Tag Archives: Kate Bond

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

 

2016 Middle School Elite Basketball Classic

 

Pictured - #23 (Kristian Spencer, #3 (Bryson Nash) David Dixon (Far Right)
Pictured – #23 (Kristian Spencer, #3 (Bryson Nash) David Dixon (Far Right)

 

The middle school season is upon us and one of the best events in the city is back for it’s fourth year, the Middle School Elite Basketball Classic. This event will highlight some of the city’s best teams and players all in one location and give an early indication for some fans of who the best teams may be in middle school. The event will start at 9:00 am with 2 more girls basketball games to follow ending at 11:30 am and the boys games will begin at 12:45 pm and end  with the 7:00 pm showcase game for a total of 9 games for the event.

Sequoia Allmond, regarded by some as the best 8th grader in the city highlights the talent on the girls side. An attacking guard off the dribble, Allmond gets it done offensively and will be hard to guard for anyone in the city and she will be problem for a good Kate Bond team but that’s if she will be able to give it a go after suffering a hand injury.  Bellevue also has some length and talent in Skylar Arnold who should be among the best players in the city, Serena Lee and Jamia Brooks. Lyric Cole, Kayla Howard and Carlia Northcross will be ones to watch for Kate Bond in what should be a pretty competitive game. Colonial lost the best girls player in the city last year, Endya Buford but, they still be very competitive. PCA versus Germantown tips the opener at 9:00 am with the Squires looking to continue to build up their new program with the addition of Sirrea “CC” Drew who is one of the better defensive guards in the city.

In the boys first game, PCA coached Robert Scales will take on Metro Home School at 12:45 pm. Like the the girls, PCA is looking to make a name for itself and while it could be a challenge early on, I look for them to get better and better through out the year.

In the 2:00 tip, Bolivar takes on Colonial who also has a new coach in Cedric Franklin who led American Way to a state sectional title last year. He has a new team but some talent in 7th grader, James Cox,  Emanuel Walters who will take up some of the scoring and 6’2 Landon Rhodes, who will be their leading scorer in some games this year.

Kate Bond and Havenview could be interesting at 3:15 with 2 more coaches who are new to their programs, try to get key wins. For Kate Bond, Kerwin Whitfield, who’s been playing minutes since 6th grade, Devin Haliburton, Kennon Thompson and Garret Crume will all be contributors this year on a Kate Bond team that plays in one of the toughest leagues in the city.   Whitfield will have to be their leader for them as well as a scorer and set up guy for them.  The 2 years prior experience should be helpful this season for the point guard. For Havenview, former Whitehaven head coach Lawrence Myers, youth is the movement. Travis Dockery and Desmond Bratcher will be the guards but a 6th and 7th grader will be have to play and be integral parts, Emerson Tenner, the backup pg as a 6th grader and son of Fairley legend, Deuce Ford’s son, Sylvester Ford.  The 6’1 6’2 ish plays inside right now and can finish around the rim.

Southaven vs Germantown start what should be the start of 3 pretty good games. In this 4:30 game, the young Red Devils could be led by Cameron Miller, a 6’1 forward who has really grown since the summer, not just in height but in confidence as a scorer. Chris Martin, could be starter by the middle of the season will also proving some shooting and scoring as well as the ability to play on the ball if needed. Southaven has a pretty good guard trio in Jordan Hibbler who can score it and BJ Morgan who will have the ball in his hands a lot as the pg. Both can hurt you and Desimen Rogers will be another contributor. Hibbler is an athletic 2-3 who can score in bunches so for those who may not know a lot about him, Hibbler is one of the best 20 8th graders in the area. Morgan is a cat quick guard who plays big regardless of this, makes the open 3 and is a driver to the rim but more as a passer. This has a chance to be maybe the best game of the classic.

At 5:45, Briarcrest takes on Ridgeway in a game that could have headlined the entire classic. Briarcrest will be led by Zander Yates, a 6’5 touching 6’6 post and if healthy, Hunter Higdon who’s coming off injury. Yates will be imposing for the Saints but to counter him, Ridgeway has a 6’5 of their own, David Dixon. Dixon is a developing 4-5, who runs the floor, blocks shots and shows some scoring ability around the rim. Two of the best bigs in the city going at each other, should make for a fun game but Ridgeway will feature the most talent on their side. Young but ready, the Roadrunners have Bryson Nash and EJ Smith, both 6th graders playing guard. Let me say this again, 2 6th graders running the show but these are not your average 6th graders. Nash is one of the best point guards in the country, according to several services and Smith is a really good guard in his own right, my second best player in the class of 2023 in the city. Chris Brunt can play on the ball and at the 1,2 or 3 for them and is easily one of the more versatile players in 2022 in the city. Kristian Spencer is 3-4 who can rebound and defend and is developing as a scorer. This might be the most talent that Briarcrest sees all year on one team and it will be tough game for them but I expect them to be in the game as well.

