UPDATE: MLK King of the Court games possibly postponed

UPDATE: MLK King of the Court games possibly postponed

January 12th, 2018 by Kelley Smiddie and Lindsey Young in Sports - Preps

Coach Rodney English will lead his East Hamilton boys' basketball team into the Waffle House MLK King of the Court games at UTC's Maclellan Gymnasium for the second consecutive year Saturday. This year the Hurricanes are facing Believe Prep.

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

East Hamilton coach Rodney English's boys' basketball team will take on Believe Prep out of Athens, Tenn., at 7:30 in the nightcap of four games in the second Waffle House MLK King of the Court event at UTC's Maclellan Gymnasium.

East Hamilton coach Rodney English's boys' basketball team...

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

UPDATE: Saturday's MLK King of the Court prep basketball games at UTC's Big Mac have been cancelled, or possibly postponed. Van Buren County & Scottsboro, Ala. are schools involved and are having bad weather in their areas. The games could get rescheduled elsewhere next Sat.


ORIGINAL STORY: The second Waffle House MLK King of the Court games will take place Saturday at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Maclellan Gymnasium.

The event coordinator is Daniel Gilbert, who is the founder and executive director of the Chattanooga Area Basketball Club and the boys' basketball coach at Boyd-Buchanan. Last year's games were on Martin Luther King Day, but Gilbert said this year they'll see how things go holding the games the weekend before.

"Some people aren't off from work on Martin Luther King Day," Gilbert said. "We thought Saturday we might have a better crowd. I don't know. Obviously we'll find out. I asked a few people, some business people, and they said give it a try."

The four games will start with a rematch from last year when GPS takes on Van Buren County at 3 p.m. The two have become familiar foes recently with the Bruisers winning that game 51-45 last year and the teams having split five-point victories this season.

The remaining games are boys' contests with Sale Creek playing Scottsboro, Ala., at 4:30. Gilbert said that matchup features teams that like to push the ball up and down the floor.

"I know they're a big school," Sale Creek coach David Helton said. "We're excited about the challenge. It ought to be a track meet."

The game at 6 features ranked Tennessee teams in Class A's top-rated Van Buren County facing Class AAA's No. 4 Cleveland.

"We thought Cleveland would have a really good returning team," Gilbert said. "Van Buren has a senior-laden team that's been together since they were freshmen. Both have really good fan bases. We thought it'd be a really fun matchup for them to play."

Action closes with a matchup between East Hamilton, a Class AAA state-tournament team last season, and Believe Prep. Believe is a prep school formerly located in Charlotte, N.C., but within the last year moved to Athens, Tenn., and will feature multiple prospects at a variety of college levels.

Admission is $7.

Heritage splits in GHSA Team Duals Wrestling Championships 

Heritage went 1-1 while Dalton lost its lone match as the GHSA Team Duals Wrestling Championships opened competition Thursday in Macon for the four top classifications.

Heritage, the Area 6-AAAA runner-up, easily got past Cross Creek, 78-6, before losing 47-27 to West Laurens in the quarterfinals. The Generals, who received two pins each from Ryan Craft (106 pounds), Jadyn Norton (113) and Jeffery Curtis (220), will begin play in the consolation bracket today at 12:30.

Also in AAAA, No. 2 seed Gilmer defeated North Oconee, 60-15, and Blessed Trinity, 45-19, and will face Troup County in the semifinals at 5:30. West Laurens and Jefferson will meet in the other semifinal.

Dalton lost 35-28 to Valdosta in a Class AAAAAA match that went down to the final bout. The Catamounts got pins from Hunter Noland (113), Malik Coleman (160) and Joseph Reese (220) and were within five points in the final bout before Valdosta's Quin McGlamery won by decision at 126 pounds.

Dalton will face Stephenson this morning at 10 in the consolation round.

Competition begins today in Classes A, AA and AAA with eight-team brackets. In AAA, Sonoraville will face McNair at 5:30, while in A, No. 2 seed Trion goes against Turner County and Gordon Lee faces Irwin County at 3.

Notre Dame's Akil Sledge commits to Lindsey Wilson College

Notre Dame's Akil Sledge recently committed to play football at Lindsey Wilson College, an NAIA school in Columbia, Ky.

At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Sledge is currently doing work as an undersized rebounder for the Fighting Irish in basketball, which he thought was going to be his sport of the future. But after trying out for football, he was doing noticeable things by the time he was a sophomore, like a 30-carry, 130-plus-yard performance that included three touchdowns against undefeated East Ridge in the state playoffs.

Sledge totaled 644 rushing yards and eight touchdowns this past season on 86 carries. Even newer to playing defense, from linebacker he was in on 57 tackles, five for losses, and returned his two interceptions a total of 114 yards, both for touchdowns.

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant said Lindsey Wilson's Chris Oliver and his staff will have a lot of options with Sledge.

"He's one of those hard-nosed players," Fant said. "He's a hard hitter, and he also had a 200-yard rushing game in the playoffs against Lipscomb Academy. He's a phenomenal football player.

"He's still young in football. He's got so much potential, once he understands the game a little better. He's got the size. He's just got to find the skills, depending on what position they want him to play. He can do a lot of stuff for those guys."