Posted On: 02/19/18 11:42 PM
A moderately tight second quarter ballooned into a 41-26 game at the half. Playing without their Head Coach Carlton Battle (suspended) and Dylan Wade (suspended) the turmoil-ridden Cobras of Whites Creek competed through much of the second quarter. But when the wheels fell off, the car crash got ugly.
At one point East Nashville lead by 25 points midway through the fourth quarter.
The hosting Eagles won 74-55 with four players in double figures. Two Eagles just missed 10 points and seven players pulled down 4+ rebounds.
For Whites Creek Dennis Stallings Jr. lead the team with 13 points, nine rebounds, and four steals.
On to The Best….
MVP: Monte Catlett (East Nashville)
East Nashville won because they broke the press pretty well. More importantly, the Eagles crashed the glass with a fury. Monte Catlett wrangled our offensive rebounds by himself. Catlett’s 12 points mostly came during the highly competitive second quarter. For East Nashville to advance to state they need the sharp shooting touch and relentless rebounding of Catlett every game.
Best offensive performance: Gene Holmes (East Nashville)
At this point Holmes’ big games are commonplace. He hits outside shots with ease. When he embarks into the lane he can finish. Most of his points come from transition buckets or three-pointers. Holmes is a cutthroat attacker that plays well at high speeds.
Best defensive performance: Dennis Stallings Jr. (Whites Creek)
Unsigned lead guard Dennis Stallings Jr. finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, and four steals. He was very quick with his feet and very quick with his hands. Stallings Jr. prevented a couple post feeds with his positioning. Wild passes are rare for East Nashville, but Stallings Jr. did intercept one during the fullcourt pressure.
Best coaching decision: East Nashville HC Jim Fey game prep
After the win, Monte Catlett mentioned that Head Coach Jim Fey and the team worked on a new pressbreak formation for the game. Whites Creek actually runs a rather disruptive fullcourt press. It can be pretty challenging. While it did cause four turnovers on Gene Holmes, the alertness of
Best intangibles: Unselfishness
Only once did East Nashville over-dribble. You can tell they have played together for years, as the Eagles consciously unload passes at first sight. Unlike less successful teams East Nashville snaps the basketball around without ego. Clearly winning is more important than individual shine. It is truly a team.
Best aspect of the environment: Rival bball players
Competitors from Hunters Lane and Stratford came to watch East Nashville battle Whites Creek. Also, there were many basketball-wise men and women in the building. It felt like Nashville basketball should feel. Fans of the game, not just of the two teams showed up to evaluate and appreciate the talent Nashville has to offer.
Best play: Justin Williams rebound
A play that typified the toughness of East Nashville was an offensive rebound from Justin Williams. He leaped to collect the basketball. The opponent completely wrapped him up, but Williams held on and opened up the break with an outlet pass. All of East Nashville’s speed means nothing without the initial defensive rebound. Every opponent needs to address Justin Williams’ rebounding to compete with ENHS.
Best under-the-radar performance: Michael Dowlen (East Nashville)
Gene Holmes and Jayden Lockett scored just eight combined points in the first half. The team got to 41 together. Cerdit substitute Michael Dowlen with nine stellar minutes. He played one-third of the time of the starters, but recorded 9 points and four rebounds. He made every shot he took from the floor and the free throw line.
Best underclassmen: Chad Haywood (Whites Creek)
2020 G Chad Haywood (Whites Creek) has amazing court vision, toughness, handles. Can't shoot mid to deep range yet. Keep an eye on him in coming years. Great passer. 34-26 @EastNashvilleBB leads. Winner gets 3rd place in 10AA.
— PrepHoopsTennessee (@PrepHoopsTN) February 20, 2018
Check out the postgame interview with Monte Catlett.