Taking the first place trophy at the Coast to Coast Super Regional Tournament in Jacksonville last weekend was not easy, but the 15U South Georgia Kings, coached by Derrick Brooks, chipped away at each opponent to take the Division I first place trophy.
The Kings first battled the Jacksonville Pistons. JJ Frazier scored 15, Henry Peeples chipped in 10, Aaron Scott and Kirk Hill knocked in eight apiece to win 54-37.
Brooks said Deshon Nells, a new player from Tattnall County did well against the Pistons.The boys played the Leroy Butler Foundation and Hill led the team, scoring 25 points. Frazier added 21 points as the SGK won 59-37.
"Hill played awesome defense for us in that game," Brooks said. "He had eight steals, nine rebounds and a tremendous all around game."
The boys started their bracket games with an 84-54 win over the Coastal Georgia Suns from Brunswick.
"I have some awesome kids and they are starting to be recognized," Brooks said.
Frazier scored 23 points and Scott scored 18 to lead the Kings.
The victory sent them to the semi-finals against the Georgia Titans from Atlanta. The local boys won 66-56.
Frazier led again with 25 and Scott had 18.
Brooks said it newcomers Nells and Peeples aided the victories, providing inside players. He said that has taken a lot of focus off his guards and opened the game both offensively and defensively.
The boys faced the Pistons again in the championship and won 68-38.
The team has earned a bid for the national tournament in Memphis, Tenn., the last week of July.
First they head to the Super Regional Tournament in Augusta next weekend.
"This will be like a tune up for the state and national tournament," Brooks said. "Nells and Peeples are the difference between my team last year and this year. They provide us with a little more inside presence so we should go deep in our state."
The state championship will be in Atlanta at the end of April.
Brooks said his team has always been competitive, but the inside game allows more offensive rebounds and put-backs, and more shot blocks.
"I think it’s going to be tremendous for our team this year," he said.
The SGK has six programs ranging from fifth-graders up. The Kings keep basketball going during schools’ off season.
But Brooks said it’s more than just a basketball experience the kids benefit from.
"These kids are the future leaders of our community," he said. "The further we can help them advance with their education, the more cultural experiences that they can get by traveling around the country and meeting new people, gives our kids an opportunity to really learn and grow. So if folks are able and they are willing, they should get behind and support these kids because we are doing something positive with these kids."
For more information on the South Georgia King call Brooks at (912) 980-5006 or (912) 332-7698.