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MOUNT VERNON — The All-Stars ran away with the boys’ Mount Vernon News Senior Showcase Tuesday at Ariel Arena, using a flurry of 3-pointers and a series of dunks to take a 71-44 lead at the break to 132-84 by the final horn.
“The goal was to kill them,” Mount Gilead’s Mason Mollohan joked. “We didn’t want them to score at all, but we decided to let them score a little bit.”
The All-Stars, coached by Highland’s Chris Powell and his staff, had seven guys in double figures. Mollohan had a stellar first half and netted 13 points in the first, while Mount Vernon’s Jontey Greene had three 3-pointers and 11 points and Highland’s Andrew Wheeler knocked down two triples on his way to 10 points in the first half. All 10 All-Stars scored in the first half as the team notched 71 in the opening 20 minutes.
On the other end of the floor, Utica’s Mason Mueller was making it rain, splashing home five 3-pointers, several of which were well beyond the arc, for 15 points in the first half. East Knox’s Braydon Burkhart nailed home a trey and had seven points in the first half, while Fredericktown’s Jake Partington and Danville’s Corbin Hazen each had five in the opening period.
With a 27-point margin after halftime, both sides went to the more flashy plays, rising up for deeper three-pointers and connecting for attempted alley-oops. Danville’s Dylan James had a huge put-back dunk in the second half and looked to link up with his fellow Blue Devils, as well as his less familiar teammates for big slams.
“You know everybody, but it’s just fun to be able to actually play on each other’s teams and really get to know each other,” James said. “You just go out and put on a good show for everyone and just enjoy it because this is going to be a memory that you’ll have forever.”
The All-Stars had a mix of lineups throughout the night, but each combination seemed to work. The roster had five Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference players, four Yellow Jackets and one Viking from Northridge. The crew of 10 players combined to tack on another 61 points in the second half, led by 11 points from Greene and 10 from Noah Gleason.
“I played with a couple of those kids in AAU back in eighth grade and I’ve known them for a while,” Mollohan said of his squad. “It doesn’t really take that much time to get used to playing with each other.”
Danville’s Skyler Moore had the deepest three on the night, hitting a shot from just inside half court right before a media timeout on his way to nine points in the second half to lead the Senior Stars. James had eight points, while Anthony Gilmore had seven points in the half.
The Senior Stars had eight KMAC players with one from Utica, and the roster had the rivaled Blue Devils and Bulldogs sharing the same end of the court.
“You don’t like Danville no matter what,” Burkart said with a smile. “But, it was really fun playing with these guys. We’ve played with them for four years at least and we really know each other well. It was really fun to play with them.”
When the dust settled, the Jackets’ Greene had 22 points, five boards, two assists, two steals, a block and a slew of solid dunks on his way to earning MVP honors.
“Just go out and have fun and enjoy the night,” Greene said of his goals going into the game. “It was an enjoyable night and I’m glad I got to do it.”
Mollohan charted 21 points, four rebounds and two assists , while Gleason was just behind with 18 points, three boards, two assists and two blocks. Cole Dille and Carson Carpenter each netted 15 points, while Wheeler and Noah Dado kicked in 12 points apiece. Jaxon Snyder had eight points and Jackson Wilson and Chase Carpenter combined for nine points. Each Carpenter hauled in nine balls off the glass and Dado added eight rebounds.
Mueller’s 15 points stood tall on his team. Moore and James each poured in 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. Burkhart also scored in the double digits, racking up 11 points and three rebounds. Partington and Hazen had nine points apiece, while Hazen led his squad with 12 boards and three assists to go along with a block. Gilmore had seven points and Cody Cockrell and Logan Doubikin combined for nine. Doubikin had seven boards and Cockrell recorded a swat.
In the three-point contest, James and Wheeler distanced themselves from the field to square off in the finals and James got the edge over Wheeler, 6-4, to grab the trophy.
MOUNT VERNON — Cardington High School’s Paige Clinger scored 21 points, pulled down a dozen rebounds and grabbed four steals to stand tall in a star-studded roster of this year’s best area basketball talent. Clinger’s double-double helped the All-Stars defeat the Senior Stars, 85-53 in the 2019 Mount Vernon News All-Star Senior Showcase at Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Ariel Arena on Tuesday evening.
Clinger, who was chosen as the game’s most valuable player, dropped in three 3-pointers, scoring 12 points in the first half. The game was never close, with the All-Stars jumping out to a 24-12 lead in the opening half. Caroline Liggett of Northridge also helped to give the All-Stars a first-half boost, scoring seven of her 10 points for the game in the first half.
“It was such an honor, today,” Clinger said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. Playing with this group is a great way to end the season. I have gotten to know these girls quite well and I’ll be keeping in touch with them. Also, it was awesome to play with my teammate (Cardington’s) Kynlee Edwards and (Cardington and All-Stars’ Coach Jamie) Edwards, one more time.”
Savannah Gammell (14 points) of Centerburg had 1- points for the All-Stars in the first half. She also added 11 rebounds as her team opened up a 38-19 lead by the half.
“I think the key was just having fun,” Gammell said. “We’ve never played together so, when we practiced, we just scrimmaged. We just went out here to have a fun time and I think it worked for us, because we ended up winning. We were all laughing, talking and joking the whole time. It was fun and a real honor, too.”
The Senior Stars caught a little fire in the second half when East Knox Bulldogs teammates Sydney Buckingham and Taylor Nunamaker started to find the range. Buckingham scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half, while Nunamaker tallied six of her 14 points, in the game, after halftime.
“We were just all out there to have a lot of fun,” Buckingham said. “We’re not necessarily competing. There was a whole lot of chemistry in our group and we instantly became friends.”
Also, for the Senior Stars, Layne Lepley of Mount Vernon had eight points.
“It’s really exciting for players to come out here for one last game, before we’re finished with high school ball,” Lepley said. “We just all came out and play to have fun. Nothing is serious, so we all get along and enjoyed the game.”
In the meantime, Olivia Humes of Northridge found her stride in the second half, scoring 16 of her 18 game points in the second half to give the All-Stars a boost.
In the three-point contest after the game, Mount Vernon’s Macee Marcum and Johnstown’s Lauren Layman swished home seven 3-pointers apiece in the opening rounds to advance to the finals, where Marcum upped her total to eight to Layman’s six.