Vols gone wild

After leading the Rocky Top summer basketball league in scoring at 34.3 points per game last June, Tennessee's Cameron Tatum began his title defense with 36 points in Monday night's opener.

Incredibly, he's already 13 points behind Vol teammate Scotty Hopson.

Ninety minutes after Tatum hung up 36 points in Choice Spine's 121-110 loss to First Tennessee Bank, Hopson poured in 49 points to lead the News-Sentinel past Ray's ESG 130-123.

Hopson, a 6-7 sophomore wing, and Tatum, a 6-7 junior wing, were too tall, too explosive and too talented for their opponents Monday night. Neither shot particularly well from the perimeter but each was virtually unstoppable on drives to the basket.

Hopson had a lot of help. Brian Williams, UT's 6-10, 270-pound junior center, added 23 points to the News-Sentinel cause. Skylar McBee, a 6-2 walk-on from Grainger County, chipped in 20. Former Vol Dane Bradshaw scored just 5 points but contributed a load of assists.

Former Vol C.J. Watson, now playing for the NBA's Golden State Warriors, scored 31 to pace Ray's ESG. Ex-Vol Jon Higgins, who still has one of the sweetest strokes in UT history, added 23. Current Vol Steven Pearl added 14 points and incoming Vol freshman Kenny Hall 11.

Tatum didn't get a whole lot of help in Choice Spine's loss to First Tennessee Bank. Former Vol C.J. Black added 9 points. Former Vol Rashard Lee scored 22 points to pace First Tennessee. Current Vols Bobby Maze (20) and Emmanuel Negedu (14) also contributed to the victory.

Game 1 of the evening saw Richardson Construction defeat HT Group 114-108. Former Vol Damon Johnson led the winners with 25 points. Current Vols Josh Tabb (23) and Tyler Smith (22) provided considerable support. UT sophomore Renaldo Woolridge scored 15 points and senior teammate Wayne Chism added 11 for HT.

Rocky Top action resumes Wednesday night with three more games on tap.

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