2013 Team Spotlight: 7th Grade KY Gators – 2013 D1 National Championship Contenders!

The final week of July, 2012 was a time to remember for the 6th grade KY District Champions, Spiece KY Gators.  During the State AAU Division 1 tournament held at KBA in March, 2012, Coach Lee Brones and the Spiece KY Gators won in convincing fashion and showed promise to represent Kentucky well at Nationals.

The Gators were placed into pool play with one of the most difficult schedules facing the nationally ranked Team Ferrari out of Chicago and also the highly seeded Indy Hoosiers who have been a perennial Top 10 ranked team for many seasons.  To round out the pool, the Gators also needed to compete against the Maryland Hawks who finished well in the D1 tournament as 5th graders in 2011.  There was a strong opinion that the pool was as difficult as any other of the 86 teams competing in Hampton, VA at the Boo Williams Complex.  The Spiece KY Gators had played a very competitive 2012 season to prepare them for the most elite competition found at the Division 1 National AAU tourneys.  This preparation paid off as they finished pool play to emerge as the #1 seed team from their pool to advance to the Championship bracket and also gain a bye.

The Spiece KY Gators Finished 4th At AAU Division 1 Nationals

The Spiece KY Gators Finished 4th At AAU Division 1 Nationals

First (Team Melo from Baltimore, MD) and Second (PG Bulls from Prince George, MD) round victories advanced the KY Gators to the round of Elite Eight where they scored a huge victory over the George Hill Rising Stars out of Indiana.  On the final day of the event the semi-final matchup was against the GA United team from Atlanta.  The game was close throughout and with less than a minute remaining the KY Gators possessed the ball only down 1 point, but could not get the basket they needed to advance to the National Championship game.  Still, this very strong team from KY left a mark at the tournament establishing themselves with their aggressive and fast style of play that reinforced the brand of basketball that is putting Kentucky back on the map of the AAU national scene.

The team had solid contributions and was represented from several cities in Kentucky.  Louisville standouts Nick Olsofka, Ahmad Price, Alvin Thomas, Kobe Stanton & Anthony Wales all played significant roles.  Paducah standouts JJ Reed and Nathan Stonecipher were each outstanding at the post position.  Corbin was represented with scoring guard Andrew Taylor.   Other team members from Louisville were Solomon Mathis, Dylan Dunbar, Davis Bryant, Marshon Ford, Tone Wales, and Zion Smith.  Look for the Spiece KY Gators  to be a leading contender for the National Division 1 title as 7th graders with all contributing players looking to return to build upon this fantastic Final Four finish.

2013 AAU Basketball State Tournaments Begin In March

For Updates Follow @TBthe2nd on twitter

School basketball is winding down, and AAU basketball is upon us. For a complete list of AAU tournament dates click here or go to www.PlayKBA.com

There are 3 competition levels in AAU. Here is a brief description of each:

Division 1 (D1) – Teams that love great competition and playing against the best teams, win or lose. These are generally teams that win a high percentage of the large tournaments they enter

Division 2 (D2) – Generally teams that are among the top 3-4 teams in each tournament they enter and are competitive against most teams. These are mainly teams comprised of kids from the same area of the district. Teams who play in Division 1 and do not
qualify for Division 1 Nationals may play in Division 2.

Division 3 (D3) – Generally local area teams, start up teams, and school teams. Teams who did not qualify for Division 2 Nationals may play in Division 3. All teams who play in
the Division 3 district tournament qualify for Division 3 Nationals.

Here are the 2012 Boys & Girls AAU State Champions:

Boys 2nd Grade – Go Hard In The Paint Elite

Boys 3rd Grade – D1 – Lexington Lightning D2 – Walton Verona

Boys 4th Grade – D2 – The Ville D3 – Lex. Celtics

Boys 5th Grade – D1 – KY Playmakers D2 – The Ville D3 – Shining Stars

Boys 6th Grade – D1 – KY Gators D2 – Harlan Co Knights D3 – Lex. Future

Boys 7th Grade – D1 – KY Elite D2 – NKY Tarheels D3 – Lex. Future

Boys 8th Grade – D1 – Hoop Dreams. D2 – F.O.C.U.S. D3 – River Starz

Boys 9th Grade – Hoop Dreams – KY Tigers

Boys 10th Grade – Hoop Dreams

Boys 11th Grade – Louisville Magic

Girls 4th Grade – D1 – NKY Royals D2 – Sparx

Girls 5th Grade – D1 – Gametime D2 – CKY Sparx

Girls 6th Grade – D1 – Legacy D2 – Bluegrass Lady Diamonds

Girls 7th Grade – D1 – KY Blast D2 – East Lady Chargers

Girls 8th Grade – D1 – Charlotte Ct D2 – Bluegrass Lady Diamonds

Girls 9th Grade – KY Blast

Girls 10th Grade – Shining Stars

Girls 11th Grade – F.O.C.U.S.

 

2013 KBA 11th Region Middle School Tournament Recap

32 teams from around Central Kentucky participated in the 2013 11th Region Middle School Tournament February 8th-10th.  This tournament was open to any middle school who feeds into an 11th Region high school.  The competition was fierce and emotions ran high as each team battled to take home not only the trophy, but the prestige of being the top team in the region.

