By Maurice Patton
Richland’s Jesse Jennings and Summit’s Delaney Noe have been selected to participate in the Basketball Coaches Association of Tennessee’s All-Star Games, set for Saturday at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro.
The two guards have been named to the ‘Middle South’ team, which will be coached by Summit’s John Wild along with Upperman’s Dana McWilliams.
“It’s a humbling experience to be thought of in that capacity,” Wild said. “To be a part of an organization like BCAT and to be able to coach kids of this caliber, it’s going to be fun and something I look forward to, and working alongside someone I really respect. Dana’s done a lot for basketball over the last 20 years in the Upper Cumberland area.”
Jennings, a recent Alabama-Huntsville commit, finished her five-year Lady Raider career with 2,345 points and led the SM-Tn Sports coverage area this season in scoring (23.6 ppg). Noe averaged a team-high 13 points per game this season for the Lady Spartans with 54 3-pointers; she is set to sign with Berry College in Rome, Ga.
“They’re all really good players or they wouldn’t have been selected,” Wild said. “I’ve coached against a lot of them, seen a lot of them either as a spectator or on Hudl. It’ll be really unique in I’ll be looking for ways to help Amelia (Osgood, from Brentwood) score the ball instead of trying to stop her.
“I think finding ways to help her will be easier than finding ways to stop her.”
Also on the Middle South roster is Fayetteville forward Zanaria Robinson, who signed with Arkansas-Little Rock during the November recruiting period. Coffee County forward Bella Vinson, a Lipscomb signee, will play for the Middle North squad that will be coached by White County’s Michael Dodgen and the Lady Raiders’ Joe Pat Cope.
Games will take place in the main gym and auxillary gym at Blackman with girls semifinal contests (West vs. Middle North; Middle South vs. East) at 11:15 a.m., boys semifinals (East vs. Memphis, Middle vs. West) at 12:30 p.m., girls finals and consolations at 2 p.m. and boys finals and consolations at 3:30 p.m.
“We started doing that four or five years ago, just to get more kids involved,” BCAT executive director Bruce Slatten said regarding the expanded schedule. “We had a few of the colleges, junior colleges and NAIAs, ask ‘why don’t you bring in more kids?’ I’ve already had two or three schools tell me they’re coming over Saturday.
“That was the biggest thing, to get more involvement. The other part (was), we found out the cost for two more teams was not that much more than what we were already doing. Four teams in boys and girls will help our crowd a little bit, give kids from Knoxville and Memphis a little more incentive to come and play two games instead of one. We were having such a hard time getting kids to commit to play. It’s helped with that.”
Of the 42 girls set to participate, 28 have signed or committed to sign collegiate scholarships – 19 at the NCAA Division I level. On the boys side, 13 of 50 are signed or have committed, two to DI schools.
The games will be open to the general public. Admission is $10 and Rutherford County Schools guidelines for COVID-19 will be observed; social distancing is required, temperature checks will be conducted, masks are required for entry and all non-participants will be expected to wear them.
