BELMONT – The Six Rivers West girls flexed their defensive muscles en route to a 57-38 victory over the East, while the East boys turned in a record-setting display of offensive prowess to shoot down the West by a score of 121-100 at the 12th annual Six Rivers All-Star Basketball Classic held at Belmont High School on Friday, June 30.
The West girls and East boys each won for the second year in a row to run their records to 9-3 all-time at the Six Rivers All-Star Classic, which was the brainchild of former Black Hawk boys’ basketball coach Jerry Mortimer in 2006 and has been run recently by current Black Hawk girls’ basketball coach Mike Flanagan.
The West also earned bragging rights for the second year in a row in the 3-Point Challenge after out-gunning the East, 165-129, in sharp-shooting contest.
The true winner of the night was UW Children’s Hospital, which received a generous donation of over $850 on behalf the Six Rivers Conference from the proceeds of the gate and concession sales. During the 12-year history of the All-Star event, the Six Rivers Conference has donated more than $17,000 to the UW Children’s Hospital.
Girls’ All-Star Game: West 57, East 38
The West All-Stars sank seven of their 11 3-point baskets during the opening 11 minutes of the game to shoot out to a 24-4 lead on the East and rolled to a 57-38 victory in the 2017 Six Rivers Conference Girls’ All-Star Classic.
Coach Nathan Russell’s West squad grabbed the lead early on a 3-point basket by River Ridge’s Nicole Sturmer and they maintained that lead the rest of the game. The West hit six more 3s during a 21-2 scoring run to extend their lead to 20 with 8:56 remaining in the first half. Highland’s Jessica Kosharek connected on to treys, while Sturmer added another along with Shullsburg’s Cora Holland and Hattie Rennert and Benton’s Lily Carver.
Coach Michael Flanagan’s East All-Stars doubled up the West, 12-6, during the remainder of the first half to trim the deficit back to 30-16 at the intermission.
The teams traded baskets to start the second half. The East allowed injured Darion Brooks of River Ridge to score a layup for the final basket of her prep career, and Barneveld’s Teagan Pickarts answered back with an uncontested layup of her own to make it 32-18.
The East got as close as 10 early in the second half following a basket by Barneveld’s Mia Whitish and were still within 12 midway through the second half when the West broke off on a 9-2 run to seal their victory.
Russell, head coach of the West champion Shullsburg Miners, improved to 3-0 as a coach in All-Star Game history, including a 2-0 record over his good friend, Flanagan, who led Black Hawk to the East title last season. The Lady Warriors’ coach fell to 1-4 in his five All-Star appearances.
The West finished with more 3-pointers (11) than 2-pointers (8) with seven different players connecting from long range in the win. The East connected on nine 2s and just three 3s in the game, and had a tough 11-for-22 shooting night from the free throw stripe.
Kosharek scored all nine of her points in the first half for the West, while Sturmer hit three 3s to account for her nine points. Carver chipped in with seven points, while Holland and Belmont’s Caitlyn Gilbertson added six apiece for the West, who had all 12 players score in the game.
Defensively, the 38 points allowed by the West was the third-lowest in All-Star Game history behind the 37 points given up in 2014 and 2016.
Whitish finished with nine points and Juda’s Alexis Goecks netted eight to lead the East. Pickarts and Juda’s Chelsea Burkhalter tallied six each and Barneveld’s Abigail Sutter and Juda’s Sara Jordan added four apiece as the Golden Eagle and Panther All-Stars combined for 37 of the team’s 38 points.
Black Hawk’s Sammy Lovelace hit a free throw to account for the remaining point.
East All-Stars…. 16 22 – 38
West All-Stars… 30 27 – 57
East: Sara Jordan (Juda) 4, Alexis Goecks (Juda) 8, Abigail Sutter (Barneveld) 4, Jessica Erickson (Pecatonica) 0, Sammy Lovelace (Black Hawk) 1, Chelsea Burkhalter (Juda) 6, Teagan Pickarts (Barneveld) 6, Mia Whitish (Barneveld) 9, Morgan Godfrey (Argyle) 0. 12 11-22 38.
West: McKailah Strang (Shullsburg) 3, Hattie Rennert (Shullsburg) 4, Jessica Kosharek (Highland) 9, Cora Holland (Shullsburg) 6, Brooke McKillip (Potosi) 2, Caitlyn Gilbertson (Belmont) 6, Lily Carver (Benton) 7, Darion Brooks (River Ridge) 2, Kayla Dougherty (Benton) 5, Nicole Sturmer (River Ridge) 9, Paige Nolan (Belmont) 1, Kennedy McMillan (Cassville) 3. 19 8-14 57.
3-pointers: East 3 (Jordan 1, Pickarts 1, Whitish 1); West 1 (Strang 1, Rennert 1, Kosharek 2, Holland 2, Carver 1, Dougherty 1, Sturmer 3).
