(Photo by Lance Hanlin, Staff)
The day-long event started at 11 a.m. with a small school boys basketball game, drawing the top local players from Class 1 and Class 2 schools.
Bernie's Chad Wooldridge scored 20 points, leading Team Navy to an impressive 101-81 win over Team White.
The game was a tale of two halves. Team White jumped ahead early, led by North Pemiscot's do-everything slasher Shaviste Grandberry. Team Navy was able to rally with Wooldridge and three 3-pointers by Campbell's Jared Odom to tie the score at 41-41 at halftime.
It the second half, Eric Henry caught fire for Team Navy, hitting two 3-pointers and converting an impressive turnaround jumper. Teammate David Mathis, of Clarkton, also found his stroke, scoring 12 second-half points.
Henry finished with 16 points and Mathis ended with 15. Mathis was later named MVP of the small school boys game. Odom contributed 13 in the win and Van Buren's Kyle Mann added 11.
"We thought we could shoot the ball," said Navy coach Jim Hall. "At halftime we talked about moving on offense, and getting the ball inside some. That opened up the outside and we really ran the floor hard in the second half. David Mathis made some great passes and Chad Wooldridge finished well. Everybody played well once we got the feel of things."
For Team White, Grandberry led the way with 20 points. He was followed by Advance's Jared Ritter with 14 and Meadow Height's Joey Bell with 10. Bell also provided the biggest highlight of the game with a stick-back dunk in the first half.
After the small school boys game, the girls all-star game took place. Dexter's Amy Rose knocked down two 3-pointers and scored 10 overall, leading Team Yellow to a 59-39 win over Team Black.
Team Yellow led 24-18 at the break, thanks in part to a big first half out of Twin Rivers' Codi Dempster. Rose, Jackson's Jenna Leet and Clearwater's Erica Ross caught fire in the second half as Team Yellow pulled away for the 20-point victory.
For Team Black, Delta's Rebecca Below led the way with 11 points and Dexter's Katie Dunlap contributed eight. Rose was named MVP. After the girls game, the 3-point shootout took place.
Delta's Rebecca Cook beat out Cape Central's Alex Weiser for the girls title, while Dexter's Chris Hyten defeated Oran's Ryne Wood and Meadow Height's Joey Bell for the boys crown.
Next up was the highly-anticipated slam dunk competition. Sikeston's Lontas McClinton, Poplar Bluff's Tony Webb and Caruthersville's Chris Springer all pulled off impressive slams, but in the end, Webb won the judges over in the final round to win the competition.
In the large school boys all-star game, McClinton and Lavar Morgan represented Sikeston well. McClinton scored 16 for Team Royal and Morgan contributed 11 for Team Oxford in a 94-92 victory.
Morgan, Caruthersville's Chris Springer and Scott City's D.J. Walton led the Oxford team out to a 49-38 halftime lead. Team Royal rallied in the second half behind the play of McClinton, Webb and Notre Dame's Travis Siebert, but it wasn't enough. For Team Oxford, Walton scored 16 points and was named MVP.
Springer also scored 16, followed East Prairie's Matt Boyer with 14 and Hyten with 12. Charleston's Kewain Gant threw down three slam dunks in the game and finished with 11 points overall.
For Team Royal, Kennett's Tyree Goolsby scored 16 points, Siebert finished with 15, Webb added 14 and Doniphan's Shayne Talburt contributed 10.
"Every year (the all-star game) gets a little bit better," said Oxford coach John David Pattillo. "The kids do a great job. It's impressive to watch them play as hard as they do."
After the large school boys game, an awards banquet was held at the First Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff. The guest speaker of the event was Three Rivers Community College basketball coach Gene Bess.
Several awards were also given out to local players and teams, honoring their accomplishments this season.
The Player of the Year award went to Sikeston's Lontas McClinton. The first-ever Lennies McFerren award went to Charleston's Danny Farmer, recognizing him as the coach of the year.
The Best Female Team award went to Notre Dame. The Best Male Team award went to Charleston. The Most Improved Team went to Clarkton. The Best Fans award went to Dexter. The Most Memorable Moment award was given to Clarkton, for its sectional win over Bell City.
The Best Female Underclassman award was given to Twin Rivers' Amdanda Lance. The Best Male Underclassman award was handed out to Poplar Bluff's Tyler Hansbrough.
The Newcomer Coach of the Year award was given to Doniphan's Shawn Gibbs. The Clutch Player of the Year award was given to Poplar Bluff's Tony Webb. The Best Female Player award was given to Jackson's Jenna Leet. The Best Female Coach award went to Jackson's Ron Cook.