INA – If you're a high school
basketball fan and you are wanting another look at some of the
top senior players from southern Illinois, then mark your calendar
and make plans for a trip to James “Hummer” Waugh
Gymnasium on the campus of Rend Lake College on Friday night.
40th annual Lion's Club All-Star Basketball Classic is set for
March 30th with a girl's game set for 6 pm followed by a boy's
game at 8 pm.
format has changed over the years but the level of talent has
stayed high in this annual game that showcases the talented
seniors who are heading to graduation in the spring.
the 40 players (20 each team) in the boy's game, 22 of the ones
who were Class 1A and 2A players were also members of the ABV
2017-18 All-South Squads.
are also some standout 3A players who should also add to the
quality of play.
Meridian head coach Erik Griffin will have two of the top players
from 2A on his Gold Team.
players J.C. Moll and Grant Jausel, leaders on a 31-5 fourth
place finisher in the state tournament, shared the annual ABV
“Player Of The Year” award this season.
played major rolls in the Panthers' run to the state finals.
on his club are three kids from Coach Griffin's Bobcats' club
that lost in the regional title game a few weeks ago.
Darnell Lowe, a 6-foot-4 forward, was a first team ABV 1A pick
and senior classmate Ja'Quan Jones was an honorable mention
teammate Demond Vasser is also on the Gold team. All three are
part of the Gold team.
ABV 1A and 2A All-South selections on the Gold team are Kaleb
Cox from Joppa, Blake Drue of Harrisburg, Levi Vinson of Crab
Orchard and Keagan Thrash of West Frankfort.
3A standouts are also on the Gold squad, including Jeremy House
and Jaron Gaston of Murphysboro; Justin Saddoris of Elite Eight
qualifier Marion, Bronson Nesler of Herrin, Damond Crosby of
Salem, Justin Johnson of Carterville and Isaiah Thompson of
Hight of Ullin Century, Matt Rubenacker of Hamilton County,
Jayden Lewis of Fairfield and Gavin Arnhart-Powell of Tamms
Egyptian round out the Gold roster.
head coach Matt Morgan and Thompsonville head coach Pete Gordon
will lead the Purple team on Friday night.
will have a the services of 6-foot-3 senior Jake Parr of Anna-Jonesboro.
was an ABV first team 2A all-south pick along with a first team
all-state for both AP and IBCA.
senior teammate Sheldon McGrath will also be a part of the squad
on Friday night.
team ABV 2A selections Isaiah Saulsberry of Harrisburg and Braden
Attebury of Eldorado are part of an equally strong squad.
was one of the top scorers in the South as was Attebury.
excelled in leading their respective teams.
was a 2A first team pick was also a second team all-stater.
Purple team also has a first team ABV 1A pick with 6-foot-4
senior Charles Neal of Webber Township along with longtime teammate
were leaders on a regional championship squad this past season.
will be represented by three seniors; honorable mention ABV
1A pick Lukas Gunter, and seniors Preston Launius and Addison
Page from the Red Devils' regional championship team.
the 1A deep south representative who finished fourth in 1A,
will have a pair of seniors suiting up; Tanner Dunn and Peyton
Massey. Each were on the ABV honorable mention list.
2A honorable mention pick Kobi Dagg of Fairfield is also part
of the Purple squad as is fellow Wayne County player Jaxon King
of Wayne City.
Meyerhoff of Trico, Austin Stevens and Ben Mitchell of Galatia,
Marcus Davis of Ullin Century and Jake Whipple will also be
a part of the festivities along with Salem seniors Dawon Linder
and Cord Brown.
dunk contest will take place in between games and three-point
shoot-outs will happen at halftime of each game.
awards will be presented at the conclusion of each game.