ALTON MARQUETTE EXPLORERS, Alton , IL .: Marquette roared past their first two Uftring opponents- Springfield and Mauston, but they were stunned in the championship game by Dickson County. In the waning seconds of the championship game, Marquette was bound and determined to stop the Cougar’s super star scorer, Je Quan Lewis. But, instead of pulling up from the perimeter for a long range shot, the slick Tennessee Point Man (Lewis) found Tyler Primm in the dead corner, and Primm delivered the game winning 3-pointer with four seconds on the clock. Marquette played a tremendous tournament despite missing two of their top players (Sam Scheiter and Mike Williams-Bey). 6’6” Sr. Jake Coddington scored 18.3 points and snared 13 rebounds per outing for the Explorers and was named to the Uftring All-Tournament Team for his outstanding efforts. 6’0” Jr. D’tae Mc Murray (13.7 ppg- 3.3 spg- 3.0 apg) also made the All-Tourney team, barely nudging out his own teammate 6’2” Jr. Deion Lavender (14.0 ppg) for the post-tournament honor. Lavender was outstanding in Marquette’s win over Springfield.
CHAMPAIGN CENTRAL MAROONS, CHAMPAIGN, IL .: The Maroons are going to be a very good team as the season progresses! The Maroons are fast, energetic, athletic and relentless on both ends of the court. Ten players run on and off the court and every game there is a different top scorer. 6’4” Sr. Chris Hutchison (11.5 ppg) led the Maroons in scoring and rebounding, while 5’11” Jr. Kam Rowan led the team in assists and steals. 6’5” Sr. Xavier Martin was the team’s top shot blocker and defender, while 6’1” Jr. Alec Altmyer was the team’s top 3-point marksman. 5’11” Jr. Isiah Smith and 6’0” Jr. Sean Suggs also showed great promise and intensity throughout the event. If you want to see an amazing Youtube video, go on-line and check out Tion Posey’s ball retrieval video. Holy smokes!!
CHICAGO ST. RITA OF CASCIA MUSTANGS, Chicago, IL .: The youthful Mustangs proved that they will be a tough team to contend with throughout the 2012-2013 season. 6’5” So. Charles Matthews and 6’2” Jr. Dominique Matthews were an incredible brother tandem that dominated play during the Thanksgiving Hoops week in Washington. Dominique averaged 19.8 ppg during the event, while Charles was an absolute stats stuffer by providing 10.8 points, 8.5 rebounds , 4.3 blocks and 4.3 assists per game. 6’7” Jr. Victor Law (13 ppg- 7.8 rpg) joined the Matthews’ Brothers on the CoW All-Tournament team, while 6’8” So. Myles Carter dominated the defensive end of the court with 20 blocked shots in the tournament.
CREATING YOUNG MINDS ACADEMY YELLOWJACKETS, Irving , TX .: The Yellowjackets finished with a 1-1 record in the 2012 ToC. In their first game they defeated Trader’s Point Christian Academy (Indiana) by the score of 59-58. 6’9” Jr. Austin Weiher finished the game with 22 points and 13 rebounds and was deemed the TW Player of the Game for his efforts. 6’6” Sr. Anthony “A.J.” Brown passed out 9 assists in the win. The Jackets then tackled La Lumiere School in their second game, but fell to Lakers, 78-44. Weiher finished with 29 points and Brown passed out 8 assists, but it was far short of the points and assists garnered by La Lumiere.
DICKSON COUNTY COUGARS, Dickson, TN .: What else can you say about Dickson County’s Point Guard, Je Quan Lewis?? 50 Points pretty much says it all. Lewis scored a ToC record 50 points in his Cougars, 72-50 win against Grandview. Lewis buried nine 3-pointers as the ball found its way through the hoop with the easiest shooting release you could ever imagine. Lewis averaged 30 points and 5.3 assists per game in the Uftring Invitational, as he led his Cougars to the tournament title over Alton Marquette. Lewis was named the Most Valuable and Most Outstanding Player of the Uftring event as he not only scored at will, but found teammates with his uncanny vision and passing skills. 6’6” Sr. Tyler Spicer (12.7 ppg) hit some big 3’s for the Cougars, but the biggest 3-pointer of the Thanksgiving weekend was the game-winning trey delivered by 5’11” Jr. Tyler Primm to defeat Marquette, 56-54. 6’0” Sr. Caleb Tuck and 6’2” Sr. Trevor Daniel were also solid contributors for the Cougars.
