KEWANEE -- For Annawan girls' basketball coach Jason Burkiewicz and Wethersfield boys' coach Jeff Parsons, Sunday's Lincoln Trail Conference All-Star Classic was a day for both joy and relection.|
Getting to coach several of their top senior players for one last time, the duo got to experience the joy of seeing one of their own earn the Most Valuable Player awards for the third annual event at Kewanee's National Guard Armory.
Annawan senior guard Megan Foes was named the MVP for the girls' game after going for 20 points and 12 rebounds to help lead the North All-Stars to a 65-38 victory over the South squad in Sunday's opener.
In the boys' All-Star game, Wethersfield senior guard Trevor Lay poured in 40 points to earn the MVP trophy as the South outgunned the North 104-88.
"It's always fun,'' said Burkiewicz, who coached Foes and her North teammate Maddie Jackson to the Class 1A state championship with the Bravettes. "I had the chance to do this two years ago with three of my players, and it's fun to coach them one last time, especially such a good group like we had (this season). They loved to play together.''
For Parsons, seeing his South All-Stars -- including two other Flying Geese standouts, Jake Bennett and Matt Jenkins -- crack the century mark brought back memories of similar nights over the last few seasons.
"I'm fortunate I still get to coach them in baseball,'' Parsons said of his trio of Geese, "but this was an awesome experience. I'm gonna miss those guys to death. The goal of everyone who wears a high-school uniform should be to exit as a winner.''
Lay, who played under Parsons at the recent Kiwanis Club of Canton All-Star Game, iniitially wasn't sure if he would be able to participate in Sunday's LTC Classic at the Armory, and was elated when he was able to suit up and play.
"After the Canton All-Star game, I didn't know if I was going to be able to play in this one,'' said Lay, who also snared eight rebounds and hit seven 3-pointers. "When I found out I could, I got excited, because I'd had so much fun this year.''
For Foes, it was a bittersweet feeling as she realized that Sunday would be the last time she would put on a basketball uniform.
"I'm pretty sure this will be the last time, so it's a good way to end it,'' she said. "I was glad to get to play for coach Burkiewicz again, and it was really cool to play with some of the girls I'd been playing against for the last few years.''
Girls: North 65, South 38: Matching Foes for game-high scoring honors was Mercer County forward Kristin Heath, who tallied her 20 points on 10-of-16 shooting and also snared eight rebounds. Foes, Heath and Mercer County's Michaela Baker combined to score 31 second-half points as the North pulled away from a 26-26 halftime deadlock.
Ridgewood's Ashley Collins added 17 points for the North on 7-of-12 shooting and snared 11 rebounds. For the South All-Stars, Wethersfield's Kristen Parsons netted 14 points and ROWVA's Emma Johnson added 12.
Boys: South 104, North 88: Led by the Annawan trio of Marcellous Butler (25 points, seven rebounds), Micam Smith (10 points, 11 boards) and Ben Foster (10 points, 12 boards), the North All-Stars fell behind by 22 in the first half and trailed by 21 in the second half, but tried to rally, at one point trailing 90-83 on a Butler 3-pointer with 4:20 left in the second half.
However, Lay's firepower for the South proved too much for the North to overcome. West Prairie's Ethan Peterson snared 18 rebounds to go with 13 points, while Mercer County's Brandon Butcher posted 15 points and 16 boards and Lay's teammate Jenkins added 13 points.
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