TNA Heat captures Allstate Tournament title in New Orleans

Published 2:27 pm Friday, June 7, 2019

The TNA Heat sixth-grade AAU basketball team won the Allstate Super 60 tournament over the Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans.

TNA Heat won four of five games in the 12-and-under Boys Division, facing teams from Florida, California, Louisiana and Texas. The AAU sanctioned tournament had 322 teams competing in the holiday event.

TNA Heat defeated the Miami Thunder 35-23 in the championship game. Erick Smith scored a game-high 10 points. Miles Hannah added eight points and Zachary Moorer finished with seven points.

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Leading scorers for TNA Heat in the tournament were: Moorer (60 points), Hannah (45 points), Erick Smith (28 points), Derick Smith (24 points), Tristan Walls (16 points) and Titus Lanier Jr. (16 points).

TNA Heat coach Marcus Hannah said the squad overcame adversity to prevail in the Crescent State.

“Coach Titus Lanier Sr. and I are at a loss for words in explaining how well our young men played on the national stage,” Marcus Hannah said. “During this tournament, we had only seven players. One of our main players, Joshua Davis, wasn’t able to play due to a fractured wrist. He is our floor spacer.

“But to put into words, they played as a unit, their defense was outstanding and the sacrifices what the team members made for each other.”

Marcus Hannah praised Titus Lanier Jr. for putting the team above his needs.

“Titus started for us at point guard every game,” Marcus Hannah said. “During the game we lost, the team put a press on us. Titus couldn’t get the ball up the floor like he normally does. His father came to me and said, ‘Coach, we might need to go big.’ I said, ‘how do you think Titus will respond to that?’ His father said, ‘he’ll be alright. I said, ‘I’ll talk to him.”

Marcus Hannah said he discussed the lineup with Titus Jr.

“When I talked to Titus about not starting the next game, he said, ‘Coach I want to win.’ As a coach, that makes you feel great that a team member is willing to sacrifice his position for the betterment of the team. When Titus did get into the game, he two big three-pointers in the championship game. As a whole, everyone played great.”

TNA Heat, winners of five tournaments in six tries, remains Alabama’s top-ranked 12-under AAU team and are awaiting the national ratings.

TNA Heat will host an AAU tournament on June 22-23 at both Wallace Community College-Selma and Selma High School. The team closes the season with a tournament in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on July 19-21.

“We’d like to thank the community for their support and prayers,” Marcus Hannah said.