Video: Memphis East vs. Patrick SchoolSee highlights from Mustangs' semifinal win at the City of Palms Classic.
A lot could happen between now and next season, but expect head coach Penny Hardaway's Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.)
squad to be a strong candidate for preseason national No. 1 in 2017-18.
The Mustangs closed out a special 2016-17 campaign Saturday with a 65-45 win over Southwind (Memphis) in the Class AAA state title game in Murfreesboro.
East (33-3) – ranked No. 2 nationally by MaxPreps – outscored Southwind in all four quarters and converted 21 of 26 free throw attempts.
Sophomore Chandler Lawson
, a 6-foot-9 forward, led the way with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Class AAA Mr. Basketball Alex Lomax
had 14 points while Terrance Moss
and Malcolm Dandridge
finished with 11 apiece.
Seven of nine players that logged minutes Saturday will be back next season, including the quartet mentioned above.
East's schedule included nine games against teams ranked nationally by MaxPreps this season, including three against juggernaut Montverde Academy of Florida. The Mustangs took two of those contests in addition to key wins over No. 8 Patrick School (Elizabeth, N.J.), Greenforest (Decatur, Ga.) and Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.).
The Mustangs reached the final of arguably the top two in-season tournaments in the country – the City of Palms Classic and the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions.
Hardaway has led the program to a 65-5 record over the past two seasons with back-to-back state titles. The Mustangs finished the 2015-16 campaign ranked No. 21 nationally by MaxPreps.