Express wins AAU tourney

Published 11:15 pm Saturday, June 18, 2011

SUWANEE, Ga. — Talk about reverse psychology at its finest.

Tri-State Express coach James Hopkins told his players they were going to fail. His team thought otherwise.

Led by a trio of players from Ironton High School, the 16-and-under AAU team proved their coach wrong as they rolled past the Georgia Elite 77-57 last week to win the TOA championship at Suwanee Sports Academy.

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“Coach (Hopkins) said we weren’t going to win this tournament. We thought we could,” said Zac Carter of Ironton who scored 17 points in the win as he ran the team from his point guard position.

Ironton’s 6-foot-4 Trey Fletcher used his game to say how he felt. Fletcher scored a game-high 32 points while fellow Ironton teammate Trevor White added 12 points to the winning effort.

“My first thought was that we could beat them,” said Fletcher. “We just listened to our coach (on how to play). It feels really good to win this.”

The Ohio-West Virginia based Express had to rally from a 10-point deficit to beat the Marietta (Ga.) Express 65-58 in an earlier game. The win gave the Tri-State Express the confidence it needed to beat the Georgia Elite in the title game.