Preps: Holiday tournaments provide CPA with plenty of memories, momentum

Monday, January 2, 2012 at 7:47pm

Probably no Nashville team in recent years has had a more impressive tournament résumé in basketball over the past two weeks than Christ Presbyterian Academy.

The preseason favorite in District 10-AA boys race, CPA won one of Kentucky’s most prestigious tournaments, the prestigious King of the Bluegrass Tournament, with a three-game sweep at Louisville Butler. It became the first Tennessee team to win the event in 31 years and only the seventh out-of-state team to win in the event’s history.

The Lions (14-2) followed that up with a 3-1 record last week at the Arby’s Classic, one of Tennessee’s premier events. They ended that tournament with a victory over Charlotte (N.C.) Christian in the consolation third-place game to start the New Year off right. Their only loss was to Christ School out of North Carolina, which won the tournament.

“At the Arby’s Classic, we were in a very difficult bracket,” coach Drew Maddux said upon his return from Bristol. “We played the host team right off in the first round, which we won.

“In the next round, we played Urspring, Germany, which is the No. 14 ranked prep team in the world and a place where [NBA star] Dirk Nowitzki trains. We won in double overtime in one of the most exciting games I have ever been a part of.

“In the semis, we lost to Christ School, a really good team in North Carolina. Then we ended on a high note with the win over Charlotte Christian.”

CPA guard Craig Bradshaw was named the tournament MVP, while center Jalen Lindsey made all-tourney.

Bradshaw earned the honor with an amazing performance in the last game. He came very close to a quadruple-double, with 11 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and seven steals. He averaged 22 points in the Lions’ four contests.

“You rarely see a player from a third-place team win the MVP award, that just shows you what kind of tournament Craig had,” Maddux said. “In the game, Craig had something pop in his shoulder,’’ Maddux said. “He went back in the dressing room, popped it back in place, came back and played extremely well. He is one tough kid.”

CPA had other major contributors.

In only his third game back after suffering a concussion, guard Brandon Cook led the Lions with15 points, hitting 5-of-7 3-point attempts. Vic Wharton and Lindsey scored 12 each, and Jake Allismiller had two 3s and eight points.

Bradshaw’s 11 points led his own impressive stat line. One of his nine assists went to Lindsey for an alley-oop slam dunk midway through the third quarter.

CPA jumps back into the middle of action this week, traveling for two district road games. The Lions visit Whites Creek Tuesday, then go to rival David Lipscomb Friday.

On Saturday, CPA has a home game for the first time since before Christmas when it hosts St. Benedict.

“We’ve had an amazing two weeks of basketball,” Maddux said. “But we can’t start resting on our laurels. Our district is much too strong to allow us to do that. We’re playing two very good teams in our district, and St. Benedict is also a very good team.”

Tournament highlights:

• Ensworth won both boys and girls championships in separate tournaments last week.

The boys edged Cardinal Gibbons 62-60 in the Naples (Fla.) Shootout as Rico Watson hit four 3-pointers, good for 12 points in the final.

The girls (7-4) capped a three-game sweep in the Franklin Road Academy Christmas tournament with a 47-33 win over Christ Presbyterian Academy. Kennesha Nichols scored 12 points for the Tigers.

• Host Franklin Road Academy won three straight games, capped by a 54-42 win over Sycamore in the finals, and claimed the boys championship in its own event.

• Overton (7-7) made an unbelievable rally from 22 points down to force overtime, but the Bobcats lost 67-63 in the extra session to Raleigh-Egypt in the boys championship game last Thursday in the Overton Christmas tournament.

Under coach James McKee, the Bobcats had gone 8-0 in their own tournament, winning the 2009 and 2010 titles and winning two games last week, before its loss to R-E. Overton beat Hillsboro to win the girls championship.

• Caroline Abbott set a school record with eight 3-point hoops and scored 27 points as host Battle Ground Academy won the BGA Christmas Invitational Friday.

The Wildcats (9-5) beat Clarksville Academy 54-47 in the finals. Guard Mary Hannah Winstead added 18 points and was named tournament MVP. Abbott and Kaitlin Davis also made all-tournament for BGA.

• Maplewood trounced Pickett County 62-40 in the Trousdale County championship game as A.J. Wilkerson scored 26.

• Jack Montague scored 28 points and was named tourney MVP as Brentwood High beat Liberty Tech 64-61 to win the Hickman County Above the Rim championship.

• East Lit’s boys beat Ravenwood 63-52 to win the Beech Holiday Tournament.

Service for Squires: A memorial service will be held for long-time Tennessean prep writer Tom Squires, who passed away recently at age 63 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

The service will be held Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 9100 Crockett Road in Brentwood.

Squires covered the Nashville high schools extensively for the Tennessean for 17 years in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the Tennessean beat writer for the Sounds in the early 1980s. He also worked for USA Today.

He is the older brother of former City Paper sports editor Raleigh Squires.

Service for former Metro principal Myers: Clay Myers, a former principal at Hunters Lane and Hillwood High, died last week from metastasized cancer at age 64.

Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, at Calvary Methodist Church 3710 Hillsboro Road, followed by a memorial service.

Myers started as a teacher at old Meigs Junior High before going on to teach at Bellevue, then Hillwood High. He became an assistant principal at McGavock High in 1986. In 2006 and 2008, Myers was selected as the Metro principal of the year. He retired in 2008.