Tag Archives: FACS

2017 Elite Middle School Classic!!

 

Chris Brunt
                                                                                       Ridgeway Guard Chip Brunt

We are 3 days and counting away from what has become of the best middle school events in the city, the “Elite Middle School Classic” . This year, the classic has moved to Bolton High School  and features 9 games this year which will begin at 9:00 am with 2 girls games. With several of the city’s top teams and talent, this has become a must see if your a middle school fan and looking for indicators of who might be the teams to watch this season.

Judging by the talent, this year maybe the best in terms of match-ups  according to the teams and features a few teams from outside of Memphis including, Blytheville (Arkansas) who will play against Elmore Park in the boys opener at 12:00.

Individually, the talent will be tremendous and  those in attendance will get a chance to see from Southaven (Johnny Ruffin), Highland Oaks (Regale Moore) and Josh Holloway, both in the 2023 class,  FACS who maybe the best team that no one is talking about much in the area with Tim Thomas Jr, Kobe Wilkes, Corey Savage and Landon Jeffries. Lester’s Marquise Washington, Lemarkus Wilkerson (2023), Chauncey Holmes, Jamarion Harvey (2023) and 2024 6’1 Khylan Page who might be the best 6th grade prospect in Memphis. Ridgeway has a very talented group of guards and players who have a lot of experience in big games from last year. EJ Smith (2023) is one of the top 5 players in the city in that class followed by Chris “Chip” Brunt, 5’11 Kristian Spencer who is coming off an arm injury but should be able to go on Saturday and a really good 6th grade class with Javion Stephen and Cody Hickerson.

The showcase game or the “Main Event” as called by event coordinators will be one to watch. The team I designated as my #1 team in the city will square off against #2 Ridgeway who’s looking to make a name in this game. Some I’ve heard feel like Ridgeway should be number 1 and believe me, they can probably make a case and are most definitely looking for the upset on Saturday evening. They are deep and can throw 9 or 10 at you and really not lose a lot offensively or defensively.

All in all, it should be a quality event as always and one that could determine whether we have a new #1 next week or not.

Game Schedule

Girls Games

Lester vs Kate Bond – 9:40 a.m. Kate Bond normally has nice team and I would bank on that again this year. Lester’s girls will have their work cut out for them in this one

PCA vs Munford- 10:40 a.m. PCA lost a lot of talent last year and probably will be in rebuild mode.

Boys Games 

Blytheville Arkansas vs Elmore Park– 12:00 p.m Been hearing some good things about Elmore Park so far and now it’s time for the good things to turn into reality for them.

Fayette East vs Havenview 1:30 Fayette East from sources will be a team that plays hard while Havenview returns a few players from last year’s team including Emerson Tenner, a 7th grader who will be better this season.

Bolivar vs PCA 2:45 PCA will be extremely young this year but have more talent than last season. 6th grade guard Marlon Mcshane will probably be relied upon a lot in his first season.

St. George vs Northpoint (MS) 4:00 Northpoint has some young players coming up but not sure if they allow their 7th graders to play on the 8th grade team there. St.George always seems to be competitive, why not this year as well…

Southaven vs Highland Oaks 5:15 Getting to the pretty games now at this stage on Saturday. Southaven has a pretty big team from what I’ve heard. They will probably be led by Johnny Ruffin who can swing to the guard spot if necessary. Highland Oaks will be relying upon 2 young guards in Regale Moore and Josh Holloway. I will say this again, Holloway’s progression as more of pass first pg will be big for them. Moore has to be a consistent scorer but he has that ability to do so.

FACS vs Colonial 6:30 FACS  quiet as it’s kept might be top 5 team on paper. At the point, Kobe Wilkes or you can interchange him and Landon Jeffries who can also play that spot, Corey Savage, one of the best middle school shooters and 3-4 Tim Thomas who you can put on the other team’s best offensive player and slow him down. Colonial has a few pieces but are still looking for that consistent leader. Jacquez Brown or Cedric Franklin could be that but one way to find out will be against a good team like FACS.

Lester vs Ridgeway 7:30 In the headline game of the event, this game will determine a lot of things. For one, Lester looks legit in every way, they are long, versatile at 2-3 spots and have maybe the best player in Middle School. On the other hand, they haven’t seen a team as talented as Ridgeway in a scrimmage this year and they haven’t been tested just yet. That might just be testament of how talented they are but like they say, the game is played on the floor so it’s time to see what this team is really capable of becoming.

Ridgeway will be coming in looking for respect and I don’t blame them. I had a hard time putting them at #3 and after watching them in a scrimmage, I thought again, maybe I was wrong but their chance is on Saturday. Again, I think their depth, guard play and ability to defend will be what determines the game. I think they are on par with Lester in terms of talent and with the hit of Lester losing a player who could have helped them, it will make them more susceptible especially in a game of this magnitude. This game will be big for them in terms of how people see this year’s team and I think it’s one that has a chance to be right there in

 

901PrepScoop Pre-Season Middle School Top 5

 

Markese Washington (Lester Middle)
                                                 Markese Washington (Lester Middle)

 With tryouts which began on Monday officially, It’s almost that time of the year again, the 2017-2018 Middle School Basketball season is here in  what promises to be one of the more interesting years that I’ve seen in awhile. There are a lot of questions  this season   but  a lot of them  will be answered soon as play days are on the way as well with the first being next week at Lausanne on October 7th.