ERIE CARDINALS, Erie, IL .: The Cardinals played with great chemistry in their team driven, 43-33 victory over Shelbyville. 6’4” Sr. Jacob Johnston was as good as advertised as he soared in for 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Johnston was named as the TW Player of the Game for his outstanding efforts. Bulky, 6’4” Jr. Owen Mc Connell did an outstanding job of holding Shelbyville’s top big man, Brody Bence to 11 points. 5’11” Sr. Connor Saad played hard on both ends of the court and 6’0” Fr. Jordan Chandler had some impressive moments for the Cardinals.
GRANDVIEW BULLDOGS, Grandview , MO .: The Bulldogs started slow but turned up the intensity as the tournament continued. The Bulldogs used a smothering defense to overpower both Mooseheart (46-29) and Mauston (66-48), enroute to their 3rd place finish in the Uftring Auto Group Invitational. 6’3” Jr. Tyrone Taylor dominated play from the perimeter (19.0 ppg) and was named to the Uftring All-Tournament Team. 6’8” Sr. Nelson Nweke averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs, and did a great job on the defensive end of the court with his aggressive, physical play. 6’7” Jr. Wesley Nosakhare showed solid improvement throughout the tournament.
GREENWOOD AMANDA ELZY PANTHERS, Greenwood , MS .: The Panthers finished in 3rd Place in this year’s CoW by posting a 3-1 record. 6’2” Jr. Maurice Dunlap proved that he is SEC worthy as he poured in 19.3 ppg in the event. The future Mississippi State guard hit monster bombs from all over the court and slashed to the bucket with ultra-quick ball handling. 6’8” Sr. Janarius Middleton (21.8 ppg- 13.0 rpg) was instant offense in the lane for the Panthers. If he wasn’t pouring in buckets he was finding teammates for open looks on the perimeter. Middleton scored 30 points and grabbed 20 rebounds against Champaign Central. 6’4” Sr. Rahkeem Lehaman (9.3 ppg- 5.3 apg) was a rocket in the open court. Lehaman was 2nd in the CoW in assists (21) and led the Panthers in steals and dunks. His two-hand alley oop slam off the baseline earned him the “Ben Armstrong Bronze Medal of Dunks” award.
HAZEL GREEN TROJANS, Hazel Green, AL .: The Trojans met strong competition (St. Rita and Elzy) in their first two outings and fell short in both games. But the Trojans rebounded with strength and class as they won their two last games over Champaign Central and St. Louis MICDS. 6’7” Jr. Lewis Sullivan was impressive as he slashed to the bucket to the tune of 22.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per outing. Sullivan poured in 33 points against Champaign Central, but his most impressive effort came against St. Rita (24 points- 14 rebounds) when he helped bring the Trojans back from a double digit deficit to nearly defeat the Mustangs. 6’4” So. Ethan Stair is a future star! Stair averaged 11.8 points per game, but it was his play against Elzy (27 points and two monster dunks) that wowed the crowd. 6’3” Sr. Austin Dempsey showed superior shooting abilities as he averaged 14.8 points in the event. 5’8” Jr. Cash Crutcher played tremendous defense, and he led the CoW in assists with 22 dimes. Sullivan was named to the CoW All-Tournament Team.
ILLINOIS VALLEY CENTRAL GREY GHOSTS, CHILLICOTHE, IL .: The Grey Ghosts battled hard, but came up short against Indiana’s top small school, 56-43. 6’0” Sr. Caleb Magee led the Ghosts in scoring with 10 points. 6’0” Sr. Konnor Smithson did a nice job off the bench scoring eight points for IVC.
La LUMIERE SCHOOL LAKERS, La Porte, IN .: The Lakers put on two big-time shows as they finished 2-0 in this season’s Team Works Shootout Series. 6’3” Sr. Detrick Mostella scored 15 points and dished out 8 assists in the Lakers 71-59 win over CBC. 6’6” Jr. Sam Logwood poured in 25 points, 6’11” Jr. Johnathon Wilkins scored 12 points and 6’3” Sr. Jalen James handed out 10 assists in the Lakers impressive victory over the Cadets. Mostella was named the TW Player of the Game, and was also the recipient of the “Ben Armstrong Gold Medal of Dunks” for not one, but two of his slams: 1) Mostella’s baseline, touch the side of the backboard with the ball, then fly around the front of the rim and slam it in with two hands dunk and 2) Mostella’s 360 Dunk in transition slam. In the Lakers second game against Creating Young Minds Academy, Sam Logwood scored 14 points to earn the TW Player of the Game Award. Wilkins, Mostella and 6’2” Fr. Lucas Vezaro were extremely impressive for the Lakers as they blasted CYMA, 78-44.
