By KYLE LOVERN
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A local basketball player is performing very well for the West Virginia Rising Stars in the national AAU tournament being played in Memphis, Tennessee.
Cole Bentley, who will be an 8th grader playing for the varsity hoops at Belfry High School this year, helped his AAU squad beat All Ohio Red 67-48 earlier this week. Bentley is playing for a team based out of the Charleston area that has players from all around the Mountain State.
Bentley, the son of former Tug Valley standout Fred Bentley, scored 11 points, pulled down seven rebounds, blocked three shots, had a steal and also had an assist in the game.
The Rising Stars came from behind to beat a team out of Texas 54-51 later in the tournament. Bentley, a 6-foot-4, 225 pound forward, scored 12 points, hauled in eight boards and blocked a couple of shots in that win.
The AAU squad was scheduled to play the No. 1 seed in the tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
Bentley is expected to play for Coach Randy Casey and the Pirates this season. He saw some action last year as a 7th grader. He is thought to be the first 7th grader to score at the varsity level for Belfry. Former all-state performer J. J. Hylton saw varsity action and scored as an 8th grader.
According to his father, Cole may try to play both middle school and varsity next season. He attends Belfry Middle School.
Fred Bentley graduated from Tug Valley back in 1990 and was one of the first standout players for that school after the consolidation of Lenore and Kermit. The elder Bentley also played on the local AAU team that went to the national tournament. That squad was coached by Frank Smith.