CENTERBURG — The Senior-Stars took advantage of one last chance to show off their basketball talent to area fans, soundly defeating the All-Stars, 60-32, in the 2010 Mount Vernon News All-Star Senior Showcase girls basketball game at Centerburg High School on Tuesday night.
Danville’s Aubrey Hazen led all scorers, getting a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. For her, it was a chance to bond with girls who she has only seen as opponents as long as she has played ball.
“It was really fun; it was like magic,” said Hazen, who hit a pair of 3-pointers in the game. “It was like we were playing together for a couple of seasons. Each of us just kind of moved to a spot and filled in where we were needed.”
For Senior-Stars coach Darryl Uhde of East Knox, being the coach of a team this good is easy to get used to.
“It’s fun, actually,” said Uhde. “I’ve coached three of these and this is probably the best team I’ve had. They’ve really had fun together. They’ve really enjoyed playing.”
Also, for the Senior-Stars, East Knox’s Sierra Mazzaro (3-of-7 field goals, 4-of-6 free throws, 11 points) grabbed four steals while her Bulldogs teammate Brittany Dawson had five. Kristen Anderson of Highland added nine points. The Senior-Stars wound up 21-of-62 from the floor and 14-of-22 from the foul line.
“It was a blast,” said Anderson. “If it was like this every time you played, then everyone would want to play. Everyone got along really well and we had really good chemistry from the start. At practice, we got along right away. We were joking around.”
There was, however, a serious side as well. Despite only a day to practice, the Senior-Stars looked like they had been playing together since they were freshmen.
“It was a good way to end it,” said Mazzaro. “We played as a team and I was really proud.”
“We had one practice and they seemed to like each other,” said Uhde. “They played as a unit and they played really, really well. It’s a lot of fun to watch because, obviously, there’s a lot of talent out there. They had fun and they liked each other. It was a different kind of all-star team than I’ve seen before.”
The Utica four helped lead the way for the All-Stars. Jordan Morrow led her team with nine points. Mary Lugar had 10 rebounds and Abbie Corbett had five points along with eight steals. Bridget Davis added seven rebounds for the All-Stars.
While shooting was cold for both sides, it was a much tougher night from the floor for the All-Stars, who finished the night 12-of-66 from the floor. That included 1-of-23 from 3-point range.
Jauni Gleason of Mount Vernon led the Senior-Stars with 13 rebounds. Highland’s Laura Neff added nine for the Senior-Stars. The All-Stars, despite Lugars’ efforts under the boards, were outrebounded 59-43.
The All-Stars’ shooting frustration was epitomized by Mount Vernon Academy’s Chanae Isaac, who shot 2-of-18 for the All-Stars. Morrow was 4-of-12, Davis was 0-of-7 and Corbett was 2-of-15.
All-Star coach Todd Nauman of Centerburg could only sit and watch, but the shots would not fall.
“We just had trouble getting the ball in the basket tonight,” said Nauman. “They were working real hard, but we couldn’t get the ball to bounce in. There was a couple that rimmed in and out. It was pretty contagious. We just couldn’t find anyone to heat it up and get it going.
Michelle Crego of Centerburg, despite shooting 2-of-8 for the All-Stars in front of her home fans, realizes that there is more to this game than just the score.
“It was fun,” said Crego. “I got to play with some girls that I had really never gotten to know during the regular season because I was competing against them. It was fun to compete with them for a change. You see them in a different light. I have always seen Bridget and Abbie as very competitive people and you always have to keep and eye on them, so it’s nice to have them on your team to help you.”
“Practice was a blast,” said Corbett. “We had fun and that’s what matters. Of course, you want to win. It always fun to see some of these girls as teammates. They’re good people and you’re playing against good people.”
“Sometimes, when you go up against some of these girls you think, They don’t seem very nice,’” said Anderson. “But when you play along with them, it’s a completely different story. It’s actually a lot of fun.”
“It gives you an opportunity to go, in a cordial setting, against someone you have been competitive with,” said Nauman. “Probably several of these girls have been playing against each other since seventh grade so it’s kind of a chance to relax a little bit and still come out and play hard. I just said, Go out there, be yourself and have some fun.’”
Mazzaro also won the girls 3-point shooting competition, sinking eight shots in a shootout with Davis.
“I was nervous,” said Mazzaro. “I went up against some good competition and came through.
Mazzaro, who is used to having a hand or two in her face when she’s sinking a 3-pointer, had a different opponent this time.
“All eyes are on you when you’re up there and I was really nervous,” said Mazzaro. “There’s always pressure. Bridget really pushed me to the limit.”
Not only did Mazzaro outshoot Davis, but she also bested Crego on her home court.
“She’s also a very good shooter,” said Mazzaro. “It was a good win.”