Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2013 Martin Luther King (MLK) Tournament Report

By Patosha Jeffery

I saw some awesome basketball and talent during the 2013 MLK tournament.

The most exciting High School Division game for me was the White Station - Overton match up. That game is a prime example that "it's not over, until there is no time left on the clock". White Station came out clicking on all cylinders. Their transition game is so much fun to watch and that's what got them an early lead. You would have thought the game was going to be a blow out.

Yet when you have a player with the kind of heart that Overton senior Phelicia Atkins has, you know your team has a chance. Iona will be getting one heck of a player next fall. She simply would not quit and would not let her team quit. She kept playing and kept getting her teammates the ball. And she kept shooting. There was a period when her threes would not fall for her. But she kept shooting and they eventually went in.

Another player that plays with high energy is Overton sophomore Kyler Green. I'm going to call her "the clean up woman". She does her damage in the post getting on the boards and getting lose balls. She simply works hard for everything. That's something you can not teach. It's all desire and effort.

I had the opportunity to catch the Middle School Division final four games.  While watching the Havenview-Kate Bond game, one of the players threw a one handed pass from almost half court to her teammate near the opposite block for a layup. That was my introduction to Kate Bond's Taylor Lattimore.

She is one heck of a point guard. She is so intense while she plays. You very rarely see her smile.  She is a distributor first. She can get to the basket with ease in a half court setup. And loves to shoot the 3. I can't wait to see how her game develops when she enters high school.

Snowden is lead by 8th grade guards Johne Stewart and Jireh Washington and 7th grade guards Brianna Cooks and Kynadi Kuykendall. These young ladies are straight ballers. They play hard. They are active and aggressive. They can penetrate and they can shoot the long ball. What happens when you add 5'7ish, 8th grader Jasmine Carson (Cordova transfer) to the squad? You add height, length, more aggressiveness, more ball handling and more outside shooting to an already dangerous Snowden team.

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