The Pilot Rocky Top League took off in its most competitive manner yet in its third season.
Deeper rosters, closer games, and some lockdown defense - yes defense - became the norm over the course of the three-week season at Bearden High School.
Former CBA newcomer of the year and European star Boo Jackson became the first non-University of Tennessee player to win the coveted league MVP award after leading HT Group to the title.
A panel made up of coaches, league officials and media selected the team.
Jackson edged UT's Wayne Chism for the honor on his performance against the News Sentinel's Scotty Hopson in Thursday's championship game.
Hopson, a rising sophomore at UT who led the league in scoring, was held to just six points in the pivotal second half.
"Scotty is an incredibly talented player,'' said Jackson, who held Hopson to 24 points in the game while scoring a game-high 30 himself. "But he's got to go and get the ball instead of just fading away and waiting for it to get passed to him.
"I was picking him up at half-court, and I was literally looking him right in the eye.''
Jackson set an early tone for his team this season.
"Boo was a true professional, and he had a calming effect on everyone,'' said Pat Walden, the HT Group coach. "He let Wayne and everyone know from the start we were there to win.''
Chism, a rising senior, responded with his best Rocky Top League season. Chism had his moments of fun, but they were fewer and more far between.
Hopson, meanwhile, showed a comfort in taking over games throughout the year. On three occasions, the former McDonald's All-American led the News Sentinel back from double-digit deficits.