Rocky Top League Update: 6/17

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    The annual Rocky Top League is underway at Knoxville Catholic with games going every Monday and Wednesday until the finals on July 1. Check in with for game capsules and updates from some of the current Vols as well.

    Knoxville News Sentinel vs. Rice Buick GMC (6:00 pm)

    The first game of the evening was about as entertaining as summer ball can be – even though Bobby Maze was a scratch for the News Sentinel. Vol guard Devon Baulkman led all scorers 45 points on 15-28 shooting (8-19 from 3). He caught fire from the corner on several occasions and ultimately led the News Sentinel to a 122-118 victory in overtime. Baulkman played the entire game without the sleeve that accompanied his shoulder for the majority of last season and his shooting stroke looked better than it did at any point last season. That’s certainly a good sign for the Vols moving forward as they look to find scorers to help make up for the loss of Josh Richardson.

    Tennessee newcomer Ray Kasongo added 11 points on 5-8 shooting and showcased his athleticism with a couple of eye-popping dunks in warm ups.

    Kasongo struggled against when opponents attack his body and he’ll need to work on getting more physical before the season tips off. Detrick Mostella bounced back from a rough outing on Monday and scored a team high 36 points (13-30 from the floor) for Rice Buick GMC.

    Tillman Industries vs. DeRoyal (7:30 pm)

    Vol newcomer Shembari Phillips was the star of this one, albeit in a losing effort. Playing alongside Wayne Chism and Kyle Alexander on DeRoyal, he scored a team high 34 points on 11-23 shooting (5-14 from 3) and made a few spectacular plays in the process. He had a couple of big time blocks, nailed some clutch shots and attacked the hoop efficiently.

    You have to take Rocky Top League box scores with a grain of salt, but Phillips really impressed from a talent standpoint. He was quicker than we expected and showcased some good handles and a smooth shooting stroke. He also elevates quickly and plays with confidence. Though he wasn’t the game’s leading scorer, that distinction belonged to Jalen Steele with 35 points, he looked like the best player on the floor from an overall skills standpoint.

    Phillips should be able to help Tennessee at point guard if Barnes chooses to go that direction – he certainly looks like he has the skills needed to battle incoming guard Lamonte Turner for the starting point guard duties. Vol newcomer Kyle Alexander added 11 points for DeRoyal while former Vol Wayne Chism recorded 20 points. It wasn’t enough for DeRoyal to overcome Jalen Steele, Robert Hubbs and the rest of the Tillman Industries team. Hubbs scored 26 points on 11-21 shooting and took charge late in the game with a couple of clutch shots and house rocking dunks. Fulton graduate Jalen Steele went 8-16 from 3-point range and his Tillman team earned the 107-91 victory.

    H3 vs. Campus Lights (9:00 pm)

    A mid game power outage didn’t stop Armani Moore and Campus Lights from pulling out the 127-109 victory. Moore scored 30 points on 12-30 shooting. Vol power forward Jabari McGhee was a scratch again after tweaking his ankle late last week. Former Vol Brandon Lopez added 26 points for Campus Lights. Kevin Punter struggled to get going for H3. He scored 24 points but was an inefficient 9-21 from the floor and just 2-8 from 3-point range. Vol newcomer Admiral Schofield, who looks like a tank, added 20 points on 9-20 shooting (1-9 from 3) for H3. He’s got to drop some weight before the season but is pretty athletic for his size. He has a nice midrange game as well and was effective around the bucket.