Who is the best player in Middle School this year? Is it Chandler Jackson who finishing up his final year at St.Louis? Markese Washington at Lester?  Are the Roadrunners of Ridgeway the best Middle School in Large Schools this year or the Germantown Red Devils who are equally talented in the starting 5? Speaking of Germantown, transfer Cartier Beverly, a two sport standout who won a state title at Bellevue last year hurt his leg and will be out for a substantial amount of time. If he’s able to get back during the season, Germantown could be become the favorite. Expect 6’1 Cameron to make a push as a top 3-5 player in this class this season.

Will Lester turn back the clock to a few years ago where they were the best team in the city or will Bellevue who lost a lot of production be right there with them with Jr Jacobs? Can John P Freeman put themselves in position to make a run this season? How much better will Lowrance be this year with Braxton Jumper and ever improving Javar Daniels, a 6’2 7th grader with tons of potential?  Can Snowden contend with their guards? There are a lot of questions but soon and very soon, we will begin to see our thoughts and questions become realities as we are within a few weeks of the season getting underway.

Below, my pre-season top 5 middle school teams in the city based on what I think they have right now. Will it be the same when the season starts? Maybe, maybe not, can a team jump into the top 5, yes they can. Will the number 1 team right now but the # 1 team when the season starts, I can’t say, but it will be fun to watch and see.

1. Lester Prep- On paper, they are so talented starting with Markese Washington, to me a top  5 player in this class in Memphis. Nearing 6’2 if not there already, Washington will be there best player most nights and have a chance to be the best player in Small Schools and perhaps, maybe the city. Lemarkus Wilkerson and Ahmed Abdulahi will be besides him to form maybe the best duo in Middle School. Wilkerson and Abdulahi are to 5’10 plus guards who can score for Coach Steve Terrell who’s excited about this year’s team. Abdulahi has kind of flown under the radar but I think a lot of people will be high on him by the end of the year.  6th grader Khylan Page will be leaned on a little because of is size alone  but with their experience, they will able to bring him along  slowly along with Jamarion Harvey. Watch for Chauncey Holmes as well.

2. Ridgeway Middle – Was very tempted to put them at #1 for several reasons. Chip Brunt, EJ Smith and Kristian Spencer all got better last year put into situations where they had to play and it should pay off this year.  Smith is getting better and better and should play the lead guard spot this year. Brunt had some big moments for them last year and Spencer gives them value as a defender and athleticism from the 3-4 spot. All of them should be big this year and take that next step up to be the early favorite in Large. They have enough talent to do so but they will also be counting on others to be help the trio. Adarion Miles must play big on the glass and Coach Stephen expect a nice group of 6th graders to play a lot including Kody Hickerson, Javion Stephen and Tyler Wilson.  Might be the deepest team in the top 5, top to bottom.

Kristian Spencer (Ridgeway)
                          Kristian Spencer (Ridgeway)

3. Germantown Middle– Cameron Miller, Daniel Egbuniwe and Chris Martin are all back this year and will have them vying for a state title this season.  Miller has a chance to put his name on everybody’s list as a top 5 player in 2022. He’s a scorer who you can put on the other team’s best player, go get you rebound and take over the game type and he will be all those things this year for this team. Chris Martin is one of the areas best shooters if not the best and Egbuniwe is quiet stat sheet stuffer. The key for them to make that run might be if Cartier Beverly can get back to basketball after a football injury. If he can and from sources, its possible, Beverly could put them above anyone locally in Large Schools. Rayquan Williams must contribute with Beverly being out but he’s a capable piece to their aspirations of becoming champions. Even if Beverly doesn’t return, the Red Devils will be in the thick of it at the end of the year.

Daniel Egbuniwe (Germantown)
                         Daniel Egbuniwe (Germantown)

4. Snowden Middle– Very guard laden team but a team never the less that will be tough to play against on any given night. Guard play reigns supreme in Middle School and if you have it, chances are, you can go a long way and Snowden as a lot of it. Kyler “KD” Dandridge, Madricus Pittman, another one of the area’s best shooters and Jamarius “Chunky’ Brooks give Snowden some firepower. Armani Mcfagdon will be asked to do a little bit of everything for this team but he’s more than capable of accepting that challenge.

5. Bellevue Middle- Beside White Station, not sure if one school lost more than them. Coming off back to back state tournament titles, the Bobcats will have a brand new look all the way around. Enter in former Kingsbury Middle coch, Mario Taylor who will be in his first year there but he will have a few players to help ease the transition. Terrance “JR” Jacobs, is diminutive in stature but big in game is ready to lead after playing some last year but will be in an entirely different role this year. Jacobs is very capable 15-20 point scorer and if he gets rolling, can put up big numbers.  AJ Dillworth and Amar Knox will both have to play well this year if they are to continue the tradition of Bellevue and deep playoff runs.

JR Jacobs (Bellevue)
                                       JR Jacobs (Bellevue)

 

Other teams to watch out for

FACS– Maybe the most talented private school in the city with Landon Jeffries, Kobe Wilks, Corey Savage and Tim Thomas Jr. Don’t be surprised if they appear in the top 5 next time around.

John P Freeman Middle- Bryce Dailey had a nice summer and he hopes to continue that into this season. He should lead this group along with Eric Steward and Harold Draper Jr.

Highland Oaks Middle– I’m really interested in watching Regale Moore and Josh Holloway this season. Their progression from last year to this year will determine how far Highland could go.

Lausanne Middle- A name you need to remember, Hayden Ledbetter is there and he’s one of the more talented 8th graders you may not know much about. Owen Babb and Peyton Piacetti will give them perimeter shooting.

Colonial Middle– Jacquez Brown and Cedric Franklin Jr will be trying to turn around a some what unmemorable season last year in Coach Franklin’s first year. He’s excited about Antonyus Moore as well.