12th region all-stars all smiles at debut event

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Who won? Who lost? Who cares?

Certainly not the players who participated in the inaugural 12th Region Sports All Star Games. They came for a good time, and that’s exactly what they got.

Competition took a back seat to conviviality Saturday at Danville Christian, as the senior basketball players who took part in the games and related competitions smiled their way through their all-star experience.

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“I thought it was pretty fun, playing with all these different players. Everybody got along, and it was a fun event,” Danville’s Jarius Bryant said. “It’s competition, but it’s more on the fun side.”

Bryant was one of the night’s big winners, as he won the boys 3-point shooting competition and then prevailed in a shootout with classmate Love Mays of Danville, the girls 3-point champion.

But he said the slam dunk contest was what he would remember most about the event, even though he only watched that competition.

“The dunks were pretty good,” Bryant said. “I’m for sure going to remember (winning the 3-point contest), but the dunks, that was crazy.”

The event was created with the intent of making sure the seniors enjoyed themselves in one final high school basketball experience, and Tristen Himes of DCA said it worked exactly as intended.

“I felt like everyone had a lot of fun and we could just goof off and cut up with each other, and it was really nice,” Himes said.

It was the final organized basketball game for Himes and others who won’t play college basketball, and she said it was a great way to go out — especially in her home gym.

“It was a perfect way to finish out, and I hope it continues each year,” she said.

Colton Ralston of Lincoln County was named the most valuable player in the boys game after leading his North team to a 113-96 victory with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Ethan Cooper of Garrard County scored 19 points, Bryant and Jacob Qualls of Burgin had 12 points each and Jakei Tarter of Boyle County had 12 rebounds for the North. Grayson Domidion of DCA had nine points and seven rebounds for the South.

In the girls game, Chloe Dunn of Casey County had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the South in its 81-56 victory. MVP Grace Bruner of Somerset had 14 points and eight rebounds for the South.

Samantha Bottom of Danville led the North with 18 points, Victoria Inmon of DCA had 13 points and eight rebounds and Desiree Tandy of Danville had 10 points.

Cayden Lancaster of Pulaski County won the dunk contest.