PARK HILLS — This Saturday, 39 of the area’s best senior basketball players will once again display their talents on the court, taking part in the annual Daily Journal/MAAA All-Star Games.
This year marks the ninth year the Daily Journal has hosted the games which will be held at Mineral Area College with over 350 seniors from the 12 high schools in the MAAA Conference participating.
This year’s girls game has a very special effect in that the head coach for the Small-School team played in the very first All-Star Game in 2002. Katie Taylor, who coached the Bismarck Lady Indians to a Class 2 District title this past season, scored 14 points in that first All-Star Game with her team winning the game.
This year’s format has changed for constructing the girls game. Like the boys game this year, players for the two girls teams have always been selected by dividing the schools into South and North teams.
This year, the girls game will be senior players from the Large-School Conference versus senior players from the Small-School Conference to bring about a more evenly-matched game.
Coach Chris Brewer from West County will be assisting Taylor in coaching the Small-School team which is loaded with talent. Bismarck will have three of its District champion players on the squad with Brooke Taylor, Coach Taylor’s sister, leading the way.
Brooke Taylor led the MAAA conference, both boys and girls, in scoring, surpassing the 2,500 point mark in her senior year. She will be joined by teammates Torrie Helms and Harley Cadwell. Helms anchored the Lady Indians with her three-point shots in district play and Cadwell took care of the boards with her rebounding.
Arcadia Valley also placed three players on the Small-School squad. Rachael Clark, Nichole Bone and Brittany Asher bring the bulk of the Lady Tigers scoring and rebounding to the All-Star Game.
Hannah Kuenzel and Kara Figge, both leaders of the Valle Lady Warriors, will be joined by the high-scoring Jessica Crocker of Valley and point-guard Jacie Missey of Kingston to round out the Small-School team.
The Large-School team will be coached by Farmington’s Class 4 District champion Coach Steve McFarland and North County’s Coach Craig Allen, with 39 wins between them in Class 4.
The Large-School team will sport a pair of seniors from Central, Farmington, Potosi and Ste. Genevieve and one player each from Fredericktown and North County.
Central’s point guard Stacey Williams will join center Alison Fischbeck to give the Large-School team a touch of speed and inside height for rebounding. Farmington’s pair adds the same dimensions to the team with guard Allie Trask and forward Whitney Heuring both very capable of putting up double-digit scoring numbers
Potosi’s two-player combo also contributes an outside-inside combination. Ballhandler Ashley Duncan will provide some three-point pop with center Madison Smith holding the opposition to just one shot each trip with her rebounding.
Samantha Brown and Kortney Campbell will represent Ste. Genevieve. Campbell has averaged over 10 points a game and Brown has been an inside force for the Hunters. Fredericktown’s Liz Laut and North County’s Abby Montgomery will add to a strong defensive game for the Large-School team.
The girls game starts at 6 p.m. with the boys game following at about 8 p.m. The admission price is the same as it has been since 2002, $3 per person or two for $5 for persons six and older, and children 5 and under are free. Proceeds after expenses will be donated to Mineral Area College’s sports program.