KINGSPORT — The event started on Monday with eight teams competing. One was left standing Thursday night.
Sam Tarlton put on a shooting clinic and David Crockett (5-6) won its first basketball tournament championship in recent memory.
Crockett stunned Hampton 63-49 to take home the New Peoples Bank Holiday Classic title in impressive fashion at Sullivan North.
Tarlton, the son of Crockett’s first-year coach, blazed in 32 points — hitting on nine of 17 floor shots — to spearhead the attack.
Ty Shipley and Joe Barger each added 12 points to the Pioneers’ cause.
Hampton superlative Nathaniel Hughes was limited to 12 points, the same number teammate Dylan Hill got.
Crockett’s giant, 7-foot junior Zack Garland, scored just four points but he was the focal point of Hampton’s defense. His presence allowed other Pioneers to run free.
East Tennessee State coach Murry Bartow sat near the Crockett bench, looking in particular at Garland.
Crockett chose to go over the Hampton defense, launching eight 3-pointers.
“It’s amazing how much attention Garland draws whether he’s scoring or not,’’ Richard Tarlton, the Crockett coach, said. “We’re starting to get comfortable with our roles. Until this tournament, I don’t recall this group of kids ever winning back-to-back games.
“We’ve been in every game, and this was one of the better ones we’ve played. It could be a morale booster.’’
Sam Tarlton, an elusive guard, sank four goals from 3-point range and connected consistently on fast breaks.
“I just had to find the open spots and my teammates gave the ball to me,’’ young Tarlton said. “We’ll have to build on this.’’
Tarlton, Shipley and Barger accounted for all of Crockett’s 17 points in the final quarter.
Jerry White, Hampton’s coach, said his defense targeted Garland early in the game. That soon changed.
“We started out in a 1-3-1 zone with a man dropping back in front of him,’’ White said, “but he wasn’t our whole concern. (The Pioneers) just rained down so many treys on us that we had to change our defense. We didn’t play our normal game.’’
Garland had a lot to do with Hampton’s many misses. “He altered some of our shots early in the game,’’ White said. “Nathaniel Hughes got in foul trouble and that hurt us. He sat out quite a while and it took away our spread offense.’’
Hampton is 7-4 on the season.