Competitors became teammates Saturday night when local All-Star high school seniors played in the Daily Journal’s annual All-Star Basketball Tournament at Mineral Area College (MAC).
“It’s about sportsmanship,” said Jesse Waters of West County. “I don’t have a problem with anybody. This is fun.”
Jonathan Brewer of Ste. Genevieve said he enjoyed playing with former competitors.
“I’ve very grateful to be selected for this,” he said. “Even though it is competitive today, it’s fun. We have good chemistry.”
A media panel of area sportswriters and broadcasters chose 43 seniors to represent the Mineral Area Activities Association (MAAA) Conference in the games. According to MSHSAA rules, only seniors are allowed to participate after their season in an All-Star game without loss of high school eligibility.
This is the 11th year the Daily Journal has organized the tournament.
“It’s our way of helping the community focus on the wonderful job our student athletes do during the school year,” Publisher Gary Berblinger said. “It also gives us an opportunity to make a small contribution to MAC.”
The evening began with the 21 girls playing on two teams according to high school size. Abby Meyer of Ste. Genevieve played on the large school team against the small schools team.
“It meant a lot to me. I was really excited!” she said of being named to the team. “I didn’t realize what a big deal it was until I got here.”
The 22 boys were split into north and south teams. The north team schools were North County, West County, Ste. Genevieve, Valle, Potosi and Kingston and the south team schools were Central, Farmington, Bismarck, Fredericktown, Arcadia Valley and Valley.
Coaches were selected according to their conference record. High school referees officiated the game with regular high school rules with the exception of extending quarters to 10 minutes instead of eight. PRORehab had a trainer available if needed.
During half-time, students at Triplett & Propst Performing Arts and Studios, LLC entertained with their high-energy group acrobatics. Younger, smaller students were sent flying into the air by their older counterparts. Girls did flips up and down the court, while others rolled, jumped and whirled to the music. Roy Henson of Mineral Area College also provided musical entertainment before and after the games as well as during time-outs.
During half-time, some fans had an opportunity to shoot baskets and win prizes provided by the ‘Cardinals Nest’ and MEGA Sports.
All proceeds after expenses were donated to Mineral Area College for their Sports Department.
Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at email@example.com.