Homeschool TN Heat wins 2021 2A national title
The Tennessee Heat, an 18U homeschool basketball team headquartered in Lebanon, wrapped up 29-15 season with a successful run earlier this month in the National Christian HomeSchool Basketball Championships.
Coached by Lebanon High graduate Joe Bond, the Heat defeated the Monee (IL) Patriots 43-38 to win the 2A division at the W.E. Dowell Field House on the campus of Baptist Bible College.
The Heat got out to a 13-0 start and held off a late run by the Patriots with free throws over the final two minutes of play.
The squad won the Midsouth Homeschool Athletic Conference for the first time with an 11-1 record, defeating the Western Kentucky Homeschool program 67-52 back on Feb. 12. in the conference finals.
Bond's team reached the finals of the Southeast Regionals but lost to Gateway City 68-49 on Feb. 26.
“We were led by our two seniors,” Bond said. “We have some underclassmen who are spectacular but our seniors really led us through the national tournament and were very strong every single game.”
Six-foot-three Jonah Randle averaged 14 points and five rebounds per game and was named the MVP of the Class 2A tournament.
“Jonah is going to play in college somewhere,” Bond said.
“He’s got multiple offers at the NAIA level, NCAA Division III, National Christian College Association, and Welch College has already offered him.”
Senior Adam Day is what Bond called ‘the glue to our team’ a guy who could make the big buckets and was always in the right spots on the floor.
“He always seemed to have his hands on the basketball,” Bond said. “He was a strong player. Those two guys really led us this year.” With the 2A title in hand, the Heat advanced to a "Hoosier style" tournament featuring all eight bracket winners.
The Heat lost to DasCHE Spartans out of Cedar Hill, TX 65-49 in the round of eight opener.
The undisputed champion was the MHEA (Memphis Home Education Association) Eagles. MHEA was led by Murray State signee Justin Morgan, a 6-6 guard, considered the sixth best player in the state of Tennessee.
Now that the season is over Bond will be holding tryouts in May for local homeschool athletes.
Bond added there’s a follow-up try-out in August for students who move into the area later in the year.
The CEO of Cedar Recovery Center of Middle Tennessee, Bond, 43, says he’s always enjoyed helping and people.
“As you get older, you realize how many life lessons it teaches you and how you have the opportunity to go back and teach those to young athletes,” Bond said.
“That’s my passion and we were able to teach a lot of life lessons around what basketball translates into life later.”
TEAM MEMBERS INCLUDE: Jacob Smart, Riley Simpson, Adam Day, Ian Spurgeon, Jason Glaskox, and Jonah Randle -- all from Lebanon;
Ben Groth, Brandon Bural, Thatcher Bond, Cooper McSpadden, and Isaiah Lingo -- all from Mt. Juliet:
Tresure Tate from Spring Hill; Ezekiel Gilbert from Murfreesboro; Max Robinson from Old Hickory and Will Norris from Smyrna.
Assistant coaches: Jim Schaetz, John Bobbitt and Sam Logan.