HOWARD — A trio of Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets dropped in a combined 57 points as the All-Stars defeated the Senior Stars, 111-87, in the 2011 Mount Vernon News All-Star Senior Showcase at East Knox High School on Tuesday night.
Representing the All-Stars, Ben Hoar of Mount Vernon led all scorers with 21 points. He was aided by his Yellow Jacket teammates Charlie Phillips (20 points) and Dan Kelly (16 points).
“It’s just an honor to be able to participate in a game like this,” said Ben Hoar, who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. “They’re the best players in Knox County and it’s just fun to hang out with these guys. I just relaxed and had a good time. It’s fun out here.”
It was the best against the best just having a good time while showing how talented they are.
“It was really a lot of fun,” said Senior Stars coach Don McDaniel of East Knox. “I really appreciate the News putting it on. It really gives the kids a chance to get out on the basketball court and have a little fun. It’s really nice for our MBC kids to have fun with each other after beating each other up all year long.”
Senior Stars coach Kirk Manns of Fredericktown opened the game with four of his own Freddies starters and Centerburg’s Troy Lemke (14 points) at point guard. As tip-off time came, Tony Lybarger (six points), Garrett Gatton (seven points, 13 rebounds), Austin Updike (eight points, 11 rebounds) and Nick Stacey (12 points) stepped back, leaving the diminutive Lemke to step up for the opening tipoff. East Knox’s Devin Faucett (four points) was brought forward by the All-Stars in a show of equal stature.
“It was a last minute thing,” said Lemke. “We took the shortest kid from both teams and we tipped it off.”
“Coach Manns kind of set that up,” said Gatton. “It was funny, because Centerburg re-enacted the game-winning shot at practice on Sunday so (Manns) joked around saying that they weren’t going to play at all. Obviously, that wasn’t the case.”
“The joke was that when Centerburg beat us with that last second shot (during the season), and (Centerburg coach Jim) Simpson likes to joke about it, I said, ‘We’ll play the four Freddies, rotate the Highland guys and let the Centerburg guys sit,’” said Manns with a smile. “But we changed our mind.”
So who’s idea was it to send Lemke and Faucett to do the opening tip off?
“That was Dave’s idea,” said Manns, motioning to his Fredericktown assistant Dave Logan. “I would never come up with something that clever.”
It was that kind of fun that set the tempo of the game.
“I knew that with Charlie, Daniel and I, coming in as teammates, that we would have fun and we sure did,” said Ben Hoar. “It was a fun time and I’m glad I participated in this event. I made some new friends and that’s what it’s all about — building relationships and that’s what sports is all about.”
The All-Stars grabbed a six-point lead, 13-7, early in the game on a bucket by Danville’s Casey Sloan. The Senior Stars caught up by the middle of the first half with Utica’s Jason Hoar (10 points) driving the lane and getting the layup to tie the game at 19. Stacey hit a bucket to put the Senior Stars up again, 21-19.