LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- It came down to an all Celtics final in the 16-Under division of the Real Deal in the Rock. Despite the absence of one of its top players Kedren Johnson, the Nashville Celtics took down the Atlanta Celtics by double figures.
The Nashville Celtics ran through the tournament field. Johnson, who has offers from Tennessee and Vanderbilt, was a catalyst for Nashville during much of the tournament with his savvy ball handling and passing. He was forced out of the championship game, however, with a leg injury.
Bobby Ray Parks also stood out for Nashville, especially in the championship game in Johnson's absence. Parks is a lefty with a knack for getting to the rim off the dribble and coming up with timely rebounds and loose balls.
Nashville's Levi Randolph is also a promising prospect, making both plays off the dribble and defending at a high level.
A cast of talented prospects pushed the Atlanta Celtics to the final game. JaQuez Motley, was impressive running the point. Playing low to the ground, Motley repeated got into the lane while also knocking down jumpers.
Guard Kevin Ware made a number of athletic plays on defense and made some high level plays offensively.
And Nick Jacobs, a big bodied lefty, was effective in the lane.
Rivals.com had to head to the airport before the Illinois Warriors vs. Dallas Heros final. But was able to catch an impressive scoring outburst by Jason Morris of the New York Gauchos in the quarterfinals.
Canadian 2009 post man Renaldo Dixon had a strong showing for Belmont Shores against the Illinois Warriors. Dixon's regular travel team coach Ro Russell listed Memphis, South Florida, Florida State, Providence and St. Bonaventure's as schools interested in Dixon. A decent but not great athlete, Dixon has a feel for the game and is pretty skilled. There will likely be a lively recruiting battle to land this high major prospect this spring.
Illinois Warriors' guard Brandon Spearman listed Dayton (offer), Nevada, Baylor (offer) and Iowa State (offer). As usual, Spearman was solid in all aspects of the game with his physical guard play. The Illinois Warriors also got strong play from Oregon State commitment Ahmad Starks and mid major prospect Kyle Cain.