East sweeps All-Star basketball games
The East teams swept the West teams in the Arkansas High-School All-Star Basketball games held in Conway at the University of Central Arkansas. The East girls squad only allowed 19 points in the second half on their way to a 57-47 win. The East boys team came out shooting as they canned five three-pointers in the opening period on their way to a record setting 98-50 win.
Hannah Willard of Bay, Allen Buchanan of Marked Tree and Tyson Oliver of Bay all participated in the games. Jammar Sturdivant of EPC was selected to play in the game but chose not to attend. Both games consisted of five seven minute periods with halftime coming after the third period.
The teams traded points for the first half of the game before the East team went on a 7-0 run over the last three and half minutes of the period to take a 11-5 lead after one. The West team showed their offensive might by outscoring the East 13-5 in the second period to take a 18-16 lead after two periods of play. The East opened the third period with a 12-0 run to take a 28-18 lead with 3:15 left. The West fought back and cut the lead to 33-28 at halftime.
Willard put the East up eight at 36-28 as she converted a conventional three-pointer after being fouled making a basket 10 seconds into the fourth period. The West scored the next six points to cut the lead to two at 36-34. The East outscored the West 5-1 in the last minute and half of the period to go up 41-36 after four periods of play. The West tried to climb back in the game as they cut the lead to four at 48-44 with 4:24 left to play. The East responded by running off seven straight points to put the game out of reach at 55-44 with 1:29 left to play. The East went on to a 57-47 victory.
Willard finished with five points and two assists on the night.
"We had the best of best here tonight. It wasn't like a regular high school game, I was a little nervous when the game started," Willard said after the game.
In the boy's contest, the East team came out firing and never looked back as they cruised to a 98-50 over the West squad. Watching warm-ups you would think this game was going to be played mostly above the rim, but when the ball was tipped, the East team put on a clinic of three-point shooting.
The teams traded points and were tied 8-8 when the East went on a 15-6 run with all the points coming on a combined seven straight three-pointers. Dayshawn Watkins of North Little Rock got the barrage started with a three from the left wing. The West answered before the East reeled off five three-pointers with Watkins hitting three in a row and Oliver canning one from the right corner. The West got a three at the buzzer to make the score 23-14 after one. The three-point shooting cooled off in the second period but the East squad did not as they outscored the West 19-7 to take a 42-21 lead after two periods. The third period saw more of the same from the East as they stayed hot and outscored the West 20-7 in period. Buchanan got in the scoring column with six points in the period as he hit two baskets and connected on two of four free throws to help his squad build a 61-28 lead at the half.
The halftime break didn't cool off the East team in any way. The East continued to pour in the points as they outscored the West 20-10 and took a commanding 81-38 lead after four periods of play. The East had another good period as they scored 17 points in the final period while holding the West to 12 points for the 98-50 win. Oliver scored a basket with 29 seconds left for his final points of the night.
Buchanan finished the night with six points and Oliver chipped in five points.
Oliver was surprised by the margin of victory. "I had a feeling we'd win the game, but never thought by a score like this. We came out ready to play tonight."
The East's victory was the largest margin of victory in the 56-year history of the all-star game.