Andre Whitehead's East Tennessee February/March Recap
February saw the end of the regular season that transitioned into the district, region and sub-state games, as teams from all four classifications qualified for the state tournament next week on the campus of MTSU. Let's break down all the action leading up to state.
East Tennessee Headlines
J. J. Faulkner (Karns) was on a mission as his senior season was coming to a close. The senior guard started with 29 against Knoxville Central, added 30 against Farragut, then went for 34 against Knoxville West and closed that out with 30 against Clinton. He helped the Beavers advance to the sub-state where they fell to Sevier County. Great season. Great kid.
Trey Thompson (Greeneville) is the most heralded Class of 2026 player on the East Tennessee landscape, and for good reason. Thompson went on a tear as his first high school season was coming to a close. He managed a 25-point effort against Grainger, topped that with 32 against Morristown East and went even better with 33 against Cocke County.
Jalen Taylor (Howard) was the talk of the Chattanooga landscape as he scored 47 points against Ooltewah.
Dennis Lewis (Brainerd) heard that talk and went out and dropped 44 points including 13 threes and along the way helped the Panthers advance to the state tournament.
Grant Hensley (Unicoi County) knows what hoops means to the folks in Erwin. Hensley saved his best for last including a 33-point effort against Sullivan East and a 26-point drop against Greeneville in the region finals. The Blue Devils made it to the sub-state where they defeated Carter and will be heading to Murfreesboro for the state tournament.
Ty Glasper (Gatlinburg-Pittman) has been a staple on our lists all season. His late-season heroics brought the Highlanders to the sub-state where they fell to Brainerd. Glasper dropped 28 against South Greene in the region semis and finished his sophomore season with 27 against Brainerd in the sub-state loss.
Creed Musick (Tennessee) made his senior season memorable with some big-time scoring efforts down the stretch. The senior guard dropped 36 against Cherokee and added 35 additional against Volunteer.
Cadon Buckles (Hampton) is raking in the accolades in his final prep campaign. The senior guard dropped 26 against North Greene then added 27 against Oneida in the sub-state game helping lead the Bulldogs back to the state tournament, along the way Buckles also added a Mr. Basketball nomination.
Jayden Capshaw (Loudon) had a perfect ending to his sophomore season with some big-time scoring efforts including 32 against McMinn Central and 28 against Brainerd.
Jamar Livingston (Daniel Boone) gave us lots to write about this year so there was no chance he was going to be left off this list. The close of his senior campaign saw the senior guard drop 43 on defending state champion Dobyns-Bennett as the Trailblazers won the district tournament crown. To close out the regular season, Livingston dropped 47 against West Greene, 32 against Science Hill and 27 on West Ridge. Thanks for the memories young man.
Caden Windle (William Blount) gave us all a preview of the future with his monstrous junior campaign. The Governors came up just short of heading the glass house for the state tournament. Windle ended the season with three big-time scoring efforts including 34 against Farragut, 33 against Bearden and 30 against Powell. The future is bright young man.
Here are more huge scoring efforts from the end of the regular season, district, region and sub-state playoffs.
Richard Bell (Northview Academy) 40pts vs. Gibbs
Drew Williams (Chattanooga Central) 38pts vs. Soddy Daisy
Cadin Tullock (Chuckey-Doak) 37pts vs. Cosby
Ethan Meadows (Meigs County) 37pts vs. Loudon
Drake Fisher (Sullivan East) 35pts vs. David Crockett
Shaja Jackson (Lakeway Christian) 35pts vs. Silverdale Academy
Nick Ellis (Carter) 33pts vs. Unicoi County
Leyton Frye (West Greene) 33pts vs. Chuckey-Doak
Dante Oliver (Dobyns-Bennett) 30pts vs. David Crockett
Mason Keeton (Oneida) 29pts vs. Oliver Springs
Deondrea Lindsey (Knoxville Catholic) 28pts vs. Gaffney (SC)
Will Price (Cherokee) 28pts vs. Grainger
Cash Coates (Walker Valley) 27pts vs. Bradley Central
Bradin Minton (Volunteer) 27pts vs. Unicoi County
Jasen Brooks (Cleveland) 25pts vs. McMinn County
Kyle Cloninger (Morristown East) 25pts vs. Greeneville
Rodney Henderson (Tyner Academy) 25pts vs. Brainerd
Cooper Kelley (South Greene) 25pts vs. Chuckey-Doak
Shawn Pangle (Soddy Daisy) 25pts vs. East Ridge
Landon Ramsey (Unaka) 25pts vs. North Greene
Jaquarius Sanders (Austin East) 25pts vs. Lenoir City
Jahvin Carter (Alcoa) simply put, had himself a magical February and March. The junior scoring sensation ended the regular season with a gargantuan 62-point outburst against Cumberland Gap followed up by a 27-point effort against Oak Ridge and a cool 32 in the regular season finale against Gatlinburg-Pittman. With 1,805 points he became the all-time leading scorer for the proud Tornadoes program and he was just getting started. The district and region contests saw him drop in no particular order 35 against Chuckey-Doak, 32 against Union County, 29 against GP, 27 against Johnson County and then a sic 25 against GP for the region championship. Oh by the way he garnered a Mr. Basketball nomination and helped lead the Tornadoes to the state tourney next week.
Jason Britton (North Greene) has been making noise in upper East Tennessee since the moment he stepped onto the hardwood. Down the stretch he did all he could, falling just short of returning to the state tournament despite scoring efforts such as 40 against Sullivan East, 27 against Unaka, 26 against South Greene and 25 on Hampton. Britton became his school's all-time leading scorer at 1,673 points with one more season to go he could forever put this record out of reach. He also garnered a nomination for the coveted Mr. Basketball award.
A.J. Murphy (University) helped his squad achieve their goals by advancing the state tournament and along the way the junior guard surpassed the coveted 1,000-point barrier for his career.
Ty Pryor (Rockwood) put the finishing touches on an outstanding junior season with a pair of 26-point efforts against Wartburg Central and Oneida and along the way, he moved past the 1,000 point threshold for his basketball life. Congrats young man.
Christian Derry (Chuckey-Doak) was a big reason for the success of the Black Knights this year. Derry finished the season strong with a 30-point effort against Union County and etched his name in school folklore moving past the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Carson Bolton (Jellico) joins the elite 1,000-point club for the Blue Devils with an outstanding season.
Nehemiah Bloodsaw (Tyner Academy) concluded his senior season with an outstanding achievement as the young man surpassed the 1,000-point plateau for his high school career.
Kobe Franklin (Lenoir City) helped lead his squad to a region tournament and carved his name into Panther history moving past the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Have You Seen?
Chandler Gamble (Halls) put his name squarely on the recruiting radar with a flourish as he closed out his sophomore season leading the Red Devils to a sub-state berth. Gamble closed with games of 29 against Carter, 26 against Gibbs and 25 against Northview Academy. One to watch my friends.
Reese Frazier (McMinn County) is a marksman. The sophomore shooting guard was magical down the stretch helping lead the Cherokees to the district, region and sub-state titles along with a berth at the state tournament. Frazier dropped 27 against Cleveland late to get these heroics underway.
Shane Cherry (Austin East) is a name you know. Cherry is a talent you know. He drops crazy numbers including 34 against Knoxville West, 26 against East Hamilton in region action and how about 43 against Fulton in the region title game. He helped the Roadrunner advance to the sub-state where they fell to White County. This kid has all the tools to be a major player on the Volunteer state and national scene.