BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP - Spring sports have began in the TIMES NEWS area, but there was still a little basketball to be played this past weekend at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem Township.
All stars from the Lehigh Valley Conference East faced off with all stars from the Mountain Valley Conference on "Super Saturday" at the Via All Star Basketball Classic.
The day also featured two games between the Lehigh Valley West and the Colonial League all stars squads in the early afternoon along with a Special Olympics Shootout.
In the Opening game of the late afternoon session the Lehigh Valley East girls handled the Mountain Valley girls for a 97-55 victory. On the boys side, there wasn't much defense involved, which was expected, as the Lehigh Valley East boys defeated the MVC boys 114-102.
LVC East boys vs. MVC boys
As noted, defense was a rarity in this one, but entertainment was plentiful. There were highlight dunks throughout the ball game, but when it was all said and done the LVC had too much length and talent on the floor for the MVC squad.
The LVC East squad featured two Division 1 commits in Liberty's 6-7 forward Greg Noack (Monmouth) and Bethlehem Central Catholic's 6-10 center Matt Husek (Holy Cross). Both players finished in double figures on the day with Noack finishing with 25 points, including four dunks, while Husek tallied 16.
The MVC squad was much more guard oriented and featured two players from the TIMES NEWS area in Pleasant Valley players Devon Howard and Sekou Jones.
Jones, who is mostly known for his talents on the football field was a solid contributor for the Bears on the hardwood this season. Jones was grateful for the opportunity to play in the Via All Star Classic and was also happy to end his basketball career playing with a lot of talented athletes. Jones will play for the East Stroudsburg football squad next fall.
"This game was important to me because it was my last game and it was really fun out there playing with so many good players," said Jones. "I grew up playing basketball, so to be able to go out with a bang like this is great. It was also cool to play with guys that you've always competed against. You don't get to really know them personally when you're playing against them, so it was good to get know a few of these guys better."
Bears' guard Devon Howard was the top performer on the afternoon for the MVC squad. Howard, who will be playing basketball for Lackawanna College next winter showed he definitely has a lot of talent. Howard scored a game-high 31 points on the day.
"I've been playing against these guys since seventh grade, so it was nice to finally play with them," said Howard. "It's funny how much I have in common with a lot of these guys. We all have a lot of the same interests and it was just a fun atmosphere out there."
LVC East girls vs. MVC girls
The LVC East girls squad showed why once again they are regarded as one of the top conferences in the state, taking no prisoners, defeating the MVC all stars by 42 points.
The Calabrese sisters from Nazareth were a thorn in the MVC squad's side throughout the day as the two combined for 33 points. Morgan Calabrese hit four triples en-route to a 20-point performance, while Molly chipped in with 13 points.
Although the MVC squad couldn't come away with a "W" on the day coach Shawn Mumford from East Stroudsburg South was proud of his girls effort and was also proud to represent the Mountain Valley Conference.
"This was a true honor to be able to coach such a talented and good group of girls," said Mumford. "As a coach I have game planned for each one of these girls and it's nice to get to know them a little bit outside of that. We battle against eachother all season long and then to be able to coach them in such a great event like this is really a privilege.
Kasaundra Barclay was the lone TIMES NEWS area player in attendance on the day. The Lehighton senior scored five points on the afternoon. Arden Cisluycis from Pleasant Valley was also selected to the team, but was not in attendance.
Stephanie Davis, a member of the MVC team from Pocono Mountain West led all scorers with 22 points.