Zander Yates (Briarcrest)
                                                      Zander Yates (Briarcrest)

The headliner game at 7:00 is a good one, host school Lausanne takes on Highland Oaks led by Mark Freeman. Freeman is excited about this team and for several reasons, one of which is Alex Anderson. Anderson is a long 6’2 guard who can play both guard positions and will likely be there leading scorer on the season. His match-up with Lausanne’s Deebo Coleman is one I’m looking forward to the most of all the games on Saturday.  Cameron Donegan of Highland is another player who will be big in this game. His ability to find you and score timely points will be crucial for them not only in this game but all year. Owen Babb  and Landon Jeffries will play quality minutes for them as 7th graders and Dillon Woods who has some raving about his athletic abilit .  I think Lausanne’s youth outside of Coleman could prove to be costly against the 8th grade combo of Donegan and Anderson but Lausanne will be looking for upset and the Hawks better be mindful of that.

Deebo Coleman (Lausanne)
                                                             Deebo Coleman (Lausanne)

 

 

ELITE MIDDLE SCHOOL INVITATION LOCATION CHANGE!! (November 7th)

Kennedy Chandler (Top 5 Guard in 2021)
Kennedy Chandler (Top 5 Guard in 2021)

Saturday November 7th

The Elite Middle School Invitational location has changed, I repeat the location has been changed and it will now be played at Mississippi Blvd Christian Church on 70 North Bellevue. Event coordinators apologize for the inconvenience but the change was not in their control. Again, the location has been changed from Catholic to Mississippi Blvd Christian Church. The schedule of games has not changed and all games will still be played at the same times.

The 3:50 game might be as intriguing as any as Covington Crestview comes in, usually a solid team against Snowden featuring Marcellus Brigham, one of my top 10 players in the 2020 class in the city. His scoring ability is as good as anyone in middle school as he can use the jumper. Normally Crestview is pretty competitive so I expect nothing less. Colonial’s girls are led by India Buford, maybe the best guard in Middle School and that’s not an exaggeration. If you have not seen Buford, Saturday would be ideal because she’s worth the drive.Now that the location change has been announced, let’s take a look at some of the games that will take place on Saturday. For years, Fayette East was a solid program that now has Fayette Ware High School in the hunt as a team that could make a state run this year. Coming off a so so year last year, I don’t expect them to be down long and they will be coming in to face Kirby Middle at 12:00 pm. Kate Bond’s girls program made some noise last year but each year brings different challenges as I saw in the jamboree that they may have a young team. At 2:00 pm, Colonial led by 6’3 Rolando Martinez takes on Bolivar Middle which might be an interesting game. Martinez is a capable scorer for them and will lead them in most games in scoring. I’m not sure if Bolivar may have an answer for him that can match his length.

The final two boys games are showcase games starting with Kate Bond vs St George followed by the last game of the event, American Way and Briarcrest. Kate Bond is 2-1 on the year so far and a top 5 team in Middle School will come in off a loss to the city’s #2 team will hungry to get the W in the column against a St George team featuring a top 10 player in Rodney Mason, a 6’3 forward who is looking to make a bigger name for himself along with 6’3 Issac Smith, a wing type with some ability. Some say he belongs in the conversation as a top 10 player so Saturday would be a good opportunity to see that. Last game of the evening pit’s 3 of my top 5 in 2021 against one another and a top 10 8th grader in Reggie Neely. Neely is scorer and one of the best in the city at it but Kennedy Chandler receives a bulk of the attention. His match up with Jalen Brown and Alvin Miles will fun to watch. For what’s it’s worth, this is a something because both are top 5, who know how this could play into the next ranking! Johnathan Lawson is as talented as any player in Middle School, looking more as an attacker now as in years past so his scoring output is picking up and we might see this on Saturday evening. He’s going to one that has to be game planned against as well as Neely as many may not have seen him but again, he knows how to score if from the 3 to the finish and his facial expression never changes, silently scoring 15-20 points. 9 games, one location,  4 of my top 5 teams in the city, 3 players ranked in the top 50 in the country in 2021, 2 top 10 players in the city in 2020,  the best girls guard in the city and so much more talent, the Elite Middle School Invitational, see you there!!!

Schedule

Time

Home Team (White Uniforms) Away Team (Dark Uniform)

Girls or Boys

9:30am

 Rise Academy Soulsville   Boys
10:45am Fayette East Soulsville  Girls
12:00pm Kirby Fayette East Boys
1:15pm Kate Bond St. George           Girls
2:30pm Colonial Bolivar Boys
3:50pm Snowden  Covington Crestview Boys
5:10pm Colonial Covington Crestview Girls
6:25pm Kate Bond St.George Boys
7:45pm American Way Briarcrest Boys