business have as the top player in the country D-1 Sports super guard John Wall.

Casey Prather (Jackson Northside) had moments of pure athletic brilliance, while Kentucky bound Jon Hood (Kentucky) and soft shooting Drew Barham (CBHS) made sure the boys and fans in the Carolinas knew they were for real falling 68-67 in a very tough game.

Prather was magical for a 6 minute stretch and Barham put Mr. Wall to the test with his length and improved first step.

The Tennessee dream match-up did not materialize but like a proud father I hoped the dream would come true.

Enough can't be said for the steady play of Alexander throughout the weekend. No longer hindered by the jinx (inside joke) this Nashville native was great. Defending like his life depending on it and showing leadership ksills from out front; as well as, knocking down jumpers and quick bursts to the bucket. McBee showed he could play with anyone in the country, knocking down tough runners and deep threes.

Pryor played like I have never seen him play. His effort was unmatch and the light seemed to come on for him in this event, future is so bright if he keeps this pace. Chase was the top scorer with 19 in the quarterfinal win and Watson grabbed tough caroms and converted big baskets all weekend.


The M33M squad also advanced to bracket play in the select diviison losing by one to Meanstreets. Sampson Carter (Ridgeway) had a solid tourney for the Ballerz., who featured a hodge-podge of players from all over the country.


A tough weekend for the Tennessee YOMCA Tigers as they finished 0-3. The Tigers did'nt play up to their potential and in this environment the consequences are bad losses. Vanderbilt signee John Jenkins (Station Camp) finished the event as one of the top scorers at 16.0 points per game.


In the 16 and under division the Mid-State Ballerz and Nashville Celtics did'nt fair as well. The Ballerz finished 1-2 while the Celts held at 0-3. Cordaro Williams (Liberty Tech) and Tarius Johnson (Liberty Tech) fiished in the scoring leaders at 16.7 and 13.7 respectively.

Ish Sanders (Cleveland) finished as one of the tops scorers as well at 18.0 per game. Cody Henegar (Marion County) also drew some praise for his effort.