(Franklin, GA) – The West Georgia Takeover travel basketball team, in conjunction with The Dreams Bigger Than Us Foundation, hosted the first ever West Georgia area middle school all-star basketball tournament at Heard High School Saturday night.
The inaugural tournament featured some of the top middle school talent in the West Georgia region with over 80 players competing from 19 different middle schools spread across Heard, Troup, Carroll, Coweta, Haralson, and Meriwether counties.
The gym was packed out for the four total games including a seventh grade girls and boys game as well as an eighth grade girls and boys game. Teams were divided into East and West teams depending on the location of their schools.
Heard County athletes competed on the West teams which won three of the four games.
Tim Green, II of Bay Springs Middle School was named the MVP of the seventh grade game after his West squad upended the East team 48-47 in the last seconds of the game.
Green, a 12-year-old seventh grader, scored 23 on the night including the game winning shot with under ten seconds to play. Green should only be in the sixth grade but was moved up to seventh grade because of strong academics,. He already stands at a remarkable 6-feet and 3-inches tall.
Heard County players on the West team included Jaden Moreland, Kendez Goode, and Connor Nutt. Johnile Hill of Manchester led the way for the East team with 11 points.
In the seventh grade girls game, Alexis Boykin of Haralson County was named as the MVP in the West’s 48-33 win. Boykin scored 11 points and also played very well defensively. Other top scorers for the West were Averi Schrews of Bremen with 12 and Tori Causey also from Haralson with 14, including two 3-pointers.
Brittany Davis from Manchester dominated for the East team with 20 points including three 3-point shots. Seventh grade Heard players for the West were Alexis Nelms and Sage Kelley.
The East dominated the eighth grade boys game winning big 70-53. Gardner Newman’s Laparion Perry was awarded the MVP trophy for the East, knocking down 11 points. Perry is making quite a name for himself as he was also named the MVP of the Thanksgiving Tournament held at HCMS last November.
Drey Parks of Evans Middle School and Kennon Gray of Gardner-Newman each scored 12 for the East. Christian Corne of Mt. Zion led the West with 10 points. Austin Miller and Christian Murray represented Heard Middle.
The 8th grade girl’s game was another barn-burner with the West just edging the East 58-57. Zana Montgomery of Bowdon collected MVP honors with 13 points.
A strong presence was felt by the four Heard County players in the game: Hannah Stephens, Hannah Sanders, Alyssa Cosper, and Kimberly Harris. Erial Daniel had a big game with 17 points.
For the East team, Taza Garrett Hammett scored 31, the most points on the day by any player. Hammett represented Lagrange Academy.
It was a fun night at the Heard High Gym thanks to the event DJ, Darrell Felix, who played lots of game music and introduced the starting line-ups giving the game a real basketball atmosphere.
The organizers of the event, Cedric Emory, Joe Nutt, and Angie Nutt, were very pleased with the night. “We were so excited by the turnout for our first tournament. We are looking forward to hosting it again next year. We would like to extend a special thanks to Coach Phillip Manning and everyone at Heard High School for supporting our tournament,” said the Nutts.
They also wanted to send special thanks to the volunteer coaches for the tournament which were Jennifer Burden, Carlos Ackles, Barry Williams, Vacher Hammett, Anita Reddish, Whitley Wiltz, and Monica James.
Trina Emory spoke in appreciation of Angie Nutt’s contributions. “Angie worked tirelessly at organizing this night. She was the catalyst for all that happened here tonight and as a basketball community we are thankful for her efforts,” stated Emory.