CUYAHOGA FALLS: Jaelen Hollinger and DeAllen Jackson of Archbishop Hoban relished the opportunity to play together in a senior all-star game Wednesday night.
So did Green’s Dan Fanelly and Josh Pritchard, and Windham’s Matt Knight and Cameron Pozsgai.
The six players all played key roles in helping the American All-Star Team defeat the National All-Star Team 112-103 in the 26th Greater Akron Boys Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game at Walsh Jesuit.
“This is fun,” Hollinger said. “I played with DeAllen the last four years. To have an all-star game together is pretty special, especially with a win. We came out and had fun with all the other people from the other schools. This was a great environment. Everybody was out there laughing. It is so much fun to play with all these good players.”
Hollinger led all scorers with 17 points and also had nine rebounds and two assists. Jackson added 13 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Fanelly won the pre-game slam-dunk contest, and then had 11 points and seven rebounds.
“It is just an honor to play in this game,” said Fanelly, a College of Wooster recruit. “Playing with guys that you never get to play with from the area is a great experience. It is almost like playing at the next level just because the competition is so much higher, but obviously it is not as fundamental of a game as we are used to. It was definitely fun.”
Streetsboro’s Jordan Matusik won the 3-point contest before the game, and then had 16 points, four rebounds and three assists in the game to pace the National Team.
“Playing in the all-star game was a lot of fun and a privilege,” Matusik said. “It is not like a normal game. You don’t play as hard as usual. You are more focused on having fun and enjoying the experience of coming out and playing with the best players around. With the 3-point contest, I think that was what I was born to do. I have been shooting 3s my whole life and I got a chance to show it off and accomplish what I wanted to do.”
In typical all-star game fashion, dunks, 3-point shots and fancy passes were prevalent.
Knight had 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Pozsgai added 12 points and eight rebounds. Pritchard totaled nine points and 14 rebounds.
Barberton’s Scott Sabol won the pre-game free-throw contest, and then had nine points and six rebounds in the game for the American Team. Norton’s Tyler Sherman contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds.
“I played with a lot of these guys already, so we are all pretty good friends,” Sherman said. “These types of games are not really suited for a big guy. It is more guard-oriented, so I just tried to do what I could to get my buckets in from tips and rebounds.”
Matusik was one of seven players to reach double-figure scoring for the National Team.
Twinsburg’s AJ Edwards had 14 points and 10 rebounds, East’s Brandon Townsend contributed 13 points and Mogadore’s Hunter Van Camp scored 11 points.
Nordonia’s Nick Piotrowski, Twinsburg’s Jalen Washington and East’s Demetrius Ray all scored 10 points. Ray also had seven rebounds and five assists. Copley’s Jalyn Tyler totaled seven points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.
“It is a special night and I am happy for the young men who played,” said Green/American coach Mark Kinsley. “It is an opportunity for them to be recognized for the careers they have had. To be able to coach Josh and Dan again was special for me personally.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.