Foster honored to coach in all-star game
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
GREENSBORO — Ashe County coach Laura Foster knows that coaching all-star games is a rare experience.
Foster became the first Ashe County coach to take to the bench in the East-West All-Star Game, which is played annually. Foster coached the West team to an 82-65 victory over the East Monday at the Greensboro Coliseum after the West outscored the East 25-16 in the fourth quarter.
Foster was obviously happy to win the game, but was also happy for the chance.
“I'm just honored by it,” Foster said. “It's the experience of a lifetime. You only get to do it one time in a career and not many coaches get to.”
Foster reached her goal of making sure that everybody played nearly the same amount of time. No player saw more than 21 minutes, and all players saw at least 19 minutes of time. Wilkes Central guard Paige Love was the Most Valuable Player by scoring 15 points and grabbing two rebounds.
The West team subbed in platoons on Tuesday by subbing five players at a time at the five-minute mark of each 10-minute quarter. That made it easier to make sure everybody played the same amount of minutes.
“We went by who was playing the best in the game at the end, and everybody had the equal amount of time,” Foster said.
Love was somewhat aware of what type of coach Foster is.
Love played against Ashe County during her four-year career. Ashe County struggled this past season, but the Huskies are usually one of the teams to beat in girls' basketball in the Mountain Valley Conference.
“We played coach Foster in our conference for four years,” Love said. “We finally got revenge on them in the conference tournament my junior year. It was when it all changed for us.”
“But she's a phenomenal coach and I'm so glad I got to play for her,” Love added
Love said playing for Foster may not always be easy, but the graduating senior was happy to get the chance.
“She's just the type of coach you want,” Love said. “She's all up in your face, but when it comes down to it, she cares about you and she really wants you to see the best in you.”
Love had an easier adjustment to Foster since the coach was an assistant under Wilkes Central head coach Scott Waugh before taking over the Ashe program.
“I'm glad she was on my team instead of me facing her,” Foster said. “I faced her for four years, but she was a pleasure to coach as were all of the girls. They all represented their communities and their schools on and off the court all three days.”
This year, Wilkes Central was the MVC champions and runner-up in the state 2-A girls' basketball finals, losing to Jordan Matthews. After leading the West to an 82-65 win over the East in the East-West All-Star Game, Love felt a bit of revenge for that loss.
“That was one of my goals,” Love said. “That was such a hard loss to Jordan Matthews. We wanted that win so bad. It was so sad in the locker room, but it was such a honor to play.”