West girls win D5 All-Star game
NEW PARIS — The annual Nationwide District 5 Athletic Directors Association All-Star basketball games were played at Chestnut Ridge High School on Monday night, and the two games could not have been any more different.
On the girls side, the West took a late lead to capture the back-and-forth affair with the East, 73-68.
“I had fun — no doubt about it,” East coach Todd Eckenroad of Northern Bedford said. “It was a joy coaching these kids.”
However, on the boys side, the East used a 31-0 over the final seven minutes of the opening half to blow out the West, 95-52.
The girls contest saw four ties and five lead changes in the opening half as the West erased an early 10-4 advantage by the East and climbed back to tie it at 16-16, then at 26-26 after the East regained the lead.
Rockel Eutin of North Star converted a layup with 1:41 left in the opening half to put the West back on top at 28-26 as they would head into the break up 33-31.
The second half proved to be even more of a see-saw battle as the final 18 minutes of play had seven ties and 13 lead changes with several sequences where the lead exchanged hands on ever basket.
Trailing 55-53, the East grabbed its largest lead of the second half when the Northern Bedford trio made their mark.
Sadie McConnell hit a bucket which Kaity Corle answered with a layup and a 3-pointer. Haley Curry of Conemaugh Township made 1-of-2 from the foul line for the West before Mackenzie Gates nailed a shot to put the East in front 62-56,
The game was tied at 62-62 on two free throws by Windber’s Jaclynn Toki of the West; 64-64 on a hoop by Everett’s Sydney Reffner of the East; and one last time at 68-68 when Reffner canned 1-of-2 free throws with 1:38 remaining.
Somerset’s Maria Weimer, who won the halftime 3-point shootout contest, would hit the biggest one of the day when she banked in a trey from the left side with 1:21 to go to give the West the lead for good.
“The one thing we all noticed about Maria, because we don’t get to see her a whole lot, is that she never stopped moving the whole time on the floor,” West coach Haley Prosser of Berlin Brothersvalley said. “So, that kind of stuff works out for good players.”
Curry would made good on a layup to set the final.
“She (Weimer) got herself open and shot one in. She put it right on the box and it bounced in,” Eckenroad said. “… The kids played hard and it looks like they had alot of fun on both sides. So, it was good getting to know the kids too.”
Toki was named the MVP for the West, while Fannett-Metal’s Allyson Hoffman, who led all scorers with 17 points, won the award for the East.
Weimer led the West with 14 points and Destiny Mock of Shade added 10.
Reffner and Taylor Coffman of Fannett-Metal tallied 10 points each for the East squad which knocked down 11 from 3-point range.
WEST GIRLS (73): O. Kretchman 0 5-6 5, Weimer 6 0-0 14, Martz 2 3-4 8, Flick 3 1-2 7, Toki 2 2-2 6, Mock 5 0-0 10, Curry 4 1-2 9, K. Kretchman 2 0-0 4, Friedline 2 1-2 6, Eutin 2 0-0 4. Totals: 28 13-18 73.
EAST GIRLS (68): Gates 4 0-0 8, Reffner 3 3-6 10, Coffman 4 0-0 10, Corle 3 0-0 7, Morton 0 0-0 0, McConnell 3 0-2 7, Hoffman 6 1-2 17, Fuller 1 0-0 2, Perry 2 1-2 7. Totals: 26 5-12 68.
SCORE BY HALVES
West girls 33 40 — 73
East girls 31 37 — 68
3-point field goals: West girls 4 (Weimer 2, Martz 1, Friedline 1); East girls 11 (Hoffman 4, Coffman 2, Perry 2, Reffner 1, Corle 1, McConnell 1).
East boys prevail
The boys matchup started out the same way the girls finished — with a back-and-forth feel to it as the early going had two ties and three lead changes with Chestnut Ridge’s E.J. Jackson opening the scoring with two foul shots for the East.
Rockwood’s Josh Knepper with hit a layup to tie it, Logan Cooper of Ridge would bury a triple that was quickly answered by Shade’s Michael Hartman to make it 5-5.
Chestnut Ridge’s Noah Dillow completed the Lions trifecta as she drove to the basket for two more that would give the East the lead for good at 7-5.
A 2-for-2 showing from the charity stripe by the West’s Camron Coddington of Somerset closed the East lead to six (27-21). That’s the closest the game would be the rest of the way.
“To get a group of kids like that all on one team is fun,” East coach Kent Hendershot of Southern Fulton said. “That’s what makes it fun. I told them we had very few rules but what we wanted to do, we did. The better team won.”
Hendershot is retiring after 27 years of coaching, including 25 years at Southern Fulton.
Tussey Mountain’s L.J. Waters scored on a putback to kickstart the 31-0 run.
During the spurt, the West fell ice cold from everywhere on the court — but mostly from downtown.
The misses allowed the much quicker and taller East squad to rip down the rebounds and start the fast break.
During the game-changing burst, Dillow scored 12 of his game-high 21 points to lead the East charge.
When the first half finally ended, the East found themselves in a very comfortable 60-23 lead.
Reaching the 100-point mark seemed inevitable at that point, but the West buckled down on the defensive end and knocked down half of their 14 3-pointers on the game to only lose the second half by a 35-29 margin.
“I said to Kent, ‘we’re pretty small so we better make a bunch of threes or this could get pretty ugly’,” West coach Tanner Prosser of Berlin Brothersvalley said. “We didn’t make a bunch of threes. But, hey, it’s an all-star game, the kids had fun.”
Forbes Road’s Brycen Hohman was named the East’s MVP as he finished with 16 points, while Bedford’s Tyler Dawson collected 15 and Waters tallied 13.
For the West, Cody Simanski of Windber won MVP honors as he recorded all 15 of his points on five 3-pointers. Teammate Nick Gooden of Berlin Brothersvalley went scoreless in the game but did win the 3-point shootout at the half.
WEST BOYS (52): Simanski 5 0-0 15, Lytle 0 0-0 0, Coddington 3 2-2 9, Knepper 3 2-2 8, Hartman 3 0-0 9, Gooden 0 0-0 0, Thomas 3 0-0 9, Eckenroad 0 0-0 0, Brick 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 4-4 52.
EAST BOYS (95): Dillow 5 11-15 21, Jackson 0 4-4 4, Wingert 2 1-2 5, Cooper 3 0-0 9, Harman 2 0-0 4, Kline 2 0-0 4, Potter 1 0-0 2, Waters 6 0-0 13, Hohman 5 3-4 16, Lynch 1 0-0 2, Dawson 6 0-0 15. Totals: 33 19-26 95.
SCORE BY HALVES
West boys 23 29 — 52
East boys 60 35 — 95
3-point field goals: West boys 14 (Simanski 5, Hartman 3, Thomas 3, Coddington 2, Knepper 1); East boys 10 (Cooper 3, Hohman 3, Dawson 3, Waters 1).