The Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions took on a new look this season as the event formerly run on Memorial Day for almost 30 years was moved to the new April live period and also found a new venue in the spacious Sewanee Sports Academy in Georgia.
One thing that did not change was the high level of hoops played in the event.
Team Nashville represents in the Final Four of the Championship Bracket against the Birmingham Ice tomorrow morning while the Nashville Celtics remain alive and in the final four of the consolation bracket. They will play the Charlotte Reign also scheduled for in the morning.
Team Nashville disposed of their first three opponents to the tune of the mercy rule outscoring them 191-107.
Josh Phillips (PJPIII) begins his meteoric climb up the potential chart with 17 points in the opening game victory over Team Cobras 57-37.
Victim #2 the Jacksonville Pistons were throttled by the count of 62-29 behind balanced scoring led by Jamonte Graham (Father Ryan) with 13, Trent McLaurin (Kenwood) added 11 and Corn Elder (Ensworth) finished with 10 markers.
College coaches lined the walls as Team Nashville put the wood to the Worldwide Renegades 72-41. Phillips led five double digits scorers with 15 while Asa Duvall (Brentwood) finished with 14 including a crowd pleasing four straight deep threes that put the game completely out of reach. Graham and Darius Thompson (Blackman) finished with 12 and Elder added 11.
In the quarterfinal contest, Team Nashville played smart and used their distinct guard advantage to get past a very good SEBL squad made up of some of the top players in North Carolina. A slight 21-19 halftime margin after an Elder floater in the lane gave Nashville the advantage after the break.
Graham, who would finish with 16, Elder and Ivan Alsup (Nashville Overton) controlled the tempo and made big defensive stops thwarting any SEBL comeback attempts in the second half. Elder would finish with 14 while Alsup added 10.
Team Nashville got a nice boost from newcomer Kip Owens (ECS). The lanky contributor battled hard on the glass and showed some serious offensive skills as he acclimates himself to this explosive lineup in the months to come. Matt Pond (Centennial) also provided maximum defensive effort and provided key buckets during the second half runs.
Over on the other side of the bracket, the Nashville Celtics found themselves in a battle against Each One Teach One in their opener only to fall in overtime 75-72. Reggie Upshaw (Baylor) led the scoring with 15 markers. Daniel Norl (Kenwood) added 12 and Joey Barnes (Ravenwood) and Vonn Bell (Georgia) each pitched in with 10.
Josh Williams (Mississippi) was big scoring 20 points as the Celtics blasted the Capital City Bulls 80-46. Tom Kaiser (MBA) contributed 15; Upshaw managed 14 and A.J. Merriweather (Jackson Southside) finished with 13 in the win.
Damentraus McReynolds (Kentucky) drained a short jumper from the top of the key and kept the Celtics alive surviving this overtime game and moving them one step closer to their eventual date with the final four of the consolation bracket. We will have more scoring from the final two games in tomorrow's updates.