For much of the Lincoln Trail Conference's top-flight senior basketball talent, Sunday afternoon will be the final time they get to wear their respective school colors on the court.|
The LTC's third annual All-Star Basketball Classic is once again sponsored by Breedlove's Sporting Goods of Kewanee and set to take place at the Kewanee National Guard Armory (home of Black Hawk East hoops). It will feature many of the faces who made the 2013-14 prep season a memorable one enjoying one last go-round.
The girls' game tips off proceedings at 2 p.m., with the boys' game to follow. Admission is $5, with babies in arms getting in free.
For the North girls' squad, three key pieces for Annawan's 30-4, Class 1A state-championship squad will be participating -- guards Megan Foes and Maddie Jackson and forward Paige Randall. Annawan head coach Jason Burkiewicz will lead the North stars in his second appearance at the Classic.
Besides averaging 10 points per game, Foes was the Bravettes' defensive stopper with six steals per outing along with four rebounds and three assists per game. Jackson and Randall each averaged five points per game, but both provided the state champions with the defensive depth that made Annawan just the third Illinois Quad-Cities' area team to strike gold.
Joining that trio will be Mercer County's duo of guard Michaela Baker (9.5 points, 3.5 assists) and forward Kristin Heath (10 points, seven rebounds), who helped lead the Golden Eagles (13-15 overall) to a 7-3 LTC mark.
Coached by Wethersfield's Shane Tucker (a first-time Classic participant), the South All-Stars will be led by one of the league's top scorers, Lady Geese guard Kristen Parsons. Parsons led Wethersfield (13-19) with 20 points per game to go with 3.5 assists, 3.5 steals and four rebounds per outing.
Joining her will be two key members of Ridgewood's (17-13) 1A regional-finalist squad, forwards Jasmine Jefko (11.5 points, eight rebounds per game) and Morgan Green (7.5 points, 6.5 rebounds). Also on that squad will be ROWVA standout Emma Johnson and United forward Callie Brunswig (seven points per game).
In the subsequent boys' All-Star Classic, Wethersfield coach Jeff Parsons (making his second coaching appearance) will once again get to lead three of his top players from the Flying Geese's record-setting 30-3, 1A Sweet 16 club. The guard trio of Trevor Lay, Matt Jenkins and Jake Bennett will form nearly half of the South team's roster.
Capping a career as one of the area's greats, Lay gave the Geese wings with his 29 points, 6.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game, but his contributions were perfectly underpinned by Jenkins' 17 points per game and solid all-around play from Bennett (6.5 points, four rebounds, four assists).
Filling out the South roster will be West Prairie's Ethan Peterson and Stark County's Jake Berchtold alongside United forward Lance Sperry (15 points, six rebounds) and Mercer County forward Brandon Butcher (11.5 points, 7.5 rebounds per game).
All but one of the seven-member North squad -- the exception is West Central's Shafer McKune -- will consist of three players apiece from Annawan and Galva, both of which finished 15-15; Annawan's Brandon Christy will also serve as the North stars' head coach, making his first Classic appearance.
Representing Christy's Braves are guards Marcellous Butler (15 points, four assists) and Micam Smith (five points, two steals) and forward Ben Foster, who averaged a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds per game. Galva's trio are guards Dexter Ingels (28 points, six rebounds, four assists) and David Jeffries (10 points, six steals, five rebounds) and forward Rhett Hoxworth (12 points, six rebounds, three steals).
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