By JOE CANNON
The brainchild of second-year East Hamilton girls basketball coach Hunter Gremore, the first Chick-fil-A East/West Classic will tip off this evening and run through Saturday.Bringing boys and girls …
The brainchild of second-year East Hamilton girls basketball coach Hunter Gremore, the first Chick-fil-A East/West Classic will tip off this evening and run through Saturday.
Bringing boys and girls teams from the Memphis area to face local squads, as well as both Oak Ridge units, the event will give hoops fans a chance to see some of the state's top teams battle it out.
After tonight and Friday’s action at East Hamilton, the attention will shift to Jim Smiddy Arena for a half dozen games Saturday.
“We are excited to be a part of the first East/West Classic, where us and East Hamilton will host some top teams from the Memphis area, as well as Oak Ridge,” remarked head coach Jason Reuter, whose Bradley girls are 6-0 on the young season.
“We are playing Houston, who was a (state) Final 4 team last year and has everybody back, including Jayla Hemmingway, who, along with Rhyne (Howard, the lone Bradley senior) was a Miss Tennessee finalist. They also have a pair of 6-foot-3 twins, who are D-I players.”
Houston (5-0) will actually tip off the varsity action at 6 this evening against Gremore's host Lady Hurricanes (10-0).
The Lady Cougars, who already own impressive wins over Blackman and Lebanon, will face Bradley at 6 Friday evening in Collegedale.
“This will be a good test for us to see where we stand and a good experience for our younger girls to face some quality competition,” commented Coach Reuter.
With Howard as the lone returning starter, the Bearettes are averaging just over 60 points a game this season, while giving up 32.8.
The Kentucky signee is netting 14.3 points per game, while clearing 6.3 rebounds, plus she has swiped 28 steals, handed out 14 assists and blocked three shots in the first half dozen games.
As a team, the pesky Bearette defense is copping 15.5 steals per outing while causing an average of 28 turnovers by their opponents.
“Houston will be our toughest test by far this season,” assessed Coach Reuter.
Bradley will also face Arlington (3-3), Gremore’s squad before he moved to East Hamilton a year and a half ago, Saturday at 6 p.m. on its home court.
“I don’t know much about Arlington, other than they are a traditionally strong program,” Coach Reuter related.
The Bradley fans will also get to see the Bears (2-3) in action, taking on Bolton (3-0) at 4:30 Friday afternoon and Oakhaven (1-1) Saturday at 7:30.
“I don’t know anything about either team, but I do know they’ve been in the state tournament in the not to distant past,” commented Black-and-Gold head coach Chuck Clark.
“It will be a good challenge for us. We’ll get better by playing them. I’m looking forward to it. The fans should see some great basketball.”
Although they have a District 5-AAA matchup in Soddy-Daisy Friday evening, the Cleveland High girls (3-5) are going to be able to get into the East/West action Saturday with a noon game against Bartlett (2-3).
The other games on tap for Smiddy Arena will see the Bolton and Oak Ridge boys (4-1) at 1:30, with the Houston and Oak Ridge girls (3-2), coached by former Bearette Paige (Redman) Greene, at 3.
The Fayette-Ware and East Hamilton boys will tip off at 4:30 Saturday afternoon.
Friday’s slate has the host East Hamilton squads starting the day off at noon, with the girls taking on Bartlett and the boys to follow against Oakhaven.
The Arlington and Oak Ridge girls will tangle at 3, followed by the Bradley games, before Coach Aaron Greene’s Wildcats take on Fayette-Ware in the nightcap at 7:30.
If all goes as planned, the local teams will head West for a similar event in the Memphis area next December.
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