VIA All-star Classic: Local players compete in event
The high school basketball season concluded for a number of area schools on Saturday in the 39th Annual Via All-Star Classic held at Northampton Area Community College.
In all, four games (two boys and two girls) were held on "Super Saturday" as the Colonial League faced the Lehigh Valley West and the Mountain Valley Conference took on the Lehigh Valley East.
In the opening contest, the Colonial girls pulled out a narrow 64-62 win over the LV West. That was followed by another tight contest, as the LV West boys outscored the Colonial squad by a 97-96 score.
Northwestern's Trista Cunningham collected seven points in the victory while Palmerton's Mikayla Krupa also was a member of the team.
Notre Dame-Green Pond's Tanner Reed led the Colonial League boys with 20 points, while Joey Nicolini of Emmaus paced LV West with 20. Northern Lehigh's duo of Matt Egan and Josh Landsberger participated in the game with each scoring four points.
After a break in the action from the opening two games for the Special Olympics shootout, the MVC-LV East girls took the court in what would be their final action as high school players.
It looked as if the LV East was going to run away with this one. They took a 39-28 lead into halftime, and held a double-digit lead for a majority of the second half.
But thanks to big a couple of three-pointers from Angelica Bertola (Notre Dame-ES) and Lisa Steakin (East Stroudsburg South), the MVC was able to come all the way back, and even had a shot at the buzzer to win it in regulation, but the game would go to overtime.
Sicole Walters (Pocono Mountain West) had four points in overtime, but it was not enough as the MVC fell to the LVC 85-83.
Mackenzie Dorney (Pleasant Valley) finished with eight points, and Keri Dekmar (Pleasant Valley) and Tiffany Thompson (Lehighton) each contributed six points. Julia Craig (Pleasant Valley) also played for the MVC all-stars.
In the final game of the day, the first half again was misleading to what would be the final outcome of a game. The MVC boys came out firing with dunks and three-pointers.
They had a 58-45 advantage at the half, thanks to the play inside the paint from Marquis Brown (Pleasant Valley), who had seven first half points, and a couple of rebounds.
Like a typical all-star game, there was a lot of offense on display, and not much defense. The LVC began hitting 3-pointers to climb back into the game. With the teams trading baskets toward the end of regulation, the MVC was up three with just two seconds left. David Williams (Freedom) took the inbounds pass and his shot from just inside half court hit off the rim, and the MVC took this one, 125-122.
"It was a great and fun experience getting to play with some of the best players in the Mountain Valley Conference," said Brown. "There were a couple of dunks and exciting plays out there to keep the crowd entertained. And that's what we wanted to do."
Along with Brown, the MVC was represented by Anthony Rossino (Lehighton), and was coached by Lehighton head coach Rich Oertner.