BY JIMMY HARRIS firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — DANVILLE — In Mary Miller Gymnasium on the campus of Danville Area Community College the 2014 Battle for the Border 4th Annual All-Star Classic, took place as the Eastern Illinois All-Stars hosted the Western Indiana All-Stars.
The Indiana All-Stars led by Covington’s Chandler Spring with 19 points outlasted the Illinois All-Stars, claiming bragging rights with a 67-48 victory.
The game was played with four 10 minute quarters and a continuous clock except for last minute of each quarter. Each player needed to play five minutes per half. Both teams had to play a man-to-man defense in first half and in second half could do any defense.
Hall of Fame Coach John Specia coordinated the game and would have liked to play it in April, but because of an accident couldn’t get it all together then.
“I think it’s a natural rival when you get Indiana and Illinois together,’’ he said. “The kids hear and read about each other and to get a chance to play against them really brings out the rivalry.”
The Illinois team coached by Greg Gisinger of Chrisman were Salt Fork’s Max Stutsman (6 points), Audie Temples of Paris (2), Jeffrey Thompson of Westville (13), Dylan Bina of Georgetown-Ridge Farm (13), Jeffery Cann of Milford (6), Mason Layden of Hoopeston Area (3), and Wilde Garowski of Bismarck-Henning (5).
The Indiana all-stars coached by David Pierce of Crawfordsville were Quarin Hood of Lafayette Jefferson (4 points), Devon Burton of Southmont (8), P.J. Schafer of Crawfordsville (5), Travis Coleman of Covington (9), Chandler Spring of Covington (19), Hank Horner of Crawfordsville (14), Jordan Ahrens of Covington (2), Shad Conrad of Crawfordsville (2), Kiowa Simonton of Fountain Central (2) and Brayden Woodard of North Vermillion (2).
The all-star game was slow starting but heated up as Indiana jumped out early on Illinois led by Spring’s eight points to lead 13-7.
“It is good to get to play with these guys since we battle them through the year, and I liked us getting up and down the floor that’s my type of game,” said Spring, the most valuable player of the game.
Indiana jumped out to a 14-point lead in second quarter. The Illinois duo of Bina and Thompson combined for 16 points to cut into the lead with good play and got as close as 32-25 at halftime.
“It feels good to win the award and I enjoyed the camaraderie we had together on the college floor after playing against my teammates so many years,” said Bina, who won the sportsmanship honor.
Thompson Agreed with those sentiments and said, “we had a blast and came together and had fun playing together instead of against each other.”
Illinois fought back and tied it at 41-41 with 1 minute, 30 seconds left in the third quarter, but Indiana went on a 8-2 run to take a 49-43 advantaged into the fourth quarter.
“I enjoyed coaching this group and I thought Dylan Bina really played well for us getting to the rim and Max Stutsman cleaned the boards for us,” said Gisinger.
The fourth quarter belonged to Indiana as they outscored Illinois 18-5. The ability for Indiana all-stars to have multiple teammates on the floor at same time was a big help with the flow of the game offensively.
Crawfordsville and Covington schools were represented by three players each.
“I thought the ability to have multiple players on floor together of one team was a benefit to us,’’ said Pierce.
The girls game between the Illinois and Indiana all-stars was cancelled this season because of a lack of players.