CANTON: Team basketball was prevalent during the 25th annual William Heichel Memorial Plain Rotary All-Star Classic on Wednesday at Malone University.
Girls and boys all-star teams from Stark County and Summit County met, and the Summit teams reigned supreme by securing both victories at Osborne Hall.
Wadsworth’s McKenzie O’Brien earned the MVP honor for the Summit girls team, which won 103-77. She had 16 points, three assists and two steals in the opening game.
“This was a lot of fun to play against some of the best of the best,” O’Brien said. “During the season we are really serious and we do like to have fun. It is nice to get out here with kids we played against and I guess you can say we have been rivals with throughout the year. Today, we became teammates and friends.”
Norton’s Cara Cook and Kenmore’s Porshae Hearn both posted a double-double in the win. Cook finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Hearn totaled 12 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
“This was a lot of fun because I have been playing with some of these girls or against them since third grade,” Cook said. “I played pretty good, but I can play better than this. This is a really good way to end a really good season and a really good career at Norton.”
The Summit Team led by double-digits for the majority of the game.
“It is different playing with girls you play against, and here we came out and played together and had fun,” Hearn said.
The Summit Team finished with six players in double-figure scoring. The other three were Medina’s Sarah Kinch (12 points), Firestone’s Imani Scott (11 points) and Wadsworth’s Rachel Goddard (10 points and five assists).
Twinsburg’s Ashley Morrissette and Brooke Smith combined with Hudson’s Hannah Boesinger and Archbishop Hoban’s Meghan Donohue to account for the other 28 points.
“When you are playing in an all-star game and you see that kind of balance, you know that the kids come from great programs,” said Twinsburg’s Julie Solis, who coached the Summit Team. “They came here to play team ball.”
Lake’s McKenna Stephens led the Stark Team with 17 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, three steals and earned the MVP honor.
Massillon’s Bre Peterson and Louisville’s Jordon Monnot both scored 10 points. Canton Central Catholic’s Aaliyah Dotson and GlenOak’s Emily Evans each scored nine points.
Nordonia’s Nick Piotrowski scored 16 points and was named the MVP for the Summit boys team, which won 113-110 in the second game.
“This was a great night for everyone,” Piotrowski said. “It was an honor to play with all these guys. I loved playing with these guys and I had so much fun.”
Archbishop Hoban’s DeAllen Jackson scored 15 points, and Copley’s Jayln Tyler added 13 points, six assists and four rebounds.
“I will remember playing with these guys and how fun of a group they were to be around,” Tyler said.
The Summit Team outscored the Stark Team 38-18 in the third quarter to take control.
“We got back into the game with defensive pressure,” Jackson said. “Coach told us to get up in them and make sure to speed up the tempo and force them to turn over the ball.”
Twinsburg’s AJ Edwards had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Barberton’s Scott Sabol (13 points), Nordonia’s Chris Scott (11 points) and Green’s Dan Fanelly (10 points) also reached double figures.
“This is an awesome night for all of these kids,” said Nordonia’s Matt Cash, who coached the Summit Team. “Obviously, it is an all-star team. It would be nice to have these kids on a day-in-and-day-out basis to play in the regular season and tournament. This is just a fun time to see all these seniors.”
Hudson’s Zack Brandy combined with East’s Demetrius Ray, Norton’s Tyler Sherman and Walsh Jesuit’s Mark Mittiga to account for the other 19 points. Perry’s Jeremiah Jackson scored 25 points to guide the Stark Team and receive the MVP honor.
Other Stark players in double digits were North Canton Hoover’s Dom Iero (17 points), Lake’s Chaese Vaudrin (15 points), Canton South’s Armond Fontes (13 points) and Marlington’s Lucas Strouble (12 points).