GREENSBORO — The East All-Stars did something they haven’t done in nearly a decade Monday night, sweeping their West counterparts in the N.C. Coaches Association All-Star Basketball Games at the Greensboro Coliseum.
After the East girls grabbed a 67-60 victory behind the driven approach of a bevy of Triangle-area standouts, the boys team rolled to a 107-84 victory shooting 55 percent from the field with four players hitting for 16 or more points on the night.
The sweep is the first for the East side since 2004.
Playing on a floor he’ll play on in college (for UNC Greensboro) Tyrone Outlaw notched MVP honors with a 16-point, seven-rebound, five assist night.
Broughton alum Devonte Graham led the East with 20 points, while Chapel Hill’s Anthony Vanhook and Marquel Newkirk of Wallace-Rose Hill hit the 16-point mark as well.
Execution and effective defense made the East’s path to its first 100-point night in the game since 1994 rather easy.
“It just came natural,” said Garner’s Demarcus Sanford of his team’s execution. “We had great practices and really played well. It’s great to finish up my high school career with a win. There’s nothing like playing on a team with great chemistry.”
Sanford totaled just two points but dished out six assists and was often on the floor chasing loose balls.
Middle Creek product Quinton Ray, who has signed with Campbell, came off of the bench to score eight points.
“It was great preparation for the college experience, getting this chance to play with the best of the East and the West,” Ray said. “We had a lot of chemistry as a group from the start. And me, Devonte (Graham) and Tyrone (Outlaw) play on the same AAU team so we were used to playing together already.”
Jared Hendryx of Durham Jordan had eight rebounds and seven points, while Wakefield’s Logan Evans added five points as did Green Hope product David Robertson.
The East squad was coached by Bill Boyette, the former Cary High head coach who is now at Fayetteville Terry Sanford, and current Rolesville coach Tommy Moore who has coached for the past 16 years at Enloe.
The girls All-Star Game was just an extension of the season for former Millbrook girls basketball standouts Briana Day and Ryan Flowers. Hence, their treatment of the contest, featuring some of the state’s top recently graduated high school standouts, as something more than a reward for their stellar prep careers.
“We treated this like a national championship game,” Flowers said. “We haven’t lost a game in a long time – over a year. I wasn’t going to have my senior season finish with a loss.”
The former Wildcats – who went 32-0 this past season on the way to winning the state 4a championship - got what they wanted in the Greensboro Coliseum – a 67-60 win for the East squad over the West with some help from their fellow Triangle-area All-Stars.
The East never trailed and showcased balanced scoring as three players finished with a dozen points each including Harnett Central graduate Deanneisha Jackson who was named the game’s MVP. Jackson pulled down seven rebounds on the night as well.
“It really caught me off guard,” said Jackson who will play her college ball at High Point University. “It could have gone to anybody. I have no idea why it was me, but I’m happy.”
Jackson shortchanges her contributions, which included a key steal and length of the court drive for a layup that put the East up 59-52 with 2:51 to play.
Durham Hillside’s Mylea McKenith, who will play at Lander University this fall, had 10 of her 12 points in the first half for the East squad.
Defensive pressure was a strength for the East squad as it registered 20 steals, including four from an unusual source, the 6-foot-4 Day. Wilmington Laney’s J’Kyra Brown led the East with six steals on the night.
Day, a Syracuse recruit, was the game’s most dominant inside presence but that didn’t equate to scoring as she finished with just six points.
“It just seemed like everything we tried was just a bit off,” Day said of her team’s efforts to push the ball inside. “So I just wrote it off as a bad offensive night and tried to play defense even better.”
Best: 919-524-8895; Twitter: @dclaybest