The D&D Mountain Elite AAU program got started with two impressive wins in Pool Play today in Huntington, WV.
Things got off to a rocky start as the tournament organizers had a team drop out in the 10th grade division and made the D&D Mountain Elite program play up a division in their first ever tournament. Not only did the D&D team have to play up, they were minus 3 starters – Tug Valley’s Joey Gollihue and Braydun Ferris both had prom, while one of the team’s leaders (Peyton Davis- Martin County) is out with a broken ankle. With a strong talk from Coaches Ashley Dalton & Sean Ferrell, the Mountain Elite bunch went out and made the best of the situation.
The D&D Mountain Elite team came out facing some of the best talent in the Mountains, with Tri-State Assault’s Tanner Hall, Ronnie Sammons, Eric Burke (UPIKE commit), Tanner Martin and others. D&D Elite looked like they had been together forever. They shared the ball and got their scorers involved early while also feeding big man Connor Napier. In the 59-45 win, Martin County’s Ethan Ferrell lead all scorers with 16 points, Prestonsburg forward Connor Napier scored 14 points, Mingo Central’s Matt Hatfield also had 14 points. Pike County Central’s Jake Slone put up double digits as well with 10 points. Cade Nairn from Prestonsburg had 4 points. Chapmanville 7th grader Dakota Dalton chipped in with 3 points. Prestonsburg’s Jaxon Estridge finished with 2 points for D&D. Floyd Central duo Ronnie Sammons and Tanner Hall led Tri-State in scoring with 10 points apiece.
Things didn’t start out as smoothly for D&D Mountain Elite in the second game. They played a Southern Express team Coached by Peyton Adams and trailed most of the first half. Tenacious defense from Prestonsburg guard Jaxon Estridge kept the D&D team within striking distance and they came in with a buzzer beater from Jake Slone to take a 22-19 lead at the break.
It would be a different story in the second half for D&D Elite. Everyone got their hands dirty on the defensive side, and their shots started falling. D&D Mountain Elite would end up putting a running clock on Southern Express, coming out with a 58-30 victory over Adams’ Southern Express squad. The win gave the D&D team the overall #1 seed heading into Sunday’s tournament play.
In the win, Jaxon Estridge & Ethan Ferrell would lead all scorers with 17 points apiece. Connor Napier had 11 points. Jake Slone and Dakota Dalton both chipped in with 9 points. Cade Nairn scored 2 points. Chapmanville’s Jett Baisden led Southern Express with 12 points. Tomorrow, the D&D Mountain Elite team tips-off tournament play at 4pm!
D&D Mountain Elite Roster
Ethan Ferrell- 2025 SF/SG (Martin County)
Jake Slone- 2025 SG (Pike Central)
Joey Gollihue- 2025 SF/SG (Tug Valley)
Connor Napier- 2025 C/PF (Prestonsburg)
Jaxon Estridge- 2025 SF/SG (Prestonsburg)
Braydun Ferris- 2026 PG (Tug Valley)
Chastin Stacy- 2026 PG (Westside)
Cade Nairn- 2025 PF/SF (Prestonsburg)
Dakota Dalton- 2028 SG (Chapmanville)
Matt Hatfield- 2025 SG (Mingo Central