The Columbus area’s best underclassmen were on display at the Carver High School gymnasium on Friday night, with every school in Harris and Muscogee counties represented in the 2016 All-Star Game.
Both the girls and boys teams didn’t disappoint, with two close two-point games in the packed gym. The Blue Team defeated the Red Team 41-39 in girls action, while the Blue Team also defeated the Red Team 52-50 in the boys game.
In the girls game, the Red Team dug itself a huge first half hole but made a game of it in the second half with a furious comeback, led by Kayla Bonilla from Shaw. The Region 1-5A MVP scored 18 points, leading all scorers, while she also poured in assists and steals in helping the Red Team come back from a deficit as big as 12 points at one point in the second half.
“We came out with a chip on our shoulder and tried to make a comeback,” Bonilla said.
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“In the first half, I think they were a little complacent, but I think in the second half they came out and had fun,” said Shaw girls coach Julee Fryer, who coached the Red Team.
The Red Team was comprised of players from Hardaway, Harris County, Jordan, Northside, Pacelli and Shaw, while the Blue Team consisted of players from Carver, Columbus, Kendrick, and Spencer.
Ariyah Copeland from Columbus earned Most Valuable Player honors in the game, scoring nine points for the Blue Team, coached by her high school coach, Joe Cherrone.
“We’ve got a lot of girls coming back, so the future is bright. It was great seeing all the girls come together and get a win,” Cherrone said.
In the boys game, the Blue Team erased a 10-point halftime deficit to earn the win, led by an 11-point game from the Blue Devils’ Lincoln Smith, who was named MVP of the contest. Carver’s Timothy James, playing on his home court, poured in seven second-half points in the comeback effort as well.
The Blue Team consisted of Brookstone, Carver, Columbus, Kendrick, and Spencer, while the Red Team was made up of players from Hardaway, Harris County, Jordan, Northside, Pacelli, and Shaw.
The boys game was a unique coaching situation as father battled son in the game. Legendary head coach George Williams coached the Blue Team, while his son, Hardaway coach Pershin Williams, led the Red Team.
Friday at Carver
Blue Team (41)
Ariyah Copeland (Columbus) 9, Mya Millner (Carver) 7, Jabreia Burston (Kendrick) 6, Jada Minor (Kendrick) 4, Kiara Price (Kendrick) 4, Mariah Igus (Carver) 3, Brittany Flody (Columbus) 3, Alycia Reese (Carver) 2, Tyreika Simmons (Spencer) 2, Yolanda Givens (Carver) 1.
Red Team (39)
Kayla Bonilla (Shaw) 18, Taziha Fanning (Harris County) 8, Jessika Carter (Harris County) 5, Gabi Apiag (Northside) 3, Deyonna Johnson (Hardaway) 3, Jamiya Austin (Hardaway) 2.
Blue Team (52)
Lincoln Smith (Columbus) 11, Timothy James (Carver) 9, Daniel Melvin (Carver) 9, Jalen King (Kendrick) 8, Elijah Gardner (Columbus) 4, Devin Flowers (Carver) 2, J.C. Houpt (Columbus) 3, Sutton Eggena (Brookstone) 2, Tyler Brooks (Kendrick) 2, Noah Lott (Columbus) 2.
Red Team (50)
A.J. Coker (Harris County) 9, Aquavious Fanning (Harris County) 9, Riqueito Leonard (Harris County) 7, Cordale Scott (Northside) 7, Antonio Campbell (Hardaway) 4, Tremaine Porter (Shaw) 4, Jaykwon Walton (Northside) 3, Dominic Ford (Hardaway) 2, Jhaquez Anderson (Northside) 2, Devan Porter Wilson (Shaw) 2, Kameren Parker (Shaw) 1.