Boys’ All-Star Game: East 121, West 100
The 2017 Six Rivers Boys All-Star Game was all about offense as the East topped the West, 121-100, to earn the conference bragging rights.
The two teams put on a dazzling display of scoring skills from long 3-point baskets to rim-rocking slam dunks en route to a record-setting night on the hardwood. Seven East players scored in double figures as they shattered the all-time single game scoring record (104 in 2008) with a 121-point performance, while six West players reached double figures as they also hit the century mark to turn in the highest score for a losing team (95 in 2011) in the history of the event.
The two teams finished with a record 221 combined points– topping the 192 points scored in the 2011 game.
It was the West who got off to a fast start on Friday night, scoring the first eight points of the game to take an early lead; however, the East started to heat things up from long distance as 3-pointers from Pecatonica’s AJ Hendrickson, Barneveld’s Matthew Myers and Albany’s Connor Trow and Brock Gilkes rallied the East into an 18-15 lead.
Shullsburg’s Hunter Matye fired back with a pair of treys to thrust the West back into the lead, but the East poured in the next 12 points to regain the lead for good at 30-21.
Pecatonica coach Matt Fink’s East squad held a 56-45 halftime lead behind 11 points each from Hendrickson and Barneveld’s Mike Zouski and 10 from Myers. Shullsburg’s Noah Wand and Highland’s John Ross Linscheid netted 13 apiece for the West, while Matye chipped in with 10.
The West got the deficit down to nine on a Wand 3-pointer early in the second half, but the East broke off on a 17-3 run to build up an 80-57 cushion.
A 9-0 run by Coach Mark Lierman’s West team got the score back within 14, however they would get no closer as the East rolled on as all 11 players contributed to their impressive 121-point output. Pecatonica’s Kole Kent, who is still recovering from an injury suffered during the school year, even got in the game late and sank one of the East's 15 3s.
Both team connected of 15 shots from beyond the arc and each was perfect from the foul line with the West going 5-for-5 and the East finishing 4-for-4. Inside the arc, the East held a 36-25 edge over the West, which proved to be the difference in the game.
Myers added 13 points in the second half and sank a game-high five treys en route to a 23-point night to lead the East.
Hendrickson followed with 17 points, while Zouski added 15 and Pecatonica’s Logan Green tallied 14. Juda’s Matt Schmitt scored 13, and Black Hawk’s Josh Meier and Barneveld’s Luke Evans knocked down 12 each for the East.
Shullsburg’s Joey Meyer powered down four slam dunks and hit a 3 on his way to a game-high 23 points for the West. Linscheid and Wand hit four 3s apiece to finished with 22 and 16 points, respectively, and Matye contributed 14 in the game.
River Ridge’s Ben Ertz (13) and Benton’s Aaron Coffey (10) scored all 23 of their combined points in the second half for the West.
Friday’s win was Fink’s first as an All-Star coach, while Lierman– who has stepped down from coaching after 30 years at Shullsburg after leading the Miners to last year’s West title and an appearance in the WIAA Division 5 state game– slipped to 1-1 in All-Star Game history in his final coaching appearance.
East All-Stars…. 56 65 – 121
West All-Stars… 45 55 – 100
East: Matthew Myers (Barneveld) 23, Connor Trow (Albany) 9, Matt Schmitt (Juda) 13, Josh Meier (Black Hawk) 12, Zach Price (Monticello) 6, Luke Evans (Barneveld) 12, Mike Zouski (Barneveld) 15, Brock Gilkes (Albany) 3, Kole Kent (Pecatonica) 3, A.J. Hendrickson (Pecatonica) 17, Logan Green (Pecatonica) 14. 51 4-4 121.
West: Ben Ertz (River Ridge) 13, Lance Lierman (Shullsburg) 2, Aaron Coffey (Benton) 10, Hunter Matye (Shullsburg) 14, Noah Wand (Shullsburg) 16, Bray Drury (Highland) 0, John Ross Linscheid (Highland) 22, Joey Meyer (Shullsburg) 23. 40 5-5 100.
3-pointers: East 15 (Myers 5, Trow 1, Schmitt 1, Meier 2, Zouski 1, Gilkes 1, Kent 1, Hendrickson 1, Green 2); West 15 (Ertz 2, Coffey 2, Matye 2, Wand 4, Linscheid 4, Meyer 1).
3-Point Shoot-Out: West 165, East 129
The West won the 3-Point Shoot Out for the second straight year as Shullsburg’s Hunter Matye and Highland’s John Ross Linscheid connected on 32 treys during their two-minute shooting period to rally their team to a 165-129 victory.
The West duo outscored Black Hawk’s Josh Meier and Pecatonica’s Kole Kent, 96-57, in round two.
Barneveld’s Teagan Pickarts and Juda’s Chelsea Burkhalter outscored Shullsburg’s Hattie Rennert and Potosi’s Brooke McKillip, 72-69, in round one.