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)

 


 

 

 

 


Willerson, Georgia Northwestern Ready For 2014 Golf Season

Most second-year college golf programs are too busy laying a foundation to concern themselves too much with results. Jared Willerson isn’t thinking that way. In fact, the head coach of the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats is thinking in complete opposite terms when he talks about his team’s goals for the 2014-2015 season. “I don’t think I’m being unrealistic ... (click for more)

Georgia Northwestern Splits Volleyball Tri-Match At Crown College

Head Coach Carrie Powell and the Georgia Northwestern Lady Bobcats volleyball team traveled to Powell, Tenn. on Saturday for a season-opening tri-match against Alice Lloyd College and host Crown College. The Navy-and-White lost their first match of the day to the home team in heartbreaking fashion, three games to one. GNTC claimed a 25-22 victory in the first set and had their ... (click for more)

Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of Boy, 3; Child Had Numerous Injuries After Left With Boyfriend; Mother Was In Workhouse

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Police said Dakota James Arndt had numerous injuries over his body. Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother, Brianna Kwekel, who was in the Workhouse at the time. Ms. Kwekel was serving 48 ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Insurance Burden Should Not Fall On The Teachers

I have attended several Hamilton County School Board meetings over the past few months, including the recent special called meeting" to vote on teacher insurance changes. First, let me say I am very impressed with Superintendent Rick Smith and his staff at the Central Office.  Mr. Smith is a very dedicated public servant, working hard to provide services to our community ... (click for more)