Championship Saturday is officially in the books. The 2022 TSSAA high school basketball season is over. Four champions were crowned. Celebrations took place. All-Tournament Teams were announced. Everyone, from coaches to players to parents, can now sit back and exhale…
Championship Saturday is officially in the books. The 2022 TSSAA high school basketball season is over.
Four champions were crowned. Celebrations took place. All-Tournament Teams were announced.
Everyone, from coaches to players to parents, can now sit back and exhale from a long week of competitive basketball.
While every best player on each team pushed for a state title, the role players had to come along for the ride.
And they did. Each role player had impact.
Here are 5 impact players from Championship Saturday:
Tyler Lee, Knoxville Fulton: The 6-5 junior wing had the assignment of containing Haywood’s senior forward Janerus Snipe, who was the Tomcats’ best offensive player this season. Up to this point, Snipe was unstoppable in the post, thanks to his upper body strength overpowering a lot of defenders.
Lee met the challenge headstrong, keeping Snipe, who had just eight points and six rebounds, in check for the entirety of the game, which helped the Falcons capture this season’s TSSAA Division 1 Class 3A state title with the 82-52 victory over Haywood.
This is Knoxville Fulton’s first state title since 2016, and Lee calls his defense on Snipe the turning point of the game.
“I knew if I stopped or gave No. 3 ( Janerus Snipe Janerus Snipe 6'7" | PF Haywood (basketball) | 2023 State TN ) a hard time, I knew it was going to be a hard game,” said Lee, who finished the game with 17 points and seven rebounds. “We had to do our best against No. 1 ( Tylon Chatman Tylon Chatman 6'0" | PG Haywood | 2023 State TN ), but if we stopped Snipe, we were going to have a chance to win.”
Jailen Hardaway, Memphis Overton: Like Lee, Hardaway also had the assignment of guarding the opposing team’s best post player. After Independence’s senior forward Matthew Witt posted 18 points and nine rebounds in a semifinals win over Memphis East, Hardaway held him to just nine points and eight rebounds.
Hardaway’s 6-foot-6 frame altered Witt’s shots at the rim, giving him no easy looks like he had against the Mustangs on Friday.
“Our assistant coach gave the analogy of the Rocky movie with the Russian, and we said ‘You’re going to deal with the Russian today, Hardaway.’ It’s going to be a long day, but at the end of the day, Rocky defeated him,” Wolverines head coach Shelvie Rose said following his team’s 69-57 win over the Eagles to capture this season’s TSSAA Division 1 Class 4A state title. “Go out there and bang with him. It was a job well done.”
Hardaway finished the day with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
This is Memphis Overton’s first-ever state title, and it was also the first Memphis program to win a Class 4A state title since the classes were expanded.
Gary Greer, Memphis Overton: Before senior point guard Jordan Frison got going, it was his supporting cast that kept the Wolverines afloat in the first half. Greer, a sophomore guard, scored eight of his 10 points in the first half, which helped Memphis Overton carry a 32-28 lead into the break. Greer made two big 3s in the first half as Independence focused so much on Frison, who led his team with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists.
Hayden Campbell, Hampton: The 6-6 junior forward was the X-factor in the Bulldogs’ 51-43 victory over Middleton to capture this season’s TSSAA Division 1 Class 1A state title. It’s the program’s first state title since 1960. Campbell was effective on both ends of the floor throughout the state tournament. He set solid screens for senior guard and Class 1A Mr. Basketball finalist Cadon Buckles. Campbell found himself on the floor multiple times, scrapping for 50-50 balls. He knocked down shots from the free throw line and elbow and pulled down rebounds.
“He has tremendous impact,” Hampton’s head coach Ned Smith said about Campbell, who finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and three steals. “He comes up at the top of the key and sets a big screen. When we go one-on-one, he goes and gets it. We pick-and-roll with him.
“He cleans the boards. He’s a tremendous defender because he alters so many shots. He’s done a great job.”
Jordan Harris, Alcoa: The senior guard ended his high school basketball career helping the Tornadoes defeat Douglass, 59-58, to win this season’s TSSAA Division 1 Class 2A state title. This is the program’s first state title since 1967. The Red Devils focused primarily on junior guards Jahvin Carter and Brandon Winton, Jr. Douglass pressed for most of the game and forced Alcoa into double-digit turnovers in the first half.
In the second half, the Tornadoes calmed down and found opened teammates leaking out of the press for easy layups. Harris scored many of those uncontested layups, which helped Alcoa get back into the game after being down by as many as eight points in the third quarter.
“We have good players,” said Harris, who finished with 14 points and six rebounds. “Good players are going to make the right plays, so they knew what they had to do. We beat the press and got easy layups.”
Carter, who led the Tornadoes with 24 points, scored the game-winning layup with 2.5 seconds remaining. He called the shot “the biggest of my career.”
Simeon Williams (MLK), Brian Carter (Ridgeway), Emmanuel Allen (Ridgeway), Tylon Chatman (Haywood), Marcellus Jackson (Fulton), Janerus Snipe (Haywood), Denaj Kimber (Fulton), Taj Kimber (Fulton), Jaybyon Snipe (Haywood) were all named to this season’s TSSAA Division 1 Class 3A All-Tournament Team. Tyler Lee was named MVP.
Arnez Anderson (Hillsboro), Thaddeus Johnson (Hillsboro), Alijah Curry (Memphis East), Jett Montgomery (Independence), Matthew Witt (Independence), Tylan Lewis (Independence), Jailen Hardaway (Memphis Overton) and Xavier Alexander (Memphis Overton) were all named to this season’s TSSAA Division 1 Class 4A All-Tournament Team. Jordan Frison was crowned MVP.
Derrick Robinson (Chattanooga Prep), Andrew Cole (University School JC), A.J. Murphy (University School JC), Dantez Young (Middleton), Eugene Carrico (Hampton), Rodgerick Robinson (Middleton), Jordan Stewart (Middleton), Hayden Campbell (Hampton), and Michael Anspaugh (Hampton) were all named to this season’s TSSAA Division 1 Class 1A All-Tournament Team. Cadon Buckles was named MVP.
Nikolas Wiggins (Power Center Academy), Dennis Lewis, Jr. (Brainerd), Jack Harper (Giles County), Eli Owens (Alcoa), Jarmon Brittman (Douglass), Brandon Winton, Jr. (Alcoa), Tyler Johnson (Douglass), Taquez Butler (Douglass), and Jordan Harris (Alcoa) were named to this season’s TSSAA Division 1 Class 2A All-Tournament Team. Jahvin Carter was named MVP.