FREDERICKTOWN — The All-Stars had too much down the stretch in the 30th annual Mount Vernon News All-Star Senior Showcase. The team of senior boys from Knox County schools used a 23-2 run late in the second half to pull away from the Senior-Stars, 107-87, Tuesday at Fredericktown High School.
The teams had battled it out for 34 minutes when the All-Stars exploded behind the play of Mount Vernon’s Ben Severns and Fredericktown’s Andrew Newell. Severns scored nine points in that stretch, while Newell added six and the All-Stars were finally able to grab control.
“This was a lot of fun,” said Newell in his final game at Fredericktown. “Everybody was messing around, but you could tell the skills were there. I’m going to miss this a lot. It was a lot of fun playing here tonight.”
Newell got the game started right for the All-Stars, sinking a 3-pointer just 15 seconds into the contest. Another 3 from Newell and one from Danville’s Kelby Ball helped the All-Stars take a five-point lead with just five minutes gone in the game.
But the Senior-Stars went inside to Utica’s Michael Sandman and Northridge’s Ryan King to get back in the game. Sandman had two offensive putbacks and King a dunk to lead the Seniors. Loudonville’s Kyle Nickles chipped in with two baskets in the run.
The All-Stars started taking it to the hoop late in the first half, going on an 11-0 run to grab a 37-26 lead with just 3:46 remaining.
Drives from Newell, Mount Vernon Academy’s Kash Gordon and Danville’s Rhett Harris fueled the All-Stars run.
“This was fun. I really liked playing with all these guys,” said Gordon. “We just stayed focused and got everyone involved.”
Defense helped key the All-Stars in the first half. They held the Seniors to just 16-of-55 shooting, including just 5-of-28 from the three-point arc, in the half. The All-Stars were able to hit on just over 40 percent of their shots (19-of-46) and was 6-of-17 from beyond the arc.
The All-Stars, coached by Randy Endsley of Danville, looked like they might run away with the game early in the second half. Gordon took over, scoring six straight points, including two steals, as the All-Stars jumped on top 54-41.
The Senior-Stars, coached by Mike Hoyng of Highland, slowly crept back into the game via the three-pointer. Clear Fork’s Heath Freeman hit two, while Loudonville’s Tyler Mowery, Highland’s Ryan Barnett, Highland’s Kiefer Hinkle and King all hit one to close the gap to just two points (63-61).
The teams traded baskets for the next five minutes before the All-Stars exploded and put the game away.
The All-Stars were able to hit on 45-of-103 shots on the night, including 11-of-35 from behind the 3-point arc. The team’s defense played a big role in the victory, as they were able to hold the Senior-Stars to just 36-of-105 shooting on the night. The Seniors hit on 13-of-56 shots from beyond the arc.
Gordon finished with 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting to pace the All-Stars. He also pulled down 11 rebounds, had four steals and handed out three assists while being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Newell finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, Severns added 13 points and eight rebounds, Ball and Mount Vernon Academy’s Bruce Cuevas had 11 points each and Harris had nine. Centerburg’s Jacob Byrley had seven points, and Jacob White of Centerburg and Silas Lopes of Mount Vernon Academy both had six. East Knox’ Steve Lilley added three points.
The Senior-Stars, made up of players from the surrounding counties, was led by Sandman, who finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Nickles added 12 points, while Wayde Looker had 11 points and three assists.
“This was a new experience, playing with all these guys from other schools. It was a lot of fun to just get out and play,” said Looker.
King, Kelsey Harriman of Utica and Freeman had nine points each for the Senior-Stars. Hinkle added seven, while Barnett and Mowery checked in with five points apiece. Utica’s Charlie Branstool and Northridge’s Barry Roth had three points each.