Small and Large School State Sectional Champions

 

Germantown Middle (Large School State Sectional Champs)
Germantown Middle (Large School State Sectional Champs)

 

The end of the season, everything on the line, 5 teams from Memphis all with a chance to win a sectional state title.  First up, the Cordova Middle girls vs Snowden, things got serious late as Snowden hit big free throws late to tie it up however a late tech on a substitution by Snowden allowed Cordova to shoot 4 free throws with only one being made but a steal by Madison Briggs and another key defensive play late for her gave Cordova an undefeated season and a title,  43-40.  I think its the first girls team to go undefeated in a few years in Middle School, maybe 4-5 years. Briggs was big all tournament along with their outstanding guards, Destiny Wells, Sequoia Almond, 5’11 Lynette Williams and the best player in middle school, Lanetta Williams who was the tournament MVP. I still think this young lady has a chance to be very special along as she continues to develop.

 

Lanetta Willams Will be Special Ladies and Gentlemen
Lanetta Willams Will be Special Ladies and Gentlemen

In the second game of the night at American Way, it was the boys finale, Elmore Park vs Germantown. Elmore Park had a huge crowd on both sides of the gym and it got them off to a great start as Elmore Park jumped out to a 31-14 lead at the half on the play of guard Jeff Walker and Tyler Carpenter who hit 3 first half 3 pointers. With their leading scorer struggling shooting, (Deante Anding) if not for Aston Taylor, Germatown could have found themselves down bigger. At the start of the 3rd, Germantown looked energized and Clint Norfleet got them started as well as Anding with back to back 3′s and cut it to 1. Anding’s got it going and Germantown went on a 17-6 run to make it 42-36 going into the 4th. Jeff Walker opened the 4th with a 3 pointer and made play after play but it seemed like Germantown would not be denied. Aston Taylor and Anding and their two bigs all played very well in the 4th with Anding scoring 12 points in the final period and Taylor adding 8 in the quarter. Jeff Walker had  a huge game scoring a game high 37 points to lead all scorers but again, the outstanding guard duo got it done for Germantown winning the state by a 58-56 score.

 

Deante Anding (Tournament MVP)
Deante Anding (Tournament MVP)

 

In Newbern  Tn in Small Schools, Bellevue got a huge steal late under 20 seconds left in the game and beat Kingsbury, 51-49.  Head Coach Joe Washington said ” The players did their part, they played hard to the end, and we will be back next year” Congratulations Bellevue and to Kingsbury. Also, congratulation to Elmore Park as well on their great seasons!!

Bellevue Middle (Small School Champs)
Bellevue Middle (Small School Champs)

 

 

 

 

RIP Coach Desmond Merriwether

 

Coach Dez Merriwether (Pictured with  Trophy) True Memphis Legend
Coach Dez Merriwether (Pictured with Trophy) True Memphis Legend

 

A true man of strength and character, one of the most courageous and brave individuals I know has passed from his earthly home to his heavenly home.!! Dez always treated me like family and I did him the same way, everytime I saw him, it was all love. His favorite saying,  “my guy” well at least to me but Dez was truly special to those who knew him, he was the guy everyone loved and even through it all,  he was always smiling, always enjoying life, trying to help the kids of Binghampton.  RIP Coach Desmond Merriwether, gone but never ever forgotten. Please keep his family and friends in your prayers going forward!! One time for Dez, BBB Stand Up!!! We will miss you my friend!!

Small and Large School Sectional Finals Set!!

Elmore Park's Improbable Run Continues To Monday Final
Elmore Park’s Improbable Run Continues To Monday Final

 

And then  there were 4, all from Memphis, all vying for a state championship on Monday night in Small and Large School divisions.  Bellevue, Kingsbury in Small and Elmore Park and Germantown in Large Schools hoping to be able to cut the nets down and end a season that started with laps and suicides and scrimmages to now all of that coming to a head, with one game remaining to do something special.

Bellevue, at the beginning of the season, I thought this team was pretty good, after watching them at Germantown’s play day and I was impressed with their guard play. Young guard play in Jessie Payne, Jabari Small but also, they had an experienced guard amongst them in Tyson Banks. They had some up and down points like any other team, especially a young team however, the talent was there.  A year after losing one of the most dynamic guards in the city (Antwan Beans) I thought they might struggle but that was until I attended practice one day and immediately thought, this is the best team in Small Schools. I thought they had a lot of pieces necessary to make a run, good guards, a few of them including the Rice brothers, Kelby Jackson to name a few and an athletic big in Keveon Mullins. Some said, not Kingsbury but it was just something about their team that I  thought game them a chance to be in this spot.

In this game, I think the difference might be play of the both teams guards. Banks ability to penetrate will be big for Bellevue and Kingsbury doesn’t really have rim protector other than Mullins who must be careful of picking up early fouls. I think his play could swing things for Kingsbury as well because of his athleticism which could bother Bellevue’s forwards. Looks for a player in this game to play very well like Kelby Jackson from Kingsbury. I’m thinking someone from either team might be huge in this game!!  Who will it be?

 

Tyson Banks (Bellevue Bobcats)
Tyson Banks (Bellevue Bobcats)

 

In Large Schools, Germantown has looked maybe like the best team in it beating two out of area teams, Lauderdale (Ripley Tn) and Tigrett (Jackson Tn) by huge margins. They are doing what good teams do, playing well at the right time and hoping they can carry that over till tomorrow in their last game of the season. They go as far as their guard Aston Taylor and Deante Anding will take them, they are the two who do it all for them but they have helping pieces in other guards as well. Elmore Park, you talk surprised? Well, I will raise my hand to that, this team has really shocked me, I had heard about this team but now, I’m a believer of them and you all should be too. Jeff Walker is an attacker who gets it done in transition off the drive and can take a hit and finish strong. He puts a lot of pressure on the defense and he will do the same on Monday night. They have some players who can make shots and play big while not a big team, they get a lot of second chances at the offensive end and they defensive rebound well and that will be key because Germantown’s bigs are a little bigger in height. This game will come down too, how well Germantown’s duo play and can they stop penetration of Walker because while Highland did a good job of it in the first half, in the second half, he found a lot of openings for drives. For Elmore Park, simple, they have nothing to lose, play the way they have been playing that got them to this point, with each other, scrappy and hard all of the floor. This has a chance to turn into one of the best games in the sectional in the last few years.

 

 

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