Mays named all-star game MVP

Published 3:43 pm Monday, April 10, 2023


Contributing columnist

Judie Mason won’t get credit for a coaching win but she certainly was a proud coach Saturday when two of her Danville players — Love Mays and Desiree Tandy — both played huge roles as the Kentucky all-stars beat Ohio 117-94 at Thomas More College.

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Mays, a UT-Martin signee, scored 23 points and was named her team’s most valuable player while Mason, an assistant coach under Franklin County’s Joey Thanker, said Tandy was a force inside and led Kentucky in rebounding.

“I was so proud to say Des and Love were mine,” the Danville coach said Sunday. “They were as prepared to play as anybody on the team. It makes me really proud to know they are both among the top kids in the state. Both played very important roles in the win.”

Miss Basketball Haven Ford of Rowan County, JaKayla Thompson of Manual and Mays gave Kentucky a trio of dynamic guards. Ford had 19 points while Thompson had nine points and was a defensive menace.

“Those three could help a college team win games,” Mason said. “Love finished (at the basket) a whole lot better than she did during the season. She is stronger. She works out every day with a trainer or (Danville assistant) coach (Tryston) Ford. She defended a girl going to Vandy and did a great job.”

In this all-star game, a different five players play in each of the first three quarters before coaches can decide who to play in the final 10-point period. Mays played with the “second” unit and Mason said she “dominated” with that group.

“When it came to the last 10 points and you wanted to win the game, both Love and Des were in there when we made our run,” Mason said. “Love was easily one of the best players in the game and I was so pleased with Des. She doesn’t have a lot of meat on her bones but she battled those bigger Ohio girls.”

Tandy also committed to Thomas More, a NAIA school, Sunday that Mason says is a “perfect fit” for her player.

“She had some other out of state offers but Thomas More has been on her all year,” Mason said. “She wants to major in nursery (her mother is a nurse) and Thomas More has one of the best nursing programs in the state. Des is very intelligent and knew this was the best place for her.”

Mason still thinks some schools missed out on Love who likely will be named to the Kentucky all-star team that will play Indiana this summer after her play against Ohio.

“Love was not player of the year in our region and was disappointed. For her to get MVP in this game was a little redemption for her,” Mason said. “She didn’t pout when she did get the regional player of the year. She never said a word.

“I told her in life that happens. Sometimes you don’t get a job you want or you get fired. It’s about how you respond and she handled this the right way. I still believe she could play for a lot of big-time schools because she is so athletic.She is going to be a better college player than high school player because there will be more players on her team who can get out and run with her.’

Mason will also be assisting with the Kentucky all-star team against Indiana.

“It’s a real honor for me to coach in games like this and then to have two of my players play so well just made it even better,” Mason said. “But our whole team was such a pleasure to coach. Our girls had a good time and treated it like an all-star game. But when it was time to play, you would have thought they had played together forever. It was so much fun.”