MOUNT VERNON — The stars of the class of 2020 got once last chance to strut their stuff.
Twenty-one girls from 12 different area high schools participated in the 40th annual Mount Vernon News All-Star Senior Showcase on Monday at Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Ariel Arena. They rained in a few threes, crossed over a few defenders and made some deft passes in some of the players’ final basketball game of their career.
The All-Stars used a strong first half, then held off the hard-charging Senior Stars for an 85-74 victory.
“Honestly, this was really fun. I enjoyed it,” said East Knox senior Meggan Bartok, who had 15 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals for the All-Stars. “This wasn’t like a normal game. It was more competitive, but fun. It was almost like a college-level game.”
The All-Stars consisted of players from East Knox, Centerburg, Highland, Mount Vernon and Utica, and took control early behind the play of Bartok, Utica’s Emily Londot and Highland’s Madison Cecil. A 20-6 run midway through the first half helped the All-Stars take a 30-13 lead.
Bartok had 10 of her 15 points in the first half, while Londot had eight and Cecil had 10 to help the All-Stars continue to lead, 44-33, at intermission.
“I was feeling hot with my outside shot. Our team was as well. It was pretty wild,” Bartok said.
Cecil and Londot continued to impress in the second half, with both scoring 10 in the second half.
“This was so much fun playing with all the girls I’ve played against the last six years,” said Cecil. “It was crazy fun.”
The second half, though, belonged to Danville’s CeCe Newbold. The Blue Devils’ star scored 13 of her team-high 17 in the second half, including six in a 13-2 run that pulled the Seniors to within five at 62-57.
“We played a different game. We had better flow (in the second half),” Newbold said. “It was a lot different playing with them instead of against them. I was happy with my team even though we didn’t win.”
Newbold did her damage inside in the second half, finishing the day with eight rebounds to go along with her 17 points.
“I’m not very tall, but I’m pretty strong. I tried to use my power inside,” she said.
But, five was as close as the Seniors could get. Cecil and her teammate, Brooklyn Baird (six points, three assists), sparked a 12-0 run to put the game on ice.
Londot was selected as the game’s Most Valuable Player after a stat-sheet stuffer night. The Utica senior had 18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in earning the honor.
The Seniors also got a huge game from East Knox’s Morgan McCauley, who hit three 3-pointers en route to 11 points. Highland’s Gena West added six points, three boards and two assists, while teammate Baird added three assists to go along with her six points. Centerburg’s Grace Mulpas finished the night with five points and five rebounds, while Mount Vernon’s Celina Fritsch had two points and four boards. The Yellow Jackets’ Bryn Elliott had two rebounds, an assist and a steal, while Highland’s Brooklyn Geiger had three rebounds.
The Senior Stars got a big game from Cardington’s twin towers — Casey Bertke and Hannah Wickline. Bertke finished with 15 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Wickline nailed a pair of 3-pointers to score 11 overall and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds.
Mount Gilead’s Maddie Fitzpatrick scored 10 points, pulled down five rebounds and had two assists, while her teammate Dakota Shipman had 10 rebounds and three points. Makayla Harris of Northridge contributed seven points, three rebounds and two steals, while Bobbi Berger of Danville had six points and two rebounds. Fredericktown’s Haylee Hulse had two points and two rebounds, Johnstown’s Ryan Helmke had two points and two steals, Northmor’s Julianna DiTullio had one point, three rebounds and two assists, and Megan Payne of Northridge contributed three rebounds and a steal.
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