Boyz 2 Men nips All State

from staff reports

   The 17th Annual Little Caesar's Classic basketball tournament championship games, held at the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County, were generally competitive, and in certain cases, downright thrilling.
   Thrilling is certainly a good way to describe the 19-and-under boys final, in which Johnson City's Boyz 2 Men squad held off Danny Akers All State by a 70-68 score.
   In a contest that featured multiple lead changes, Akers' club was trailing by three when Thomas Guess tried to tie things up with eight seconds to play. His 3-point attempt, however, would rim out, enabling Boyz 2 Men to seize the victory.
   Boyz was led in scoring by Joseph Washington, who tallied 19, while Rusty Holtsclaw paced the All State team with 15.
   The 15-and-under championship saw Alex Ingram lead Hampton's Blue Devils to a 58-48 victory over Fine Cuts.
   Ingram, proving basically unguardable, pumped in a game-high 18 points for the David Ellis-coached Devils, adding nine rebounds and topping his team in assists along the way.
   Fine Cuts was within four points in the final two minutes of action, but got no closer as Ingram sank 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch.
   Derrick Nave tallied 13 points for the runner-up squad, which was coached by Penny Nave.
   Boys 11-13 play was divided into two divisions. In one of the divisions, coach Arnold Thomas' Boys & Girls Club Kings took the title by upending the Elizabethton Wildcats by a 58-38 score.
   The Kings were clinging to a two-point edge at the half, but stumped the Wildcats when Thomas applied a second-half press, which enabled his team to pull away for a 15-point lead.
   Julian Smith of the Kings led all scorers with 24 points, and Brent Thomas was high man for Daniel Russell's Wildcats with 18.
   In the other 11-13 division, the Cyclones were uncontested in the championship contest, due to the fact they posted an undefeated record.
   Showing the way for Coach Len Dugger's title-winning 'Clones were Julian Smith, Kendall Wash, Skylar Dugger, J.T. Lyons, Vic Deloach, Deion Pickett and Bradley McVey.
   In girls' championship action, Cloudland's Lady Highlanders bumped off Bristol E.T. Pride 45-35 to capture the 15-and-under crown.
   Heather Banner was too tough to stop for Cloudland as she pitched in 16 points. A good fast-break team, Bristol was forced to take too many jumpers by Coach Stachia Johnson's Lady 'Lander outfit.
   The 13-and-under girls final certainly ended on a dramatic note, with a last-second layup by Autumn Hughes lifting Happy Valley's Lady Warriors to a 41-39 conquest of Bristol E.T. Pride.
   This was a back-and-forth battle as neither club led by more than four points. Leading the Lady Warriors, who were coached by Jason Deaton and Brookyn Hughes, was Courtney Byers with 12 points.
   The girls 11-and-under championship saw Cloudland ride a 16-point performance by Kristen Powell to defeat Johnson County's Lady Thunder in a 30-21 outcome.
   Mandy Hill had six points for the Lady Thunder, who were coached by Scott Borum and Debbie Morefield. Rick Birchfield served as coach for Cloudland.