Local athletes carry All-Stars to victory

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
One more game Democrat Photo/Jared Lankford Eight seniors from Barry and Lawrence counties played in the Lions Club International All-Star Twin Classic on Saturday. Pictured from left, are: Tyler Ferguson, Southwest; Jesse Mitchell, Wheaton; Sklyar Knoll, Southwest; Wayne Joe Sooter, Pierce City; Sean Goostree, Wheaton; Wesley Kissinger, Verona; Nick Washam, Verona; and Devon Bennett, Purdy.

Wesley Kissinger and Skylar Knoll each scored 19 points to help the Blue All-Stars slip past the White All-Stars 86-82 Saturday night in the 33rd annual Lions Club International Twin Classic at Ozark Christian College.

Desmond Buerge led the Blue team with 22 points, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the final second. Kyle Heman had 18 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

"There was good talent on both teams," said Trent Barratt, of McDonald County, who coached the winning Blue All-Stars. "I think its great that these kids get to play one more game. It took them a little bit to gel as a team. They were a great group of kids."

All smiles Democrat Photo/Jared Lankford The 33rd annual Lions Club International All-Star Basketball Twin Classic in Joplin Saturday featured 30 of the area's best high school seniors. Pictured above from Barry and Lawrence counties were: Breanna Varner, Exeter; Sarah Staples, Exeter; Kacy Littlefield, Wheaton; Addy Roller, Purdy; and Megan Golubski, Pierce City.

Barratt's team consisted of Knoll and Tyler Ferguson, of Southwest; Sean Goostree and Jesse Mitchell, of Wheaton; Kissinger and Nick Washam, of Verona; Tucker Anderson, of East Newton; Devon Bennett, of Purdy; and Murray, of Neosho.

The score was tied at 55 going into the fourth quarter. The Blue All-Stars took the lead that they would not relinquish on back-to-back driving layups by Kissinger with two minutes remaining in the third.

The White All-Stars, coached by Mt. Vernon's Skip Brock, held a narrow lead for most of the first half and led 36-34 at halftime.

"There were two really competitive teams and competitive players," Brock said. "Everyone on our team was interested in trying to win the game."

Brock's team consisted of Buerge and Kyle Reed, of Carthage; Kaden Jones, of Mt. Vernon; Dalton Freeze, of Stockton; Heman and Jared Huffman, of Diamond; Sam Williams, of Joplin; and Wayne Joe Sooter, of Pierce City.

"When you coach them in a game like this and you get to know them, that makes it fun," said Brock said. "They have respect for each other. This game is not about defense, obviously, I told our players I wanted them to have fun and play an entertaining game."

Scoring for the Blue team: Knoll, 19; Kissinger, 19; Murray, 19; Anderson, 10; Ferguson, 7; Goostree, 7; Bennett, 3 and Washam, 2.

Scoring for the White team: Buerge, 22; Heman, 18; Huffman, 13; Reed, 10; Sooter, 7; Freeze, 7; and Jones, 5.

In the girls' game, Kaylee Morgan led the Gold All-Stars past the Purple All-Stars 54-33. Kori Dodson chipped in 17 points for the Gold team, while Addy Roller led the Purple All-Stars with 14 points.

The Gold All-Stars, coached by Tiffany Dirks, former Pierce City coach and new Carl Junction skipper, led 23-18 at halftime, then outscored the Purple All-Stars 17-4 in the third quarter. Derek Binford of Greenfield coached the Purple team.

The Purple All-Stars consisted of Breanna Varner and Sara Staples, of Exeter; Roller, of Purdy; Andrea Mason and Emily Daniel, of Greenfield; and Kacy Littlefield, of Wheaton.

The Gold All-Stars was made up of Dodson, Hanna Beckwith and Megan Rose, of Liberal; Morgan, of Carthage; Bethany Graves, of Lamar; Megan Golubski, of Pierce City; and Michaela Hannafin, of Clever.

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