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East Tennessee February report from Andre Whitehead

12, Feb 2024

East Tennessee February report from Andre Whitehead

The weather outside was frightful but we managed to sludge our way through January. Let's see what went down in the Volunteer State this past month.


Jordan McCullum (Harriman) has his squad atop the state rankings in Class A and the Murray State signee forever etched his name in Blue Devil folklore surpassing the vaunted 2,000-point barrier for his career. His month was magical including a 45-point effort against Jellico and a cool 31 against Rockwood.

Down in the Chattanooga area, the Seahawks of Silverdale Academy are turning heads. Among the top-ranked teams in the state in their classification, they have made a large statement about their presence come playoff time. Led by a pair of seniors in Kennedy Okpara (Silverdale Academy) who made some noise with a 34-point effort against Signal Mountain this month and Brett Wright (Silverdale Academy) who dangled a similar 34 against Collegedale.

Dre Jackson (Chattanooga Christian) might be under the radar regarding statewide notoriety but in reality, he is among the best point guards in the state. The Mr. Basketball finalist found time for a spectacular 38-point effort against McCallie and will be determined to make his name shine even brighter as the playoffs approach.

Trey Thompson (Greeneville) is a must-see TV if you live on this end of the state. The sophomore wing was recently awarded a nomination as a finalist for the Mr. Basketball trophy and had a cool January dropping 31 against Volunteer and another 30 against Science Hill.

I have you one to watch. Jonathan Woodlee (Maryville) is exciting. The junior is establishing himself as one of the area's best point guards, and his overall understanding of his craft is just beginning to blossom. Woodley was named co-MVP in his district and was at his best with this 26-point effort against rival Farragut.   



Carson Bolton (Jellico) shouted loud and proud with his January scoring exploits. The senior guard dropped a 50 spot on the state's top-ranked team and also found time for a 25-point effort against Rockwood.

Brandon Dake (Anderson County) broke the school record for points in a game with his massive 43-point effort against Seymour.

Jahvin Carter (Alcoa) is poised to lead the Tornadoes to another monster run as the playoff approaches. The Penn State signee was named a finalist for Mr. Basketball and his January could not agree more. He dropped 34 against Gatlinburg-Pittman, another 34 against Knoxville West, 32 against Austin East and closed strong with 26 in an earlier meeting with AE.

Shane Cherry (Austin East) made a statement with an elaborate 41-point effort against defending state champion and cross-town rival Fulton. The junior guard was named a finalist for the coveted Mr. Basketball award in his classification.

Here's a trio of guys who have been consistently lighting up scoreboards around East Tennessee this season. Cameron Soulgas (Seymour) had efforts of 29 against Cocke County and 25 against Eagleton. Zach Turner (Gibbs) had a 39-point effort against Cumberland Gap and a 31-piece against Clinton. Chris Bozeman (Karns) dropped 30 against Oak Ridge and a 28 spot on Powell.

Aaron Layne (Kingston) has been on a tear since the new year broke. The junior guard has his squad among the tops in the state in their classification. Layne dropped a career-high 40 markers against Tellico Plains and added a nice 29-point effort against Loudon.

Here are some additional big-time scoring efforts for East Tennessee in January.

Brady Haun (Alcoa) 37pts vs. Eagleton

Ty Pryor (Rockwood) 34pts vs. Midway

Jace Roderick (South Greene) 34pts vs. Hampton

Braxton Buckner (Union County) 32pts vs. Scott

Cam Hayworth (Dobyns-Bennett) 30pts vs. Volunteer

Colton McClain (Cherokee) 30pts vs. West Greene

Connor Copeland (Berean Christian) 29pts vs. King's Academy

Bereket Evans (Morristown West) 29pts vs. Morristown East

Rodney Henderson (Tyner Academy) 29pts vs. Howard

Taj Kimber (Fulton) 29pts vs. Northview Academy

Jake Lane (Knoxville Halls) 29pts vs. Carter

Corbin Laisure (Sullivan East) 29pts vs. Union (VA)

Devyn Martin (Knoxville West) 29pts vs. William Blount

Cooper Kelly (Hampton) 28pts vs. South Greene

Grady Robertson (William Blount) 28pts vs. Hardin Valley

Dominic Van Acker (Farragut) 28pts vs. William Blount

Caden Windle (William Blount) 26pts vs. Heritage


Kyle Cloninger (Morristown East) has put his name squarely on the college coaches' radar with his fantastic senior season. Cloninger moved past the 2,000-point mark for his career including games of 32 points against Morristown West and 28 against Tennessee High.

The Chattanooga area saw two of their best move past the coveted 1,000-point barrier for their careers as RaCash Kelly (South Pittsburgh) and Anthony Bonner (Red Bank) accomplished this feat.

Jayden Capshaw (Loudon) had himself a magical January. The junior guard dropped a career-high 45 points against South Doyle and moved his name into the scoring annals for his school surpassing the 1,000-point mark for his career. He also managed a 26-point effort against Heritage.

To say this was a big month for Ty Glasper (Gatlinburg-Pittman) would be an understatement. The junior guard moved past the 2,000-point barrier for his career and found time for some serious scoring efforts including 32 against Austin East, 28 against Pigeon Forge and 27 against Northview Academy. This week Glasper was named as a finalist for the prestigious Mr. Basketball award. Congrats Ty.

Jackson Simmons (Unicoi County) has been in the spotlight since the first game of his freshman season. The talented lead guard put his name into Blue Devil history moving past the 1,000-point mark for his career.

Andre Whitehead
State Editor

Andre Whitehead is the longtime editor of Tennessee Prep Hoops. He is the director of the Rocky Top High School Fall League, Rocky Top D-League and the Tennessee Prep Hoops Best in State.