MAUSTON GOLDEN EAGLES, Mauston, WI .: The Golden Eagles have a tremendous player in Joel Heesch. The 6’3” “Do-Everything” Guard proved to be one of the slickest, alert scorers the ToC has ever witnessed. His quickness to the bucket and his keen sense of finishing off the dribble drive was incredible as he poured in 19.7 per game for Mauston. But, when you add in the fact that he played the entire tournament with the flu, it makes his efforts even more impressive. Heesch made one play in his first game against Marquette, that still has ToC fans wondering if they were dreaming or if they actually witnessed this amazing shot. Heesch sliced through the lane like a dart until he was completely under the basket. He then reached back with his left hand and flipped a no-look twirl shot that hit the backboard and spun into the basket like a trick shot on a billiards table. INCREDIBLE body control and an uncanny trick shot for all times! Heesch was named to the Uftring All-Tournament Team.
MILWAUKEE RIVERSIDE UNIVERSITY TIGERS, Milwaukee, WI .: The Tigers entered play in the Team Works Shootout Series with high hopes to finish undefeated. However, the Tigers’ top player 6’9” Sr. De Andre Downey transferred from the school in September, and then the team’s two Division I guards, Nick Cobbins and Bobby Hambright were both suspended from the team, one week prior to the ToC. Although the Tigers were shorthanded, they were still able to finish with a 1-1 record in the Team Works Shootout Series. In Riverside’s 48-45 victory over Peoria Richwoods, 6’8” Sr. RaVonn Posey scored 15 points and yanked down 11 rebounds to earn the TW Player of the Game Award. The Tigers then ran up against the sharp-shooting Rockville Rox from Indiana. The Rox defeated Riverside by the score of 47-34.
MOOSEHEART RED RAMBLERS, Mooseheart, IL .: The Red Ramblers pieced together an outstanding tournament, especially since most of their players have never played in a high school game in their lives. 6’10” Jr. Makur Puou (14.0 ppg- 14.0 rpg- 4 bpg) got better and better as the tournament progressed. Puou scored 21 points, ripped down 21 rebounds and blocked seven shots against Springfield. 6’7” Jr. Mangisto Deng (14.7 ppg) showed glimmers of big time promise with some long-distance 3-pointers and several solid passes into the post. Mooseheart’s defensive set was phenomenal as they held every team they played to their lowest scoring output. Mooseheart is going to be a hard team to beat in Illinois’ IA playoffs in March. Puou was named to the Uftring Auto Group Invitational All-Tournament Team, and received the “Ben Armstrong Silver Medal for Dunks” with his thunderous fast-break jam against Springfield, where he actually leapt over a Senator defender to deliver his rim-rattling slam.
PEORIA NOTRE DAME IRISH, PEORIA , IL .: The Irish delivered some top performances in this year’s event. 6’2” Sr. Nic Reynolds scored 30 points against a tough Washington Panther defense, and ended up as the top scorer for the Irish with 14.5 per outing for the tournament. 6’0” Jr. Shea Feehan (12.0 ppg) made some dandy plays against Champaign Central and 6’6” So. Peter Hanley (12.0 ppg) proved that he is one of the top up and coming players in the state of Illinois’ 2015 class. Hanley showed great poise under tough pressure throughout the week and hit some clutch jumpers against some stout defenders. 5’10” Sr. PF Nick Bell led the Irish in rebounding and once again battled with the fervor that ToC fans have grown to know and admire of this young man. Reynolds finished his ToC career with 107 points.
RICHWOODS KNIGHTS, PEORIA, IL .: The Knights suffered through a stale night of shooting and lost to Milwaukee Riverside University by the score of 48-45. 6’5” Sr. Denzel Irving showed a ton of life on the court as he tried to keep the Knights in the hunt. Irving finished with 12 points and 9 rebounds, while 6’1” Sr. Preston Wells scored 11 points for Richwoods.
ROCKVILLE ROX, Rockville , IN .: The Rockville Rox finished in 2nd place in Indiana’s IA state tournament last season. My prediction for March of 2013: Rockville wins the Indiana IA state championship. The Rox have everything! 6’7” Sr. Lane Mahurin was unstoppable in the Rox 47-34 victory over Milwaukee Riverside. The future Indiana State Sycamore scored 22 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked 5 shots and handed out 4 assists to capture the TW Player of the Game Award. The Rox also defeated Chillicothe IVC by the score of 56-43. 6’1” Sr. Gary Ulrich was “Lights Out” against the Grey Ghosts as he finished with 20 points and the TW Player of the Game Award. 6’4” Sr. Jordan Mc Fall (11 ppg) and 6’7” Sr. Nick Waltz did a tremendous job on both ends of the court, while 5’6” So. Kieontre Wilke was a flat-out blur in the open court.
