Strong Field Set For Two-Day Scenic City Showcase At East Hamilton

Weather-Delayed Hoops Event Draws Talented Out-Of-Town Contingent

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

There is a national flavor to the first Scenic City Showcase basketball event that starts Friday at East Hamilton High School.

The Showcase was scheduled to open Thursday, but inclement weather closed schools and forced event directors to delay games until Friday. (See revised schedule below).

The Rock, a private Christian school in Gainesville, Fla., was nationally ranked by USA Today earlier this season and recently participated in the Mike Miller Classic in Mitchell, S.D., losing two of three games, including one to top-ranked Sioux Falls Roosevelt, 76-72.

Also included in the out-of-town contingent are prep powers Faith Baptist Christian Academy (21-3), the sixth-ranked team in Georgia, and Central Park Baptist, the 16th-ranked team in Florida. Central Park was also ranked in the early season USA Today poll.

Host East Hamilton, Hamilton Heights, McCallie and Cleveland also are included in the round-robin event.

Boys and girls teams will compete in simultaneous games in East Hamilton’s middle school and high school gyms.

“This is a great opportunity for our local teams to play against top-tier programs,” East Hamilton coach Michael Stone said Wednesday. “A couple of the teams coming in here have been nationally ranked and are still ranked in their own state.”

The Rock features 7-foot center Joel Embiid, a native of Cameroon and a recent University of Kansas signee. He is joined by eight other Division I prospects with offers from schools like Florida, Massachusetts, Auburn, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, among others.

Central Park, out of Birmingham, Ala., is coming off its 11th National Association of Christian Athletics.

In its most recent game, Faith Baptist, located in Ludowici, Ga., defeated Varsity Opponent, 105-84. The team is led by J.J. Frazier, who has signed with Georgia.

The Central Park girls pulled out of the Showcase and were replaced by South Carolina-ALI, East Hamilton girls coach Derek Morris said.

Morris is one of three Showcase directors, along with Stone and Stone’s father, Duke, headmaster at Hamilton Heights. Michael Stone played at Hamilton Heights and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2001. He also was a three-time Academic All-American at Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn.

James Stone, Duke's older brother, is an assistant to coach Bill Eller at Hamilton Heights.

“I really don’t know anything about (S.C.-ALI),” Morris wrote in an e-mail. “I looked online but couldn’t find anything. I guess I will find out Friday when we play them.”

Still, Morris recognizes the positives of playing good competition over a three-day period in the overall big picture of a long basketball season.

“Playing games three nights in a row against teams we don’t know that much about is good practice for playoffs next month,” he said. “We are really excited about this opportunity. Our girls have been talking about this for a couple of weeks and you can feel the energy and buss this showcase has created amongst our team.”

The Elder Stone’s connections from a long coaching career, including those cultivated during a stint in Central Florida in the 1990s, helped get the idea of East Hamilton hosting a showcase event.

“Hamilton Heights’ girls have started traveling around the southeast and playing some of the better teams, and their boys are trying to make that leap more onto the national level,” Michael Stone said. “And we don’t host a district or region tournament this year and believe we have a great facility to host tournaments and believe we’re a natural fit for the Showcase.

“We wanted to bring this caliber of teams into Chattanooga. We wanted our teams want to play our brand of basketball and use it as a gauge to see where we stand on this level.”

Showcase officials started scheduling teams late last month, all the while working hard to line up the finances for putting on the now two-day event. While teams were lined up, area businesses stepped up with support, especially the Greater Chattanooga Sports and Events Committee.

“We felt confident about doing this and decided to take the plunge and things have worked out pretty well,” Stone said.

Well, as it turned out there was one concern – bad wintry weather.

Rain, which has caused flooding in the Chattanooga area, began mixing with snow on Thursday afternoon and evening as temperatures were to fall into the 30s, with winds between 15 and 20 mph. There was little or no accumulation in the area.

Drier, sunnier conditions are in the weekend forecast.

The revised schedule:

Scenic City Showcase

 

At East Hamilton High School

 

Friday

 

3:30 p.m.

 

Lancaster Christian girls vs. SC-ALI, MSG

 

Lancaster Christian boys vs. Faith Baptist, HSG

 

5 p.m.

 

Hamilton Heights girls vs. The Rock, MSG

 

Cleveland boys vs. Central Park, HSG

 

6:30 p.m.

 

Cleveland girls vs. Central Park, MSG

 

Hamilton Heights boys vs. The Rock, HSG

 

8 p.m.

 

East Hamilton girls vs. SC-ALI, MSG

 

East Hamilton boys vs. Faith Baptist, HSG

 

Saturday, Jan. 19

 

2 p.m.

 

East Hamilton girls vs. The Rock, MSG

 

Hamilton Heights boys vs. Central Park, HSG

 

3:30 p.m.

 

Hamilton Heights girls vs. Central Park, MSG

 

East Hamilton boys vs. The Rock, HSG

 

5 p.m.

 

GPS girls vs. The Rock, MSG

 

Hamilton Heights boys vs. Faith Baptist, HSG

 

6:30 p.m.

 

East Hamilton girls vs. Central Park, MSG

 

McCallie boys vs. The Rock, HSG

 

8 p.m.

 

Hamilton Heights girls vs. SC-ALI, MSG

 

East Hamilton boys vs. Central Park, HSG

 

Legend: MSG – Middle School Gym; HSG – High School Gym

 

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)

 


 

 

 

 


Brave Beat Mets Friday, 6-0.

NEW YORK -- Only a high pitch count prevented Aaron Harang from bidding for history on Friday night at Citi Field. But after he'd delivered seven hitless innings, the Braves preserved his gem with a late-inning eruption that allowed them to cruise to a 6-0 win over the Mets. David Wright's two-out single in the eighth inning ended the Braves' bid to notch the first combined ... (click for more)

Jacksonville Shuts Out Lookouts, 6-0.

The Chattanooga Lookouts could not overcome an early four-run deficit and ended up dropping the final game of the team's five game series against the Jacksonville Suns, 6-0, in front of 4,685 fans at AT&T Field on Star Wars Night.      With one out in the first inning the Suns loaded the bases and scored first on a RBI single by Alfredo Silverio.  The ... (click for more)

Bus Driver Will Not Face Charges In Tragic Bus Accident

Sergeant Tommy Sturdivan announced in a Friday afternoon press conference that the investigation into the death of six-year-old Zackery Bryant at Chattanooga Valley Elementary has been officially declared complete and that there will be no criminal charges. Zackery died tragically on Monday morning after being hit by a school bus after stepping off. According to Sgt. Sturdivan, ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy May Begin Effort To Allow Wine In Grocery Stores; Concussion Forms Required For Sporting Events; WWTA Chided For Causing Potholes

The Soddy Daisy Commission is considering taking steps to allow wine in grocery stores now that Tennessee lawmakers have voted to lift restrictions. To have the law appear on the next ballot for a vote, Mayor Janice Cagle said a petition with an amount of signatures totaling 10 percent of the number of voters in the last general election will have to be collected. Commissioner ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Nudge By Angel Kilbride

Way above us, high in the heavens, a handsome angel everybody calls Ben yelled to Saint Peter on Thursday and told him, “Better send me a couple of rubies and maybe an amethyst … Dad’s crown just got bigger.” To you such a scenario may sound silly and foolish but Bill Kilbride, a dynamic genius who has just been named as president-elect of Chattanooga’s Chamber of Commerce, knows ... (click for more)