West Tennessee – Kaia Barnett, Hutchison; Maxine Engle, Hutchison; Anandi Farrell-Rousseau, Collierville; Felia Fayne, Covington; Skylar Gill, Hardin Co. (North Alabama); Briana Hall, Tipton-Rosemark; Jordan Hall, Tipton-Rosemark; Carmyn Harrison, Hutchison (Georgia Tech); Kalynn Howard, Covington; Brooklyn King, Dyer Co.; Miaya Reed, Munford; Daniyasia Robinson, Covington. Coaches – Ron Burnham, Hardin Co.; Thomas Jones, Hutchison
Middle South – Tori Brooks, Upperman; Lashae Dwyer, Webb-Bell Buckle (Miami, Fla.); Reagan Hurst, Upperman (Tennessee Tech); Jesse Jennings, Richland (Ala.-Huntsville); Jaila Lee, Brentwood Acad. (St. Francis); Iyana Moore, Blackman (Vanderbilt); Delaney Noe, Summit (Berry); Amelia Osgood, Brentwood (Princeton); Victoria Page, Blackman (Dartmouth); Zanaria Robinson, Fayetteville (Ark.-Little Rock); Zhordan Shannon, Stewarts Creek (Alabama A&M). Coaches – John Wild, Summit; Dana McWilliams, Upperman
East Tennessee – Mattie Buck, Stone Memorial*; Denae Fritz, Maryville (Iowa State); Jordaynia Ivie, Lakeview Chr. (UNC-Asheville); Tessa Miller, Stone Memorial (Belmont); Campbell Penland, Northview Acad. (Carson-Newman); Maci Pitner, Seymour (Bryan); Tori Rutherford, Grainger (Carson-Newman); Aliyah Vananda, Maryville (East Tennessee State); Maggie Vick, Lakeway Chr. (Iowa State). Coaches – Mike Buck, Stone Memorial; Scott West, Maryville
Middle North – Gracie Dodgen, White Co. (Middle Tennessee State); Jalynn Gregory, Macon Co. (Middle Tennessee State); Haylee Johnson, York Inst. (Lee); Anna Mohonen, Bradley Central (Lee); Kailie Monday, Clarkrange (Univ. of the Cumberlands); Kassie Monday, Clarkrange (Univ. of the Cumberlands); Jeremia Montgomery, Gallatin (Christian Brothers); Addie Grace Porter, Lebanon; Sydnee Richetto, Green Hill (Wofford); Bella Vinson, Coffee Co. (Lipscomb). Coaches – Michael Dodgen, White Co.; Joe Pat Cope, Coffee Co.
Memphis – Davon Barnes, Collierville; Luke Bridges, Bartlett (Lyon); Eli Federman, Christian Brothers; Will Farris, Bartlett; Tadarius Jacobs, Bartlett; Isaiah Jones, Arlington; Kam Jones, Bartlett; Jordan Jenkins, Collierville; Harrison Kelly, Christian Brothers; Reese McMullen, Christian Brothers (Penn). Coaches – Bubba Luckett, Christian Brothers; Brad Luckett, Christian Brothers
West Tennessee – Jailen Anderson, Jackson South Side; Christian Ballard, Madison Academic; Clydrell Foster, Halls; Kewan Hubbard, Dyersburg; Semaj King, Henry Co.; Jequan Lax, Bolivar; Brandon Macklin, Jackson South Side; Ben McMillan, Union City; Walter Peggs, Madison Academic; Toris Woods, Bolivar. Coach – Damon Fuller, Jackson South Side
Middle Tennessee – Riggs Abner, Green Hill; Raymon Adams, Lipscomb Acad.; Isaiah Farrior, Northeast; Reed Kemp, Franklin (Missouri Western); J.P. Pegues, Hillsboro; Kaleb Powell, Beech; Mathew Schneider, Siegel (Missouri Western); Grant Slatten, White Co.* (Ole Miss); P.J. Smith, Goodpasture (Lee); Dee Spates, Warren Co.; Sam Specht, Pope John Paul II; Donte Stringer, Blackman; Zion Swader, Siegel (Missouri Western); Miles Versa, Montgomery Bell Acad. (Kenyon); John Windley, Brentwood (Johns Hopkins); Braden Zapp, Christ Presbyterian Acad. (Trevecca). Coaches – Troy Allen, Green Hill; Jeremy Moore, Centennial
East Tennessee – Jack Brown, Maryville; Riley Cooper, York Inst.; Colin Gore, Upperman (Bryan); Grant Hurst, Cleveland; Jackson Kuberka, Sequoyah; Marcus Long, East Hamilton; Kley McGowan, Cleveland; Jeremy Miller, Oak Ridge; Greg Moore, Knoxville Central; Harper Neal, Kingston; Darwin Randolph II, East Hamilton; Tony Sapp, South-Doyle; Matthew Sells, Livingston Acad. (Lincoln Memorial); Johnathan Zhao, Sevier Co. (Carson-Newman). Coaches – Mark Eldridge, Maryville; Gary Barnes, Powell