SHELBYVILLE RAMS, Shelbyville, IL .: The Rams struggled through a rough day of shooting, as their top scorer, 6’8” Sr. Brody Bence was held to 11 points. The Cardinals struck early and often, reducing the Rams’ game plan to a comeback early on.
SOUTH MIAMI COBRAS, Miami, FL .: The Cobras met some tough matchups in the ToC, but earned 4th place with a respectable 2-2 record. 6’1” Sr. Jorge Perez-Laham was unstoppable against MICDS (27 pts- 13 of 15 FG) and Notre Dame (24 pts). Perez-Laham averaged 17.5 points and four assists per game during the tournament and was named to the CoW All-Tournament Team. 6’9” Sr. Antravious Simmons averaged 10.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in the tournament. 6’4” Sr. Ketrick Bartley (10.5 ppg) and 6’4” Sr. John Cratit (10.5 ppg) provided solid minutes for the Cobras.
SPRINGFIELD SENATORS, SPRINGFIELD, IL .: The Senators are a young team that has plenty to look forward to in the next couple of years. 6’1” Sr. Avery Pearl (11.3 ppg) was the most consistent performer for Springfield, but the greatest glimpses of hoops talent was shown by 6’6” So. Obediah Church, 5’6” So. Taivon Kincaid and 5’10” Fr. Keon Day. Church showed raw athleticism as he soared above the rim to pull down 9.7 rebounds a game and block several shots against bigger, stronger competition. Church showed some positive aggression with a quick athletic jam against Mooseheart’s towering front line of 7’1”, 6’10” and 6’7”. There is no doubt about it- Church, Kincaid and Day give Springfield something to smile about.
ST. LOUIS CHRISTIAN BROTHERS COLLEGE CADETS, St. Louis, MO .: The Cadets were tremendously impressive. They will win the Missouri State Championship in 2013- so go ahead and mark it down. 6’8” Jr. Jordan Barnett will become an elite player in the 2014 class- so college teams better start pursuing this kid, pronto. Barnett scored 29 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Cadets. 6’5” Jr. Patrick McCaw finished with 13 points and 4 assists, while 6’7” Jr. Ray Doby scored 10 points and grabbed 7 boards for CBC. The Cadets’ bench did a great job of bringing electricity and hard-nosed defense.
ST. LOUIS MARY INSTITUTE-COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL RAMS, St. Louis, MO .: The Rams started slow, but played with grit and determination throughout the event. The Rams top player from last season, 5’10” Rashad Lindsey transferred to Mc Cluer North, leaving a gaping hole in the team’s offensive set. The Rams then lost their team’s leading scorer, 6’6” Sr. William Morehead after their second game in this year’s event. The Rams battled strong despite the two losses. 6’6” Jr. Robin Thompson (13.0 ppg) and 6’3” Jr. Trey Pettus (10.0 ppg) were outstanding in the Rams last two games against Hazel Green and Peoria Notre Dame.
TRADER’S POINT CHRISTIAN ACADEMY GOLDEN EAGLES, Whitestown, IN .: The Golden Eagles jumped out big on Creating Young Minds, but were overtaken late in the fourth quarter by the Yellowjackets, and lost 59-58. 6’1” So. Nick Rogers made a valiant attempt to win the game on a driving runner through the lane, but the ball rolled off the rim, giving the Jackets the hard earned victory. 6’8” Sr. Milos Kostic finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists for the Golden Eagles. Rogers finished with 17 points and 5 assists. 6’6” Sr. Cody Young and 6’5” So. Christian Bridwell had solid moments for Trader’s Point.
WASHINGTON PANTHERS, WASHINGTON , IL .: The Panthers were on a seek and destroy mission in this year’s 7th Annual State Farm ToC as they captured their third City of Washington Title with hard earned wins over St. Louis MICDS, Peoria Notre Dame, South Miami and Chicago St. Rita. Coach Kevin Brown’s Panthers played like a well-oiled machine as they combined amazing team chemistry with their hometown fan’s energy to defeat one of the elite teams (St. Rita) from Illinois. 6’8” Sr. Alec Peters was named the MVP and Most Outstanding Player in the CoW, by amassing a 31.3 scoring average and grabbing 12.3 rebounds per outing. 6’4” Sr. Troy Adams (10 ppg- 6 rpg) was also named to the CoW All-Tournament Team. Adams was a defensive juggernaut for the Panthers against MICDS and South Miami, but it was his clutch offensive performances against Notre Dame and St. Rita that helped push the Panthers to another championship. Cade Jackson, Grant Johnson, Tucker Harlan, Connor Schone, Dominic Carrol and Mason Mc Coy were tremendous contributors throughout the tournament. Peters became the State Farm Tournament of Champions All-Time Leading scorer with 266 points!