Senior All-Star Game slated for tonight
By Ronnie Gallagher
SPENCER — North Rowan’s Oshon West and West Rowan’s Shay Steele gave Rowan County basketball fans plenty of thrills and highlights last season.
The two reigning county players of the year get to do it one more time.
The second annual Rowan County Senior All-Star doubleheader will be played tonight at North Rowan.
The girls game will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the boys to follow at 8.
Tickets are $7 at the door.
The girls game will be for Breast Cancer Awareness, while the boys will benefit Autism Awareness.
The all-star event is the brainchild of North Rowan boys coach Andrew Mitchell. In its first year, there was an overwhelming response that turned into a packed house.
In tonight’s boys’ Blue-White game, there will be plenty of familiar names besides West.
The Blue team will be led by North’s all-county stars West and T.J. Bates, along with Kihrey Ellis. Also on the team are Tyler Petty of Salisbury, Tyler L’Hommedieu of East Rowan, Rameiq Howard of Carson and Jack Gallagher of West Rowan. Statesville’s Austin St. John, Marquise Williams and Marquis Willis are also on the Blue team.
The White team is loaded with North Rowan and Statesville seniors: Malik Ford, Devon Tate and Brandon Nelson of the Cavaliers and Breon Borders, Josh Gaither and Jaquan Warren of Statesville.
Other members are Buster Hillie and Keion Adams of Salisbury, D.J. Love of Carson and Josh Medlin of South Rowan.
The boys game should be a thriller. Mitchell watched three practices this week and has been impressed with the athleticism. Some of the players have made the workouts their personal dunk contest.
“It should be an exciting game,” he said. “I’ve seen some highlight dunks and some nice 3-point shooters.”
Steele, who is headed to Morehead State, is the only all-county girl playing. Carson’s Kelly Dulkoski and West’s Alison Sobataka are out of town. Most of the East Rowan seniors are tied up with spring sports. Carson’s Allison Blackwell declined.
There will be three North girls — Taylor Sells, Amber Carter and Kayla Smith. Salisbury will bring Patreece Lattimore, Da’Terria Connor, Vashti Usry and Danielle Harmon. Carson’s Paris Parks will play.
Mitchell decided to make it a celebrity game and he got the biggest name in Rowan girls history to suit up. Shayla Fields, the leading scorer in county history, boys or girls, is playing. Bubbles Phifer has committed, along with Sherree Gillespie, Brittany Powell and Quon Cuthbertson. West’s Rashonda Mayfield and North’s Sophilia Hipps could play.
“This is a chance to play one more time loose and free,” Mitchell said. “It should be a lot of fun.”