Meadville Tribune


March 25, 2014

Adams, East roll to victory

GUYS MILLS — Cochranton’s Garrett Adams was a few more 3-pointers away from running out of celebrations.

With a new gesture for each triple the senior connected on — which wound up being six — Adams and his East squad led from wire to wire to pick up a high-scoring 110-81 win over the West Tuesday night in the 2014 Townville Lions Club/Windstream Communications Senior All-Star Game at Maplewood High School.

Suffice it to say, defense was an afterthought for the 22 seniors that represented seven Crawford County schools. And as long as there would be wide open shots, Adams would be more than happy to fire away.

“I figured, why not throw up some threes?,” Adams said after being named the MVP of the East team. “They were going in, so I just kept chucking them.”

Chucking was the perfect description of the majority of shots taken Tuesday night, but nobody chucked better than Adams, who finished with a game-high 28 points.

He wasn’t alone, as the East squad had four players finish in double figures. Meadville’s Jake Gregor, known for his exceptional passing skills, filled up the scoreboard with 16 points for the East, while Bulldog teammate Derek Niemann finished with 11. Adams’ regular season partner in crime Josh Vanderhoof tallied 11 points.

The East were coached by Meadville’s Mark McElhinny, who had just as much fun watching the game from the sideline as the players did on the floor.

While the game was a constant up-and-down the court free-for-all, McElhinny still clung to his clipboard, although as it turns out, the thought of actually using it to call a play was never an option.

“I had it just to keep track of playing time,” McElhinny said laughing. “It’s fun to watch the kids. I’ve been watching them since fifth grade, so it’s a real pleasure to see them play now as seniors.”

The West was led by Cambridge Springs’ Austin Porter, who took home MVP honors for his team after scoring a team-high 14 points. Titusville’s Luke Anderson (13 points) and Herman Artis (12) followed, with Maplewood’s Alex Reagle finishing with 10 points.

While the girls’ game waited until the second half before the deep, deep 3-point attempts began, Conneaut’s Chase Gallo decided that five second into the game would be a perfect time to hurl up a 3-pointer that was taken closer to mid-court than the arch.

And that set the tone for 40 minutes of somewhat controlled chaos on the floor.

The East jumped out to a 12-2 lead, but the West rallied back midway through the first half to cut the lead to 21-16. But that would be the closest the West would get.

From Maplewood’s Ronnie Klingensmith running the point for the West, Titusville’s Dalton Moore putting together the nicest baskets of the game, to everybody working on their behind-the-back passes, just about anything each senior was not allowed to do during their high school career was flipped on its head, as long-range trey after trey was attempted, and often connected, by both teams.

Before the start of the game, a 3-point contest and a dunk contest took place, with Cochranton’s Logan Herzberger draining the most triples and Tituesville’s Luke Anderson throwing down the best dunks.

Anderson, who was looking for alley-oops and any reason to dunk during the game, finally got his chance late in the second half, when he drove home a two-handed slam.

The East broke the century mark with 3:38 remaining in the game, and that total was clearly the goal for the group of seniors wearing the red jerseys, as the bench erupted when the points were scored.

Probably the one thing that exceeded reaching 100 points was for each player to get on the floor one last time, regardless of the final score.

“It was pretty cool playing with some of these kids that I’ve been playing against all of my life,” Adams said. “I finally got to play with them, and you get to find out that they are pretty cool kids.”

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