10 qualities of Chattanooga boys’ basketball players playing in postseason

Staff photo by Patrick MacCoon / Red Bank's Anthony Bonner (2) soars for a slam dunk. Bonner has scored over 20 points 21 times this season for the Lions.
Staff photo by Patrick MacCoon / Red Bank's Anthony Bonner (2) soars for a slam dunk. Bonner has scored over 20 points 21 times this season for the Lions.

With postseason basketball in full swing, Patrick MacCoon provides a list of the top skill sets or qualities of players who are still playing in the TSSAA playoffs.

1. Shooting touch: Chris Kennedy (Signal Mountain)

The Eagles junior guard is the purest 3-point shooter in town. When he gets hot, there is little a defense can do to stop his outside shots from falling. The 1,000-point scorer puts in the work on his shot and it shows.

  photo  Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Baylor (4) Zane Restelli puts up a shot as CCS (13) Isaiah Roddy defends during their game at Baylor on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.


2. Driving ability: Zane Restelli (Baylor)

Two Best of Preps Tournaments ago, Restelli put on the most impressive driving clinic I have ever seen in my time covering high school sports. The way he can weave his way to the basket is special and he brings a good amount of European flair to his game.

3. Lockdown defender: Kendrick Lloyd (Red Bank)

The four-year letterman has been sensational on the court this season for the Lions. Lloyd helps lead the Lions' stingy press and has averaged nearly three steals per game. It's tough for offensive players to get around with the ball and hard to throw it over him as well.

4. Mid-range: Gaas Herman (Notre Dame)

A special run to the silver ball last season for the Fighting Irish was in large part led by the sophomore breakout of Herman. His ability to cross defenders up and get to his spot in the mid-range is special, and he's very smooth with that shot when he gets there.

5. Facilitator: Kohl Ward (Tyner)

Tyner has had some stellar point guards over the years under E'Jay Ward, but this one will turn out to be his best. His freshman floor general has an innate feel for the game and the ball should be in his hands nearly every possession.

  photo  Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Silverdale's Kennedy Okpara (3) shoots. Boyd Buchanan took on Silverdale in the Division II-A district tournament championship game on Friday, February 9, 2024.


6. Rebounder: Kennedy Okpara (Silverdale Baptist)

The 6-foot-7 junior is a big reason why the Seahawks stand a good shot at bringing home a gold or silver ball this season. His toughness has grown this season and he has 10 games with at least 12 rebounds. Not many can match up with Okpara inside.

  photo  Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Tyner Academy coach E'jay Ward talks to Tyner (2) Rodney Henderson during the Region 2-2A tournament championship at Brainerd High School on Thursday, March 2, 2023.


7. Work ethic: Rodney Henderson (Tyner)

Henderson's work ethic stuck out to me before he ever played his first varsity high school game. The junior star and future Mr. Basketball finalist is in the gym rain, sleet or snow and will continue to elevate his game because of his dedication.

8. Glue guy: Houston Holland (Silverdale Baptist)

Holland knows exactly what his team needs from him on the court. He is aggressive to the hoop and can hit big shots outside as well. He is a nightly threat to score double-digit points on a team where he is usually the third offensive option.

9. Pure scorer: Anthony Bonner (Red Bank)

A strong candidate for player of the year in our area, Bonner has scored over 20 points on 21 occasions this season and hit the 30-point mark twice. The 6-foot-3 star did so in the district semifinals, in which he made all 12 of his 2-point field goal attempts.

  photo  Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Signal Mountain's Andrew Matukewicz (2) scores past Brainerd's Trea Shaw (1). The Brainerd Panthers and Signal Mountain Eagles played the the losers bracket of the Best of Preps Basketball Tournament at Chattanooga State.


10. X-factor: Andrew Matukewicz (Signal Mountain)

Signal Mountain's resurgence in boys' basketball has a strong correlation to the lights out play of this senior guard. Matukewicz has been steady in his leadership all season and leads the Eagles in both points and assists.

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com

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