SPARTA — For many of the 40 players who will participate in this year’s Mount Vernon News All-Star Senior Showcase, this will be the last game of their basketball career.
So you can bet they’ll want to go out with a bang.
Players from surrounding area schools will descend on Highland High School tonight to take part in the 33rd annual all-star event.
The girls get things started at 6 p.m., with the game immediately followed by an awards ceremony and three-point shooting contest. The night wraps up with the boys’ all-star game.
This year’s group of players promises to have a lot of talent sharing the spotlight.
The Senior-Stars team will have a familiar look to it, as Centerburg head coach Todd Nauman leads five of his Trojan seniors in tonight’s game. All-Area Player of the Year Mackenzie Stoyle (10.8 points per game), First Teamer Stacy Fielding (10.1 ppg) and Second Teamer Claire Harvey (10.3 ppg) will be joined by Breanna Campbell and Carly Compton.
A pair of rival schools will be represented on the Senior-Stars team. Danville’s Kate Walls (16.5 ppg), the area’s leading scorer, and Olivia Rice (8.3 points, 5.6 rebounds per game) will be part of the team, as will East Knox’s Hayley Gray, Josie Burwell and Desiree Cottrell.
Highland head coach Betsy Morrison leads four of her seniors on the All-Stars team. Sam Zuber, the Scots’ second-leading scorer (9.0 ppg) and leader in blocks (2.0 per game) will be joined by Cassie Brown (2.6 steals per game), Shayla Pierce (5.1 ppg) and Taylor Hankins (3.4 rebounds per game).
Mount Vernon’s top player in 2012, Keli Thompson (10.0 ppg) and teammate Jordyn Peppers will join the Highland girls on the All-Stars team. Fredericktown will be represented by four-year starter Lyndsay Briegel (6.9 ppg), Jess Gable (5.1 rpg) and Ashley Burke. The All-Stars team is rounded out by Utica’s Danielle Doup (2.5 ppg) and Myranda Wolfe, who won’t play due to knee injury.
The boys game will feature five players from this season’s Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division champs. Mount Vernon head coach and All-Area Coach of the Year Kurt Kaufman will lead the All-Stars team, which will include Yellow Jacket stars Riley Swanson (15.9 ppg), Bradley Fenton (12.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg), Nathan Miller, Will O’Hara and Dakota Chapman.
The All-Stars feature a quartet of star players from the east side of Knox County. Danville’s Quinton Ferenbaugh (9.0 ppg) and Marcus Durbin (3.2 apg) will be joined by East Knox’s Mitch McDaniel and Cole Forshey. The All-Stars team will also feature the host school’s lone representative, Highland senior Payton Woodruff (7.3 ppg).
The Senior-Stars team will be led by Utica head coach Brian Radabaugh. The first-year varsity coach leads five of his seniors on the court. Nathan Wyscarver (9.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg) will be joined by Joel Swick, Clay Rowley (4.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals per game), Artie Douglas and Sam Preston.
Two seniors from Fredericktown, Justin Snyder (8.2 ppg) and Max Miller (7.6 ppg), will be part of the Senior-Stars.
The team is rounded out by a trio of Centerburg Trojans: Jacob Sutton, the team’s leading scorer (10.1 ppg); Chase Cochran; and Caleb White.
Between games, 12 seniors will take part in two rounds of the annual three-point shooting contest.
A Spirit Award, new to the Showcase, will honor the school with tonight’s best cheering section.