After getting off the ground last year, the Lincoln Trail Conference's second annual All-Star Basketball Classic hit an initial snag when the original date of March 24 was scotched because of an early-spring snowstorm.|
However, all systems are go for Sunday, when the LTC's best senior girls' and boys' cagers hit the court at the Kewanee Armory to wrap up their prep careers.
The girls' game will begin the proceedings at 3 p.m. with the East All-Star team taking on the West; the boys slated to tip at 4:30 with the LTC North All-Stars taking on the South squad. The members of each team are voted on by the conference's head coaches.
Both of Wethersfield's coaches will be taking part, with Becky Ince coaching the East girls' squad and Jeff Parsons leading the South boys' team. Ridgewood's Bryan Brooks will coach the West girls, while Galva's Chance Jones will lead the North boys.
Ince will get to coach four of her Lady Geese players on the seven-person East roster -- guards Sarah Hansen and Aly Eastman and forwards Kodi Hammer and Caitlin Miller. Of the four, Hansen turned in an All-State caliber season, leading Wethersfield to the Class 1A regional finals with her 24 points per game.
Parsons will get to coach three of his seniors for the last time, as guard Tyler Litton and forwards Kegan Jacobson and Trey Hannam form one-third of the nine-player South roster. Litton and Hannam combined averaged 13 points per game for the LTC Tournament and 1A regional-champion Flying Geese, with Jacobson the team's top rebounder with eight boards per night.
Joining the Wethersfield quartet on the East girls' team will be ROWVA's Jenni Peters and Haley Swanson and Galva forward Alex Strom, who capped a stellar prep career by averaging a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds with three blocked shots per game.
The eight-player West girls' team consists of Ridgewood's trio of guards Taylor Brooks and Madison Miller and forward Molly Jo Smith, plus Biggsville West Central's Alexis Ensminger, Emily Hopping and Maria Steck and United's guard duo of Sydney Toops and Cassandra Ellison.
In the boys' game, Wethersfield's trio is joined by four Annawan Braves -- guards Grant Baele and Tony Gripp and forwards Austin Bitting and Michael Smith. Baele and Gripp averaged 12 and 11 points, respectively, with Smith adding 11 points and nine rebounds per game for a club that lost to the Geese in the 1A regional finals.ROWVA's Asa Stevenson and Stark County's Tanner King round out the South roster.
The nine-player North team features Galva center Connor King and forward Reece Hoxworth, the latter averaging 17 points and 6.5 boards for the regular-season LTC champions. Joining them are Mercer County's duo of guard Zach Aldinger and forward Tanner Matlick, Ridgewood guards James Brooks and Elisha McCreary, and West Central's Trey Goff, Colin Rothzen and Darren Webb.
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