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2013 Steel City Invitational: Tournament Preview
by Garrett Tucker, Future150 (9:12 AM CT, Thu December 19, 2013)
Freshman stud Myles Parker will be playing this weekend.
Freshman stud Myles Parker will be playing this weekend.
Garrett Tucker
Garrett Tucker:

Future150 Southeast Analyst. Covering high school basketball across the Southeast.

Birmingham, AL (Future150) -- The most impressive high school basketball tournament in the state of Alabama will take place this weekend with the inaugural Steel City Invitational. This tournament includes seven state champions in the past four years, as well as at least 20 future Division 1 prospect suiting up for 16 of the state’s best squads.

The event will take place December 19-21 at Samford University.

TOP PLAYERS: Justin Coleman, Cedric McGinnis, Jarvis Calhoun, Terrell Guy, Lewis Sullivan, Ethan Stair, Bradley Belt, Mitchell Baldwin, Marquel Oliver, Dalton Barkley, Joshua Langford, Myles Parker, Jamal Johnson.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: With the premium talent taking the court each game for the tournament, there will be several things to watch out for as things get underway…

Can Wenonah be Stopped?

For years, Wenonah has been the premiere high school team in the state. With three straight 5A state championships, the Dragons will look to prove they are the best team in the state, regardless of classification.

Justin Coleman and Cedric McGinnis will have to defeat their good friend and AAU teammate Jarvis Calhoun to get out of the first round; with Calhoun’s shooting ability, it is possible.

If all goes as expected, a semifinals matchup could boast Wenonah against 6A power Hazel Green. The Trojans have UAB-signee Lewis Sullivan, along with 2015 shooting guard Ethan Stair.

Birmingham vs. Huntsville

In addition to Hazel Green, Huntsville will be represented by Bob Jones, Madison Academy, and Sparkman. While they are out-numbered, they have the players to compete against some talented Birmingham squads.

Junior wing Dalton Barkley will help lead Bob Jones against a scrappy Parker team, headed by 6-foot-8 forward Marquel Oliver. Parker is a consistent competitor for a state championship year after year.

Reigning state champions Madison Academy will take on Carver-Birmingham. Carver will have to do a good job containing sophomore stud Joshua Langford if they expect to make the winner’s bracket after Day 1.

Sparkman and Gadsden City will show off some of the best young talent in the state. Freshman guard Jamal Johnson will be heavily featured for Sparkman, while Gadsden City has a talented freshman themselves with Toryque Bateman.

Will Host Mountain Brook Bring Home the Championship?

Mountain Brook stunned the state last year with the great run to win the 6A state championship, but this year they have a target on their back. Many of the teams in the bottom part of the bracket will be eager to take them out.

TaWarren Grant and Spencer Einhorn will have to play well throughout the tournament if the Spartans hope to make it to the championship game on Saturday.

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For more info on the event, visit the tournament website HERE.

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