Last night, Fans Favorite Fan was able to get it’s first taste of High School basketball at the 2015 Chick-Fil-A Invitational Tournament held at Tucker High School in Tucker, Georgia. To see top prospects play, FANS screaming all over the gymnasium to the concession stands (and BATHROOMS LOL) and to have a good time with my sons is how I would describe the atmosphere at the tournament.
We would like to note that Meridian High School beat Cedar Grove 65-34 and my oldest son Sean made sure to get a picture of the basketball team from Mississippi.The two games we watched were semifinal games where the winners would meet each other in the Championship.
CFA Tournament Semifinal Games:
Tucker 70, North Clayton 61
This game was intense. I didn’t think that this matchup would be as good as it was based on the flow of the first half. Tucker Tigers dominated the first half and North Clayton Eagles went into halftime to prepare their second half comeback. At the half, the Tigers were leading the Eagles 33-22. I was immediately impressed with Tucker’s #5 Kenton Eskridge and the way he lead Tucker majority of the game. REMEMBER HIS NAME!
North Clayton’s #34 Ahsan Asadullah is a big man in the paint who helped tie the game and helped lead his team most of the second half. North Clayton finally took the lead with five minutes left in the 4th quarter and that’s when the rollercoaster ride for all of the fans watching began. If Tucker’s Kenton Eskridge wasn’t scoring then North Clayton’s Ahsan Asadullah was. North Clayton’s #2 Kindle Vildor was able to rattle Tucker’s Kenton Eskridge to the point that a traveling violation was called and the momentum shifted towards North Clayton. North Clayton scored on the next drive and then Tucker’s Kenton Eskridge hit a three pointer to send the game into overtime. The score really does not reflect how hard fought this game was and we enjoyed every overtime & minute of it!
Miller Grove 60, Lithonia 47
The “Battle of Covington Highway” is what FANS called this game. You can get to both schools off of Covington Highway and they’re true rivals. This game was not as competitive as I thought it would be, but after sitting through a double overtime game what else did I expect. Lithonia Bulldogs came out blazing as #0 Jacara Cross showed his size and strength in the first few minutes of the game. Miller Grove Wolverines just needed some time to warm up and they began to play tough. MENTALLY, Miller Grove had the edge as #4 Raylon Richardson was able to get into Lithonia’s Jacara Cross’s head. The Wolverines went into halftime leading 31-21 agains the Bulldogs. The second half is where most of the trash-talking and drama began.
Now I am not a basketball coach, BUT when Lithonia’s Jacara Cross received his first Technical Foul he should’ve been benched. Right after he was allowed to continue to play, Cross was called for a traveling violation and you could tell he was frustrated. I didn’t understand how someone 6ft 6in tall and 220 pounds could let someone smaller than him upset his mental & physical game. Around 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter, a double Technical Foul was called on Miller Grove’s #4 Raylon Richardson AND Lithonia’s #0 Jacara Cross. SERIOUSLY, I was ticked off! To see these two players get so caught up in the hype and trash talking that was happening most of the game was insane to me. Cross was ejected from the game and it was over for the Bulldogs. Miller Grove mentally stayed in the game and WON the “Battle of Covington Highway”.
I would like to shout out our #FansFavorite player of the night at this tournament:
Miller Grove’s #3 Alterique Gilbert, who had 15points, 10 rebounds and 5 steals and he is already committed to UCONN. Remember HIS NAME!
It will be Tucker vs. Miller Grove in the CFA Tournament Championship and if you happen to find yourself in Tucker, Georgia tonight then this is where you want to be!
All images were taken by our Junior Photographer Sean Bogan