HOWARD — It’s one final time to see some of the best basketball players in the area on the court.
The top senior boys and girls are preparing for the annual Senior Showcase, to be held Tuesday, March 22, at East Knox High School.
As always, the girls get the event started at 6 p.m. There is a noticible shortage of senior girls this year, so some special rules have been put in place.
First, the clock will not stop on out-of-bounds plays, except in the last minute of each half. Also, all timeouts will be full timeouts.
Highland High School’s Galen Chapman leads the Senior Stars team. He will be coaching five of his seniors.
Kelsey Burt, who earned First Team All-Area honors, leads the way. Burt finished second in the area in scoring (11.6 points per game) and third in steals (2.5 per game). Shanay Gibson, a Second Team All-Area player, shined in the second half of the year, raising her scoring average to 8.9 points while shooting 35 percent from the field.
Payton Denman, Tarren Thacker and Armanda Pennington round out Highland’s contribution.
They will be joined on the Senior Stars team by Tayler Carpenter, the lone senior from Fredericktown. Carpenter averaged 2.7 rebounds per game for the Freddies.
East Knox coach Jim Davis will lead the All-Stars team. Four of his seniors will join him, led by Jill Regal, who led the team with 8.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. She’s joined by teammates Liz Tullus, Melissa Tindall and Maggue Douglas.
East Knox fans will have to adjust a bit when cheering their team on; the Bulldogs are joined by Danville’s seniors.
Ashlee Townsend, who led the Blue Devils with a 72 percent free-throw percentage, will be joined by teammates Schae Frazee and Mariah Lybarger
If previous years are any indication, The boys game will provide fans with another high-scoring show.
The past five boys’ games have an average score of 100-85. With the talent level this year, things shouldn’t be any different.
The boys All-Stars, coached by East Knox’s Don McDaniel, are led by All-Area Player of the Year Ben Hoar from Mount Vernon. Hoar is joined by Yellow Jacket teammates Charlie Phillips and Daniel Kelly. The trio combined for 29 points and 14.1 rebounds per game, along with shooting just over 50 percent from two-point range.
Their combined size will be complimented by the duo of Scott Cline and Jason Hoar from Utica. Cline, a First Team All-Area member, put up 13.6 points and shot 48.6 percent from the floor. Hoar ended the regular season with 8.7 points while shooting 38.9 percent from three-point range.
East Knox provides a couple of solid defenders to the All-Stars team in Drew Faucett and Devin Faucett. The duo finished first and second, respectively, in the area in steals (6.5 per game combined.) Offensively, they’re a threat; they attempted a combined 142 shots from three-point range, hitting about 30 percent of them. Add teammate Brandon Berger to the list of solid guys in the post, with his 6.3 rebounds per game.
Danville players Shaun Durbin and Casey Sloan round out the list of players on the All-Star team. Durbin’s 10.5 points ranks him in the Top 10 in scoring in the area, and his 3.4 assists ranks fourth. Sloan is yet another rebounding threat, with 6.6 per game.
The All-Stars’ opponents, the Senior Stars (coached by Fredericktown’s Kirk Manns), are well-stocked with talent as well.