I-70 players perform well in all-star hoops contests
Several I-70 Conference basketball players figured prominently in the outcomes of the annual Lions Club senior all-star games played in Marshall on Saturday.
In the end, the North all-star teams swept the contests at Marshall High School.
The North defeated the South 73-46 in the girls' game. The North came from behind to down the South 94-88 in the boys' contest.
North 94, South 88
In a game that was close throughout -- the South leading for most of the night -- the North scored the final six points to break an 88-88 tie and earn the victory.
The North, which trailed 47-45 at the break, had four players score in double figures.
Playing on his home floor for the last time in his high-school career, Marshall's Connor Cooley led the North with 20 points, with his Owls' teammate, Jared Armstrong, supplying 18 points.
Fifteen of Armstrong's points came in the second half, with Cooley tossing in 11 after halftime, including four clutch free throws in the final half-minute to help secure the win.
With the game tied 88-88, Odessa's Colby Nickels drained one of two free throws to give the North a lead it would not relinquish.
Then Cooley connected on four charities within 13 seconds during two trips to the stripe with under a half-minute to play.
Wellington's Alex Rodenberg, who finished with 13 points, including seven before the break, scored the game's final point from the stripe with a one-for-two performance.
Saint Paul's Eric Allen also was a big factor by dropping in 10 points, including seven before halftime.
Wellington's Levi Banner contributed seven points, Santa Fe's Truman Sleeper four and Concordia's Trent McGinnis and Sweet Springs' Andrew Krause two points each.
Warrensburg's Brady Roop was the game's high scorer for the South with 23 points -- 14 of which came in the first half.
Knob Noster's Garnett Williams tossed in 15, Green Ridge's Tyler Nieswander 12 and Midway's Tyler Wright 10 for the South.
Cooley was selected as the North's Most Valuable Player, while the honor was earned by Roop for the South.
North 73, South 46
Leading by only four points--30-26 -- after the first 20 minutes, the North squad, spurred on by a host of I-70 Conference players, dominated the second half, outscoring the South 43-20 to win by 27 points.
Wellington's Madison Thornburg, who had only three points at the half, poured in 11 points in the second stanza to lead all of her teammates in scoring with 14 points.
Joining her in double-figure scoring for the North was Saint Paul's Rebecca Roepe with 13 points, eight coming after the break.
Higginsville's Diamond Thirkield added 12 points -- six in each half.
Others from the I-70 who scored for the North included Santa Fe's Lexi Smith with nine points, Wellington's Mikayla Lohsandt with six points, Sweet Springs' twin towers of Nicole and Ashleigh Bright with five and four points, respectively, and the Lady Chiefs' Katey Peters with three.
In a quirk in the rosters, Thornburg's and Lohsandt's teammate for the Lady Tigers, Tori Florence, actually played for the South, contributing four points.
Smith-Cotton's Kirby Lewellen led the South with 10 points. No other South player reached double figures.
Thornburg was voted the North's MVP, while Lewellen earned the award for the South.