Scoring records fall in full night of entertainment at WUHS –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
It was that one final “shining moment” last Friday night at West Union High School as local radio station C013 hosted their 34th annual Senior All-Star Game for seniors from the Southern Hills Athletic Conference. A few of Friday’s participants will move on to continue their hoops careers at the college level, but for the majority, this was their final chance to star on the hardwood in front of fans, friends, and family, and they did that in an evening full of basketball and many other activities planned and implemented by the radio station.
The action began with the Girls’ All-Star Game, with the White Team, coached by Lynchburg’s Whitney Lewis and North Adams’ Rob Davis, battling the Red Team, headed up by Fairfield’s Chad Hamilton and Eastern Brown’s Kevin Pickerill. The format for the girls’ game was a pair of 15-minute halves and they turned out to be rather low-scoring halves as some of the young ladies may have been a bit rusty after the layoff since their seasons ended.
In the first half, it was Fayetteville’s Taylor Cornett having the hot hand for the Red Team, as she fired in 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers, but a balanced attack by the White Team that saw seven different girls score gave them the 26-22 halftime advantage.
After another outstanding performance by the West Union Percussion Group at the break, the girls’ teams stepped back on the floor and did a complete reversal of the first half. In the final 15 minutes, only the Binkley twins, Hannah and McKayla, from Lynchburg could score for the White Team as the Red Team rallied from behind. Peebles’ Jessica Sowards hit a trio of three-point shots, Eastern Brown’s Destinie Rose scored three baskets, and Ripley’s Kacy Gilkerson added two more buckets, and the Red Team outscored their opponents 23-14 in the second half and claimed a 45-40 win.
The White Team was led by McKayla Binkley’s 15 points, with sister Hannah adding 6, with West Union’s Shannon Runyan, Whiteoak’s Maggie Carr, and Fayetteville’s Savannah Lynch all scoring 4 apiece.
For the winning Red squad, Sowards led the way with 12, all from behind the three-point arc, with Eastern’s Rose adding 11 and Fayetteville’s Cornett 10.
Between the two games, the Hot Shot Contest was held, with both boys and girls competitions. First up were the six girls participants-Lynchburg’s Lexie Waits, Ripley’s Kursten Prater, North Adams’ Madison Jenkins, North Adams’ Caitlin Young, Manchester’s Kylie Lucas, and Eastern’ Destinie Rose. The Hot Shot Contests consist of each competitor getting 30 seconds to fire off as many three-point shots as possible from ball racks positioned in the corner, on the wing, and at the top of the key. The girl’s winner was Caitlin Young, with a total score of 8.
In the boys’ contest, the shooters were Peebles’ Camron Gordley, Lynchburg’s Joe Giordano, Peebles’ Ethan Parrett, West Union’s Craig Horton and Andrew Weeks, and Manchester’s Bryan Young. The contest ended in an 8-8 tie between Giordano and Horton, but the West Union senior took home the title with an 8-7 win in the shoot-off. That left just one more order of business-the girls’ champions and the boys’ champions facing off, and Young got the best of Horton in that round, 9-6.
Following an auction of basketballs autographed by both teams and a megaphone signed by the cheerleaders, the boys’ teams took the floor with Peebles’ Josh Arey and the retiring Everett Snyder of Fairfield leading the White Team, with Manchester’s Joey Darnell and Lynchburg’s Matt Carson
coaching the Red Team.
As expected, the boys’ game was a high-flying, long distance, high scoring event with the two teams combining for 116 points in just the first half, which for the boys consisted of 20 minutes.
No less than 16 three-pointers found the bottom of the net in the first half, with the White Team jumping to an early double digit advantage thanks to the strong play of Peebles teammates Gordley and Parrett, who together tallied 23 first-half points. The Red Team rallied from that early deficit behind 9 first half points from West Union’s D.J. Welch as the baskets continued to rain down from both sides, resulting in a 63-53 halftime lead for the White Team.
At halftime of the boys’ game, the always popular Slam Dunk contest was held, with All-Stars Giordano, Gordley, Horton, joined by Eric McLaughlin from Lynchburg and Bowan Tomlin from West Union. As usual, the crowd was “wowed” by the variety of dunks, even one including a grandfather brought in from the stands, with the judges being referees Dave Stamm, Beau Tackett, and Brent Gilliland. In the end, the winner in cumulative points was the junior McLaughlin, who may already be penciled in as next year’s early favorite.
Also before play resumed, the much anticipated C103 Scholarships were awarded to 10 athletes from the Southern Hills Athletic Conference. This year’s winners of $1,000 towards their college expenses were: Hannah Binkley (Lynchburg), McKayla Binkley (Lynchburg), Caitlin Young (North Adams), Shannon Runyan (West Union), Shyanne Tucker (Manchester), Jesse Current (Fairfield), Blake Rigdon (Eastern Brown), Craig Horton (West Union), Camron Gordley (Peebles), and Wyatt Evans (Fairfield).
When play resumed in the boys’ game, so did the scoring as the White Team rolled to an All-Star Game record, smashing the century mark on their way to 118 points. The second half explosion was led by Fayetteville’s Max Lanham, with 14 points after the break. When all was said and done, the White Team had claimed a record-breaking 118-90 victory, culminating an evening of hard work by C103 employees that always results in an entertaining evening for the local basketball faithful.
Lanham led six players in double figures for the White Team with 22, with Gordley getting 20, Current 17, Parrett 14, Jensen Daulton 13, and Clay Walker 11.
The Red Team was paced by 15 points from Rigdon, with Welch adding 14, and Giordano 13.
GIRLS BOX SCORE
White 26 14 – 40
Red 22 23 – 45
White (40): Runyan 4, M. Binkley 15, Carr 4, Jenkins 2, H. Binkley 6, Lynch 4, Lucas 2, Arnett 3
Red (45): Cornett 10, Rose 11, Arnold 6, Sowers 2, Sowards 12, Gilkerson 4
White (6): Arnett 1, M.Binkley 3, H. Binkley 2
Red (7): Sowards 4, Cornett 2, Rose 1
BOYS BOX SCORE
White 63 55 – 118
Red 53 37 – 90
White (118): Lanham 22, Daulton 13, Parrett 14, Kramer 6, Current 17, Evans 4, Wissel 6, Rogers 1, Gordley 20, Weeks 4, Walker 11
Red (90): Knechtly 9, Ball 6, Deaton 5, Welch 14, Giordano 13, Cox 7, Young 2, Thornburg 5, Horton 6, Diener 4, Stroop 4, Rigdon 15