Chargers secure first-place honors in Caesars showcase

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR Correspondent

   The finals for the 8-9 year old boys in the Little Caesars Tournament at the Elizabethton Boys/Girls Club came to an end on Saturday, as the Colonial Heights Chargers took the first-place honors with a 53-22 victory over the Johnson City Junior Toppers.
   "We are a very balanced team. We do not have really one star that goes out and scores all the points," said Colonial Heights coach Chris Pickwell.
   The Chargers came out in the first quarter with an aggressive press, which enabled them to jump out to a 12-2 lead after the first two minutes of play.
   It was Jordan Ison and Ty Garvin who led the way for Colonial Heights, pouring in 11 of the Chargers' 21 first-quarter points.
   The Jr. Toppers seemed to have trouble handling the Charger press, as numerous turnovers plagued Johnson City's offense.
   A bucket from Alden Collins and Kyle Walsh was all the 'Topper offense could muster in the first period of play.
   Colonial Heights continued with the pressure throughout the second quarter, as steals and fast breaks were plentiful for the Charger squad.
   When the shots didn't fall, the Chargers were still able to connect by hitting the boards and making the put backs.
   "When we put this team together, we just didn't go out and get guards get guards," said Pickwell. "We got some centers and forwards for they will help you on rebounding."
   The 'Toppers were held to only one point in the second period off a free-throw from Walsh, as Colonial Heights had built a 36-5 lead by halftime.
   In the second half, Colonial Heights backed off the pressure, which allowed the 'Toppers to get the ball down court.
   Being outmatched with speed and size, the Toppers weren't able to take advantage and make a run that was desperately needed.
   "They were clearly bigger and older than we were, but the best team definitely won," said Jr. 'Topper coach Warren White.
   The Chargers were still in control by the end of the third quarter with a 45-10 advantage.
   In the final quarter of action, the 'Toppers were able to keep pace with the Chargers by outscoring them 12-8.
   This was not nearly enough, even though the 'Toppers were still competing and giving an effort in an attempt to make a respectable stand.
   "We were not as scrappy in this game as we was in the prior one. I believe we were just worn out," said White.
   The leading scorer for Colonial Heights was Garvin, who finished with 11 points while Jordan Hicks added 10.
   The 'Toppers were led by Davin White with eight points, and Collins finished with seven.
   The tournaments MVP was handed to the entire Charger team on a well-deserved performance.
   10-11 Year Old Boys
   In the 10-11 year old age bracket, it was the Johnson County All-Stars narrowly edging the Elizabethton Hawks in a 37-35 final.
   The Longhorns built a 19-9 advantage at the half, and they seemed to be well on their way to an easy victory.
   But the Hawks were not ready to lay down just yet, as they trailed by eight points heading into the final quarter.
   A late fourth-quarter rally by the Hawks brought them back within two in the final minute of action, but the Longhorns managed to hold on securing a two-point win.
   Austin Paisley led the Longhorns with nine points, while Austin Phipps added 7.
   Jullian Smith was top scorer for the Hawks with 15 points, with eight of those coming in the final period.
   In other action, the Bluff City Pistons were simply just too much for Avery County to contend with as they cruised to a 45-19 victory.
   The Pistons jumped out to a 9-0 lead during the first quarter before the Panthers got themselves on the scoreboard.
   Trailing by only five points after the first period, Bluff City opened up to a 27-8 lead by the half.
   With Cody Harrington controlling the boards on the inside, the Pistons continued their dominance throughout the second half.
   Harrington led all scores with 16 points, while Willie Nichols added eight.
   Sampson Jennings was top scorer for Avery County, finishing with six points, and Dalton Young ended up with five.