6th Grade Tournament Final Four Games:

Jessie Clark 54    E.J. Hayes  30

Scott County 58  Beaumont 36

Championship Game: Scott County and Jessie Clark went toe to toe in the championship game.  Scott County pulled out the victory 54-36 over Jessie Clark.  Cameron Fluker was named the MVP of the Tournament

Watch Out For: Michael Moreno – Scott County -This player has all kinds of talent and a will to win that will give coaches nightmares for years to come.

ScottCoMVP-11th Region

Cameron Fluker – 2013 KBA 6th Grade 11th Region Tournament MVP

Scott County -2013 KBA 6th Grade 11th Region Champions

Scott County -2013 KBA 6th Grade 11th Region Champions

7th Grade Tournament Final Four Games:

Foley Middle 57   Scott Co 50

Bryan Station 38   EJ Hayes  22

Championship Game:  Two physical teams went at it in the championship game.  Both team’s defensive talents were on display, but players still made plays to score the ball.  Bryan Station won a tight one over Foley 39-35, winning the 7th Grade Championship.  Clay Burton of Bryan Station was named MVP

Watch Out For: Eric Boone – Bryan Station – The crafty point guard wins and makes others around him better.  A 3-sport athlete, Boone will make a splash in all sports over the next few years.

Kenyon McKee – Bryan Station – This combo guard’s improvement over the last year is noticeable.  He can handle and pass, but this year has really started to score the ball.  No question we will hear more from Kenyon.

Clay Burton - 2013 KBA 7th Grade 11th Region Tournament MVP

Clay Burton – 2013 KBA 7th Grade 11th Region Tournament MVP

Bryan Station - 2013 KBA 7th Grade 11th Region Champions

Bryan Station – 2013 KBA 7th Grade 11th Region Champions

8th Grade Final Four Games:

Foley 45   Leestown 36

LCA 51   Scott County 42

8th Grade Championshp Game: After two big wins the night before, LCA and Foley met on Sunday to settle a score.  The teams had split their season series 1-1, so it was only fitting that the deciding game come on the big stage.  In front of a packed house the teams went back and forth in a physical game.  Every play and every basket seemed held huge importance.  Down 3 with 6 seconds to go, LCA’s Kyle Ingram sank a deep 3 on the wing.  Foley inbounded the ball, and tournament MVP Michael Jefferson launched a deep 3.  The shot bounced off the rim, and 7th grader Carter Smith (who had 12 second half points) rebounded and put it in as the buzzer sounded to give Foley the title.

Michael Jefferson - 2013 KBA 8th Grade 11th Region Tournament MVP

Michael Jefferson – 2013 KBA 8th Grade 11th Region Tournament MVP

Foley Warriors - 2013 KBA 11th Region 8th Grade Tournament Champions

Foley Warriors – 2013 KBA 11th Region 8th Grade Tournament Champions

Watch Out For: Michael Jefferson – Foley – Jefferson is one of the toughest guards you will find.  He can score around the rim or with the pull-up jumper, and is a tremendous defender.

John Davis – LCA – Davis is a name most recognize from the AAU circuit and from leading his team to the 2012 KBA 7th Grade State Tournament Championship Game.  You cannot rattle this kid, and when he gets rolling, look out.

Congratulations to the champions!  These are the future stars of Central Kentucky and the state as a whole!

2013 KBA 8th Grade State Tournament Recap

For Updates follow @TBthe2nd on Twitter

The state witnessed something over the weekend that will be hard to duplicate.  The 8th grade group of Southern Pulaski completed a 3-Peat of the KBA State Tournaments, winning the 2011 KBA 6th Grade State, the 2012 KBA 7th Grade State, and the 2013 KBA 8th Grade State Championships. Amazingly enough, Hunter Cromer was named MVP of the KBA State Tournament for the third year in a row, winning the honor as a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade athlete.

This was no easy task for the Warriors.  The champion of this tournament had to win a 66 team single elimination tournament played in one weekend.  If that was not enough, the returning champions received every team’s best effort throughout the weekend in hopes that they could be the team that knocked off the defending champs.

Great Crowd for the Knox Co vs Southern Pulaski Game

Great Crowd for the Knox Co vs Southern Pulaski Game

In a game that was closer than the score indicated, Southern Pulaski beat Knox County in the final four matchup.  There were no empty seats at KBA Court 1, and spectators stood around the court to get a glimpse of a fierce rivalry game.  In the end, the Warriors pressure defense and transition offense gave them the edge as they beat Knox County 44-34.

On the other half of the bracket Lincoln County, led by sharpshooter Noah Young, beat a very athletic Moss Middle School team from Bowling Green 48-37.  It was a battle of contrasting styles as Lincoln County’s deliberate and solid execution won over Moss Middle’s smothering defense and up-teampo style.

