West sweeps all-star basketball games
by Staff Reports
By: Daniel Clark
Special to the DemocratGREENSBORO — The West girls' all-stars basketball team built an early advantage, staved off a mid-third quarter run and cruised to a 82-65 win over the East in the 38th annual East-West All-Star Game Monday night at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The West, coached by Ashe County's Laura Foster, led by as many as 18 points with 55 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. The West relied on its defense to capitalize in forcing the East into 18 turnovers for the contest and a 23 percent shooting from the floor.
West dominated the fourth quarter by outscoring the East 25-16 in the period. The West had built its double-digit lead early in the quarter and was able to cruise down the stretch. The East managed to shoot just 9-of-42 from the field in the second half.
“I was mainly concerned with our size,” Foster said. “I thought our quickness took over.”
Both teams were even for the early stages of the third quarter, before the East put together a short 5-0 run to cut the lead to 51-48 following a 3-point shot from the East's Jatisha Hyman (Chocowinity-Southside).
The run forced Foster to take a timeout, and the West regrouped and slowly pushed its lead back up to 57-49 at the end of the period with help from seven points from local product Paige Love (Wilkes Central).
Love, who will play at UNC-Asheville in the fall, was named the game's Most Valuable Player after finishing with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field. The West had three players in double figures, in addition to Love. Tori Cook (West Forsyth) had 11 points, while Ashton Fleming (R.J. Reynolds) and Jordan Hiatt (Mt. Airy) both chipped in 10.
The East was led in scoring by Alexus Cooper (Rocky Mount), who finished with 16 points. Ciara Morris (South View) added 14 points and a team high six rebounds.
“I thought we had the speed advantage over them,” Foster said. “After three quarters, I think it showed. I think their legs got to them.”
The West used an 11-4 run over the final 5:47 of the second quarter to take its biggest lead of the first half and take a 40-31 lead into the half. The East had cut its first quarter deficit to two at 29-27 before the West spurt.
That early lead with came after a 9-0 first quarter run fueled by some stingy defense. West led 22-17 at the end of one. The East was held to a meager 26 percent shooting in the first half, and committed 11 turnovers. The West shot 42 percent for the half.
“They played hard and, yeah, we wanted to win,” Foster said. “We're not going to prevent anybody from getting playing time, but we want to win if it's close. Naturally we want to win and the girls played hard on the defensive end. There were times when we went one-on-one a little too much, but that happens in a game like this. They did everything I asked of them.”
WEST BOYS 107, EAST 97
GREENSBORO — The boys' All-Star Classic saw the West, who led by as many as 22 in the third quarter, hold off a furious East rally to win 107-97 in the night-cap at the Greensboro Coliseum in front of 3,006 fans Monday.
Ashe County standout Zeb Richardson finished the game with six points and five rebounds. West MVP Shawn Lester (Mooresville) scored 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. The West had five players score in double figures. Daniel Ingram scored 23 points to lead the East in scoring.
“I thought our team played very well,” Richardson said. “I didn't think I did as well as I could have, but I'm still happy with how the game ended.”
The West maintained an eight point lead for much of the fourth quarter until the East cut it to two on a Denzel Ingram (Chapel Hill) free throw with 4:20 to play.
That was as close as the East would get as Rob Noyes (Freedom) put an exclamation point on the West win with a thunderous jam with 1:45 to play.
The West built a 22-point lead at 65-43 with 6:18 to go in the third and seemed to have the game in cruise control. However over the next three minutes the East would mount a 23-3 surge cutting the lead to 68-66 and a time out from West head coach Brad Levine (East Rutherford).
The first half was also story of runs. The East jumped out to an early 7-1 run before the West was able to gain its rhythm.
The West countered with a 13-1 run of its own, forcing a timeout by East head coach Mike Rotolo (Southern Vance) at the 4:45 mark of the first quarter. The East got as close as 16-13 before the West closed the quarter on a 6-0 to lead 22-13. In the second period the West continued its hot shooting taking a 54-38 lead into the locker room.
The West hit four three-pointers and made 46.6 percent of its shots for the half while the East shot a meager 26.4 percent in the half.