Posted On: 07/5/18 5:21 PM

With many of Hamilton’s players graduating, it opens the door for two teams in particular to make a run at state. Last season, everyone had Hamilton as the best team in AA with Raleigh-Egypt behind them, but Mitchell shattered the Pharaoh’s dreams early in the district tournament. Now, the Pharaohs and Tigers are early season favorites to make a run at state from the Memphis area.

The fast and up-tempo Pharaohs will be lead by Roger McFarlane (2020) and Deovaunta Williams (2019). During the Memphis team camp, McFarlane had to play out of position due to Jadakiss Williams graduating this past school season. At 6’4, he has a strong frame to battle down low, and on the upside, with him grabbing rebounds, a fast-break will happen immediately. Also, McFarlane showcased a nice low-post game on the block. To add to this, he will be able to stretch bigger and slower defenders out to the 3-point line to utilize his first-step to blow pass them. As the shooting guard, Williams looks to score the ball; to be more specific, he is looking to attack the basket and apply pressure on defenders. Traditionally, Williams is a point guard, but Coach Maurice Miller allows him to display his scoring ability. Also, Williams takes pride in his defense and really gets after the opposing team’s guards. All in all, the Pharaohs are eager and confident that this is their year to make it to state.

Unfortunately, the Mitchell Tiger’s six year tradition of making it to the state tournament ended this past season, but they will definitely have another opportunity to renew the tradition this upcoming season. The Tigers return their twin backcourt of Mikell and Michael Rice (2019). At 6’1, the Rice twins play off of each other very well with both swapping from either PG or SG. During the Memphis team camp, Michael shot the ball effectively from the 3-point point line, while Mikell displayed some nice passes to his teammates and brother. On the defensive end, these two use their twin telepathy to trap guards and get steals. Seriously, if one sees the other brother giving the ball handler trouble, then a trap will ensue which will lead to steal. Due to Grad Academy closing, Mitchell received some key transfers that will help with depth in the front court  and backcourt. Just like the Pharaohs, the Tigers are expecting a big season with a gold ball in mind.

Hopefully, the two teams show their full potential and meet all expectations. Also, it may be some animosity between the two since the Tigers knocked off the Pharaohs. So, it is safe to say some highly competitive district games will happen this season.