- Jeremiah Martin & The Mitchell Captured A State Title!!!
Well well well, now it’s time to say good bye to all my hoop heads, well that is the fans who only get out during the high school season. There were a few story lines this year, a few came to fruition, a few didn’t turn out the way some wanted but for those coming back next season, it’s on to the next in hopes of doing what only 1 Memphis team did this year, win a state title. That team as most know, the Mitchell Tigers, your Single A state champions for the 2013-2014 season. How did it happen? Well it wasn’t pretty at the beginning as most of the faithful fans of Mitchell would tell you, they in fact at one point were under .500 for a few games during the season but you just had a feeling once they got to their regular schedule that they could do something special and did they ever. Mitchell started a win streak that didn’t end until they won the state. Proud, most definitely for their program, they were close with Coach Johnson a few years ago, going I think 2 or 3 years in a row but never winning it. Fast forward to Coach Phillips, 3 years as head coach, 2 straight state appearances and this year, they win it on the play of their juniors Jeremiah Martin, Naba Echols, Kylan Phillips and big contributions from senior Antoine Garrett among others and by the way, I don’t think they are done. If you look up one sentence, the key word I said, “juniors” and they have them all coming back and will be ready for another run next year for the possible 2 peat.
In Double A, Manassas I think was a bit overlooked all year long because of the star players of Douglas Freddie Williams and Lagerald Vick and some people’s favorite out of area in Double. I wasn’t as confident in their run and I knew that Manassas had a team capable because that’s what assistant coach Jerry Anthony told me and he was right. Manassas ran into a buzz saw in Jackson Southside, the Double A state champions, no shame in that ending a great year and a good prep career by Rayford Albright who will play college basketball next year on some level. Douglass will return Lagerald Vick next season but without Freddie Williams, they will need someone to step up and help Vick offensively. I thought Raleigh Egypt underachieved a little bit but it just shows how important guard play is in this city.
In Triple A, this was supposed to be the year of White Station, the best team in the state all year long, ranked in the top 10 of the country most of the year only losing 2 games but again, Memphis basketball is tough and the hardest part of getting to the state is getting out of Memphis. They were upset in the sub state game by Arlington, a team that many didn’t think was capable of beating White Station losing to them by double digits in the city title game just weeks before and earlier in the season. I don’t think most remember though that White Station barely beat them at the beginning of the season and where was that game played? Arlington High School. The Triple A participants were decided, Hamilton beating Dyer County and Arlington in Mufreesboro. Hamilton beat Southwind and White Station and winning the regional but in Mufreesboro, ran into hometown favorite Blackman (Triple A state champs) and lost in the first game. Arlington beat a good Siegel team and lost in the final 4 to Oak Ridge both I thought in a little home cooking but I’m from Memphis so am I supposed to be that way? Truth is in the numbers in both games and an upset and emotional head coach of Arlington interview after which I’m sure still has some talking in Mufressboro, I’m sure wouldn’t disagree with my logic but that’s basketball and at the end of the day, their will be next year. For guys like Leron Black, Davell Roby, great 4 years young men, job well done, CJ Anderson who was a finalist for Mr.Basketball, KJ Bates, Keion Peoples among other seniors, the road doesn’t stop here, it’s only the beginning.
Is it to early to talk about next year? Not really is it? Well, I’m going to give you a sneak preview any way for the hoop heads in the city .Hamilton will return KJ Lawson and brother Dedric, Terrance Baker and Terrance Birdsong along with Romero Hill. They will be heavy favorites in 16AAA. White Station will return Nych Smith and Dillon Mitchell along with sophomore Aaron Strother. Arlington will lose a lot of senior leadership but will bring back sharp shooter Nate Hoover and 6’5 swing man Adarius Avery. Replacing Anderson and Bates will be hard. for the Tigers, especially early in the year. Mitchell brings back Naba Echols, Jeremiah Martin, Kylan Phillips and expect a few more new guys to the line up to step in and produce. Ridgeway had a up and down year and should be better next year with a full senior year from Khalil Spencer, Javion Hamlet and junior Eric Curry. A team in the running as a top 3 team in the city next year Southwind has a some questions but should still have Eric Turner, a much improved player this year, 6’6 Julian Richardson and Donte Fitzpatrick or will he back? It’s rumors swirling already but one thing for sure, it will be interesting. Coach Davis and Germantown has one of the youngest teams in the city in Darrell Brown, Johnathan Bins, Rodney Williams, Jacob Ivey and Michael Bamrick who will provide scoring ability. Team to watch next year as well, East High School won’t say why but those in the know, know what I’m speaking of. Booker T Washington will have a say in Single A next year as well if they can add another scorer to go with guards Chauncey Blakely and Tyree Beason.
It’s been real 2013-2014 and now on to the 14-15 school year, which I’m sure will be extremely eventful and interesting to say the least.