3 Memphis teams won state sectionals last night putting the finishing touches on their seasons. For 2 of the teams, that makes 2 in a row, well actually 4 for Bellevue and Colonial’s girls, that’s 2 in a row. Ridgeway hadn’t won one since Lucky Cheatham, Romero Hill and Kristian Spencer’s brother roamed the halls (Khalil) at the East Memphis school. For second year head coach Jarvis Stephen, it’s been a season to remember for his squad. Young at the guard positions, tough losses to Lester and to the team that they faced on Monday night. This team was resilient and one that I’d been saying had a chance to win it all because they were as good as anyone around once they got over a few hurdles. Chip Brunt was named to the all tournament team with Spencer receiving MVP honors. “It’s surreal” said Coach Stephen and don’t be surprised to see Ridgeway back in this position next year with EJ Smith and several others returning for their 8th grade year. “In order to gain respect, you have to earn respect” said Coach Stephen and the Roadrunners did just that.
For Bellevue, 4 in row is an unbelievable accomplishment and once again proving that you have to go through them every year to win in Small Schools. Cartier Beverly was named MVP with Jr. Jacobs, AJ Dillworth and Amar Knox being named to the all tournament team. When asked about how it felt to win his first state sectional, Coach Taylor said, “It was the best moment in my life, we went 28-1 with this group, didn’t listen to any of the noise and we stuck together”. Coach Taylor and staff didn’t believe in individual accolades and said that his players bought into that as well. “All about we, not me” he says was one of the team’s motto’s. With AJ Dillworth coming back next year and a collection of really talented guards, Bellevue will make a run at another state sectional next year. Could it be 5 in a row?
Colonial’s girls year in year out have been regarded as one of the best teams in the city. This year’s team was a little different than last year’s state champs mainly due to depth but Coach Kevin Sanford did an excellent job getting his players to play hard and play their roles. Don’t get me wrong, they were very talented too but I think this might have been one of his better coaching jobs overall in his time there. Congratulations to the Colonial Middle Patriots on a great season.
Once again, congratulations to all the teams who represented the Memphis area!!