2013 KBA 8th Grade State Champions - Southern Pulaski Warriors

2013 KBA 8th Grade State Champions – Southern Pulaski Warriors

The Southern Pulaski vs Lincoln County championship game was a great game.  Both teams had to dig deep for energy to play at the level neccessary to win the long tournament.  Coach Eric Ralston had his Patriots team ready, and after surviving Southern’s inital run, they took the lead going into halftime 26-24.  As the story has been the last several years, the Warriors made the big plays down the stretch and won the 2013 KBA 8th Grade State Championship 51-44 over a very tough Lincoln County team.  Congratulations the Coach Chris Fitzgerald and the Southern Pulaski Program!

The National Anthem Played Before The Championship Game

The National Anthem Played Before The Championship Game

Lincoln County - 2013 KBA 8th Grade State Runner Up

Lincoln County – 2013 KBA 8th Grade State Runner Up

Now for the awards:

Tournament MVP: Hunter Comer – Southern Pulaski *Won award as 6th, 7th, and 8th grader

Hunter Cromer - KBA 8th Grade State Tournament MVP

Hunter Cromer – KBA 8th Grade State Tournament MVP

All Tournament First Team:

Hunter Cromer – Southern Pulaski

Noah Young – Lincoln County

Tanner Wells – Knox County

Ziyan Milliken – Moss Middle

Jason Haddix – Wolfe County

Collin Miller – Casey County

John Davis – Lexington Christian

Santrel Farmer – Bardstown

Dante Hendrix – Ockerman

Clint Henegan – Hopkinsville

All Tournament Second Team:

Steven Fitzgerald – Southern Pulaski

John-Paul Garmon – Anderson County

Chris Vogt – Graves County

Brett Gibson – Clinton County

Jerryd Jones – McNabb

Braden Cheesman – Gray Middle

Landon Powell – Northern Pulaski

A.J. Moore – Corbin

Cole Bently – Belfry

Isaiah Okesson – West Jessamine

Cooper Watts – Scott County

Honorable Mention:

Torrell Carter – Whitesburg Middle

Floyd Fannin – Southern Pulaski

Kendrick Hamilton – Scott County

Davion Hughes – Old KY Home

Caleb Skaggs – Edmonson County

JJ Reed – Paducah Middle

Final State Rankings:

1. Southern Pulaski – Coach Chris Fitzgerald

2. Lincoln County – Coach Eric Ralston

3. Knox County – Coach Steve Warren

4. Moss Middle – Coach Jason Lemily

5. Bardstown – Coach Paul Bowling

6. Hopkinsville – Coach Carlos Wilson

7. West Jessamine – Coach Bobby Perry

8. Anderson County – Coach Ken Fenwick

9. Ockerman – Coach Nathan Browning

10. Gray – Coach Andrew Jones

11. Scott County – Coach Brian Hombirg

12. Belfry – Coach Brody Justice

13. Northern Pulaski – Coach Jason Foley

14. Casey County – Coach Matt Willoughby

15. Lexington Christian – Coach Zack Wooten

16. Graves County – Coach Mykel Tidwell

2013 KBA Boys 7th Grade State Tournament Recap

Southern Pulaski was back to defend their title as State Champions, but this year proved to be more challenging than last.  The Warriors took each team’s best shot and were still able to come out on top as the 7th Grade State Champions.

Southern Pulaski -2013 KBA 7th Grade State Tournament Champions

Southern Pulaski -2013 KBA 7th Grade State Tournament Champions

Meece Middle - 2013 KBA 7th Grade State Tournament Runners-Up

Meece Middle – 2013 KBA 7th Grade State Tournament Runners-Up

Southern Pulaski survived an on-fire Stetson Simpson’s 23 points to move past Wayne County in the Elite 8, followed by a win over a very tough and focused Knox County team in the Final 4.  On the other side of the bracket, Trae Harmon had an incredible tournament performance (19.8 PPG) to lead Meece over two strong teams in Elkhorn and Whitley County.  Southern Pulaski’s pressure forced key turnovers as the Warriors went on to defeat Meece 42-30 in a game that was closer than the score shows.

2013 Knox County Final 4 Team

2013 Knox County Final 4 Team

2013 Whitley County Final 4 Team

2013 Whitley County Final 4 Team

Tournament MVP: Steven Fitzgerald – Southern Pulaski

Steven Fitzgerald - MVPSteven Averaged 15 PPG To Lead The Warriors

Steven Fitzgerald – MVP
Steven Averaged 15 PPG To Lead The Warriors

All Tournament First Team:
Fitzgerald – Southern Pulaski *MVP

Butt – Southern Pulaski

Dykes – Southern Pulaski

Harmon – Meece (Lead The Tournament In Points Scored 19.8 PPG)

Simpson – Wayne County

Lewis – Elkhorn

Johnson – Whitley County

Wilson – Whitley County

Witherspoon – Bluegrass Middle

Holland – Knox County

Olsafka – Christian Academy – Louisville

All Tournament Second Team:

Sutton – Scott County

Harris – Jackson County

R. Jones – McCreary Co

Vinson – Oldham County

McCullough – Middlesboro

Rode – Lexington Christian

Thelan – Blessed Sacrament

E. Johnson – Paris

Minter – Clark Moore’s

Stucker – Shelby West

Carey – Edmonson Co

J. Mills – Graves Co

D. Collins – Johnson Co