Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
All-Stars show out
Area seniors clash in final game of the season
BURLINGTON — The annual Southeast Iowa All-Star basketball games were held at Notre Dame High School in Burlington on Saturday night, and the area’s hoopers were able to put on their uniforms for one last time.
The night saw two defense-optional scrimmage games between some of the best of the best that Southeast Iowa has to offer.
The girls’ game saw the “away” team, featuring Pekin’s Brooke Miller, WACO’s Ellah Kissell, and Winfield-Mount Union’s entire starting lineup of Melina Oepping, radio Buffington, Keetyn Townsley, Keely Malone and Anna Anderson pick up a win.
The girls’ ‘away’ squad defeated the ‘home’ team, which featured New London’s Natalie Burden and Camryn Lair among others, by a final score of 57-48.
A dunk-filled boys’ game ended in favor of the ‘home’ squad. Representing the Union on the home team were Van Buren County’s Jackson Manning and Wyatt Mertens and New London’s Blaise Porter, Kade Benjamin and Rylan Martin.
The home team rolled to a 106-81 victory over the ‘away’ group, which featured Hillcrest Academy’s Grant Bender and Luke Schrock, Pekin’s Ben Ehret and Cade Bemis, Columbus’ Grant Watson, WACO’s Cody Graber, Simeon Reichenbach and Isaac Oswald, and Winfield-Mount Union’s Andrew Brown and Caleb Giese.
The night was also highlighted by two 3-point contests and a dunk contest, two of which were won by area competitors.
Malone of WMU lit it up in the girls’ 3-point contest, out-dueling teammates Townsley and Anderson, as well as a second-place Kissell for the top spot.
A strong lead off performance by Pekin’s Ehret wasn’t enough in the boys’ 3-point contest, which was won by Danville’s Spencer Nelson.
Benjamin of New London dazzled the crowd in the dunk contest. After leading a group of four finalist, Benjamin defeated Burlington’s Merquiche Lewis in the final.
Among the four finalists in the dunk contest was Bender of Hillcrest Academy. Bender was knocked out with four dunkers left.
The night marked the end of the high school basketball careers for many decorated seniors on both the girls’ and boys’ side. It also gave opposing players the opportunity to team up for the first time ever.