Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Laney-Butler headlines summer league; Richmond will test Lakeside

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Butler vs Laney (8PM)

These teams always bring it when they square off. And Laney and Butler's top producers Monday were four guys who always compete fiercely. Laney's Tahj Tanksley and Donald Henley and Butler's Deandre Barton and Will Lambert gobble up rebounds and loose balls. And they only know one speed and one direction. Those are compliments.

I can't think of a better way to end the second night of summer league action at Butler than matchup, especially after February's region tournament semifinal showdown, which almost saw Butler score the upset.

Richmond vs Lakeside (7PM)

Although the Musketeers are no longer a sub region rival, Lakeside, a team with high expectations from yours truly and I would think others too, can still use Richmond as a measuring stick. 

For Lakeside, which was led by freshman Kalen Williams last season, Madison Williams and company were much too much for the Panthers to handle:

But with essentially the entire Lakeside roster returning, and with much of Richmond's having graduated, I would expect new coach Jeff Williams to be wanting to show some progress against what may eventually be the area's best team. Here are Williams and 6'5" senior Deon Berrien when the teams met in January:

Challenging Richmond may be easier said than done, of course. DT Stephens, Jason Weaver, and Moses Williams were frequently the team's top producers last season. And they look comfortable and in command early in the June season (see Monday's results).

Cross Creek vs Josey (6PM)

Cross Creek still should be on top of the clouds after last season's third place class 5 region tournament finish and trip to the state tournament, the Razorbacks first in a very long time. Last season's turnaround team was packed with seniors, but Artis Chapman returns. And coach Brian Anderson will benefit from a strong crop of JV and middle school talent that has been making its way through the Razorbacks' feeder teams.

One of Josey's most impressive outings last season was it's December home win over Cross Creek. Javen Whitehead and Domonique Hurst were physically imposing in the paint that winter night (see directly below), much like they were in Monday's win over Evans.

Glenn Hills vs Evans (5PM)

6'7" junior Timmy Sellers is very impressive:

I hope he gets the ball in position to show it Wednesday, something that didn't happen once during the first half of Monday's 43-34 loss to Laney. (I missed the second half due to camera battery issues so I missed Glenn Hills's 23-13 second half run that cut the Wildcats' once 18 point lead to 7.)

After losing several seniors from last season's starting five, Evans showed no sign in Monday's loss to Josey of needing to rebuild. Sophomore Cameron Cabarrus and junior Will Caudill played as well Monday with the varsity team as I saw them play during Christmas with Evans's JV team.

Harlem vs Hephzibah (4PM)

Harlem and Hephzibah combined for two wins, both by Harlem, last season. I don't joke when I say a major benefit of this game is one team gets to win. Winning is a habit that needs to be practiced. My brief observations of these teams last season (Harlem lost a close one to Greenbrier and Hephzibah challenged Evans on the road) make me believe they can both become winners. My dad has told me my grandfather constantly reminded him we all put on our pants one leg at a time. I'm pulling for these teams to take that to heart and to begin building a winning tradition.

Here is a link to my report of last November's Evans-Hephzibah game:

And here is a link to my report from last November's Greenbrier-Harlem game:

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