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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

All-star game turned into Extravaganza

Sunday, March 16, 2003

The event will feature a small school boys game, a girls game and a large school boys game featuring Lontas McClinton (above), Tony Webb, Chris Hyten and Kewain Gant.
POPLAR BLUFF -- The top senior high school basketball players in Southeast Missouri will be on display March 29, taking part in the B.A. Sports All-Star Extravaganza.

The day-long event will take place at the Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff, starting at 11 a.m.

"Our kids don't get much exposure due to our location," said promoter Brad Aycock. "We felt we needed to do something to help elevate the players and coaches in our area, since we have some of the top talent and coaches in the state. It's just a celebration of the rich tradition of Southeast Missouri basketball."

The Extravaganza will feature a small school boys all-star game, a girls all-star game, a slam dunk competition, a 3-point shootout and a large school boys all-star game. Admission will be $5.

"I'm from a small school myself, and in the past, it seemed like the small schools were overlooked a bit," said Aycock. "They have all-stars too, but in the past, it has been a numbers game and they haven't gotten an opportunity to play. We've had tremendous response from the smaller communities."

Following the all-star games, there will be a banquet at First Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff. The Harlem Globetrotters will then cap off the night back at the Coliseum at 7 p.m.

"Hopefully this turns into a prestigious annual event for Southeast Missouri basketball players," said Aycock. "I want them to feel honored to be a part of it. We've put a lot of work into this, and I hope it shows once it all starts. We want it to really be a spectacle for the fans to come out and see."

The small school boys all-star game will start things off at 11 a.m. at the Coliseum. Players and coaches were selected by an independent panel of broadcasters, sportswriters and referees.

Unlike previous all-star games, teams were not chosen based on location of the schools, meaning several high school teammates will play against each other.

For example, Oran coach Mitch Wood and his son Ryne Wood were chosen for Team 2. They will go up against Oran's Nathan Seyer, who was selected for Team 1.

"I definitely know what he does," said Wood, when asked about competing against Seyer. "To be honest with you, I'm going to hate to coach against him. I wouldn't want to do it day in and day out because he's such a good player."

Team 1 will be coached by David Heeb of Bell City and Delane Beckwith of Clarkton.

Along with Seyer, players on Team 1 include Advance's Jared Ritter, Bell City's Kenyon Wright, Clarkton's Andre Marsh, Greenville's Jason West, Meadow Heights' Joey Bell, North Pemiscot's Shaviste Grandberry, Risco's Greg Landers, South Pemiscot's Herman Rogers and Zalma's Chad Wiseman.

Players on Team 2 are Ryne Wood, Bell City's Eric Henry, Bernie's Chad Woolridge, Campbell's Jared Odom, Clarkton's David Mathis, Cooter's Ricky Idlett, Delta's Joey Keys, Gideon's Brandon Ashbraner, Van Buren's Kyle Matt and Delta C-7's Derrick Dye.

Team 2 will be coached by Jim Hall of Advance and Mitch Wood. "It should be a lot of fun, getting to coach some good, quality kids," said Wood. "I'm definitely going to try to play all the kids a lot, because it's an honor to be out there. Hopefully they will get a chance to be seen by the right people."

After the small school boys, the all-star girls game will start around 12:30 p.m. The girls game will feature both large and small schools.

Team 1 will consist of Cape Central's Alex Wieser, Delta's Rebecca Below, Kelly's Dana Essner, Notre Dame's Ashley Millham, Portageville's Janil Booker, Dexter's Katie Dunlap, Jackson's Whitney Werner, Campbell's Laura Thompson, South Iron's Ashley Castel and Kennett's Liz McCrakin.

The team will be coached by Ron Cook of Jackson and Gavin Miller of Dexter.

"I'm kind of shocked that they picked me, it's an honor," said Miller. "I like the team I'm paired with. I've talked to a couple of girls on the other team and they asked if we could do some trading. We're really looking forward to it, it should be a lot of fun."

Players on Team 2 are Clearwater's Erica Ross, Cape Central's Anna Brisso, Delta's Rebecca Cook, Jackson's Jenna Leet, East Carter's Christy Jameson, Chaffee's Jennifer Vandeven, Dexter's Amy Rose, South Iron's Rachel Ford, Twin Rivers' Codi Dempster and Malden's Sheilena Stone.

Team 2 will be coached by Kirk Chronister of Poplar Bluff and Jerry Grim of Notre Dame.

"I think the girls are going to take it pretty seriously," said Miller. "You're going to have girls from the same high school playing against each other, and that could be interesting to see."

After the girls game, the slam dunk and 3-point shootout will begin around 2 p.m. Two participants will be selected from each team.

The large school boys all-star game is scheduled to tipoff at 3 p.m. Team 1 will be coached by John David Pattillo of Poplar Bluff and Eric Sitze of Dexter.

Players on Team 1 include Dexter's Chris Hyten, Charleston's Kewain Gant, Caruthersville's Chris Springer, Kelly's Major Burger, Sikeston's Lavar Morgan, Scott City's D.J. Walton, Notre Dame's Cory Beussink, Doniphan's Danny Kellas, East Prairie's Matt Boyer and Poplar Bluff's Cheron Pearson.

"It's going to be a fun time," said Sitze. "I can't imagine having all these good players on one team. I like the way the teams were chosen this year."

Team 2 will consist of Twin Rivers' Robby Moore, Sikeston's Lontas McClinton, Kennett's Tyree Goolsby, Malden's James Farr, Poplar Bluff's Tony Webb, Portageville's Aaron Bidewell, Notre Dame's Travis Siebert, Dexter's Preston Clark, Doniphan's Shayne Talburt and Ste. Genevieve's Matt Bader.

The team will be coached by Jim Bidewell of Portageville and Danny Farmer of Charleston.

"It might start out a little laid back, but as the end of the game gets closer, I imagine it's going to get pretty competitive," said Sitze. "We are all competitors, and everybody there wants to win, but we also want to get everybody involved."

After the large school boys game, an awards banquet will take place at the First Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff at 5 p.m. Meals will be provided for all-star players and all-star coaches.

Three Rivers coach Gene Bess will be the guest speaker at 5:30 p.m., followed by an awards banquet honoring the top players for their accomplishments this season.

A few trophies given out will be the Anthony Beane Clutch Player of the Year Award and the Lennies McFerren Coach of the Year Award.

Both will be on hand to present the trophies.

Following the awards banquet, all-star players and all-star coaches are invited to watch the Harlem Globetrotters back at the Black River Coliseum at 7 p.m. Tickets will be donated by the Coliseum.

Others wanting to watch the Globetrotters can purchase tickets ranging from $12 to $20.

Sponsors for the event are KFVS-12, Withers Broadcasting, Shelton Business Machines, Three Rivers Health Care, Roundup Weathermax, Allen-Christian, Edward Jones, Wal-Mart, Bank of Advance, U.S. Army and Morton Buildings.

So what will it take for Aycock to consider the Extravaganza a success?

"First of all, we would like for the kids to have a good time playing against each other," he said. "The second thing would be people coming out and supporting it. Events like this have to be supported or there is no reason for us to conduct it. We need to get out and support our kids. If people want to see the best players play, they should come to our event. It's a great deal for five bucks."