Area seniors get their day on court

CHAMPAIGN — The best of the best will be at Parkland College on Sunday to play basketball.

The inaugural News-Gazette/Parkland College All-Area All-Star Games have been well-received by those selected to play. Parkland head coaches Nate Mast and Karrie Redeker used the News-Gazette All-Area teams to pick the seniors. Of the 14 senior boys on the first or second teams, all 14 are planning on playing, including Player of the Year Travis Britt, from Rantoul.

In the girls' contest, which will kick off the afternoon event with a 1 p.m. tipoff, seven of nine non-injured seniors from the All-Area first or second teams will be in uniform. The two who declined are AAU teammates playing in a Chicago-area event this weekend.

The Parkland coaches are looking at more than a chance to show off their campus to potential recruits and their families.

"One of the big things we'd like this to become is something high school seniors look forward to and maybe set as a goal that they want to be an All-Area player and play in the all-star game at Parkland," Mast said. "We would like to build on it. I've had kids and parents call and say they or their son was excited and honored to play."

Both Mast and Redeker used the News-Gazette All-Area special mention lists to finalize their teams. Mast said his focus was in one area when filling out the rosters.

"Rather than players, we were looking at schools," Mast said. "We'd like to get as many represented as we can."

Seventeen different high schools will have representatives in the boys' 3 p.m. all-star contest. Only Champaign Central, Centennial, Fisher and Unity have two athletes playing.

Mast made offers to three of the all-star players. One (Centennial's Devin Carter) picked another school (Lake Land) and two others (Britt and Danville's Dennis Hightower) are uncommitted.

In the girls' game, Danville's J'Lynn Ayers is a Parkland signee. Another player, St. Joseph-Ogden's Josey Fruhling has a scholarship offer from Redeker as well as from Lake Land. Shiloh's Larissa Moses plans to enroll at Parkland but has not committed to playing basketball.

"She's someone we'd definitely be interested in," Redeker said.

Redeker is excited to revive a postseason all-star event that had been dormant in the area for nearly 20 years.

"There's not anything like this around here," she said. "We wanted to showcase the talent we have in the area and wanted to give the kids this opportunity. These kids are committed athletes and probably are pretty excited to get to play with kids they've been competing against the last four years."

In the girls' game, 15 area schools will be represented. Bismarck-Henning, St. Joseph-Ogden and Unity each have two players chosen. Champaign Central has three.

Between the two games, 24 of the 52 area high schools with basketball programs will be represented. Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens.

Rosters

GIRLS' GREEN TEAM

NAME, SCHOOL HT. POS.

Makenzie Baker, Oakwood 5-10 F

Elizabeth Everingham, St. Joseph-O. 5-5 G

Josey Fruhling, St. Joseph-Ogden 5-8 F

Lori Haas, Bismarck-Henning 5-9 G

Sam Kohlbecker, Tuscola 5-5 G

Larissa Moses, Shiloh 6-1 C

Amanda McCollom, Villa Grove 5-7 G

Ashlen Portwood, Milford 5-10 F/C

Samantha Siddens, Bismarck-H. 5-8 F

Cheyenne Weber, PBL 5-3 G

COACH — Tim Kohlbecker, Tuscola

GIRLS' BLACK TEAM

NAME, SCHOOL HT. POS.

J'Lynn Ayers, Danville 6-0 C

Kewanee Garrett, Champaign Central 5-7 G

Cheyenne Hedrington, Central 5-10 F

Molly Marcum, LeRoy 5-10 F

Hannah Millington, Argenta-Oreana 5-10 F

Jacquelyn O'Neal, Blue Ridge 5-10 F

Nicole Schweighart, Centennial 5-7 G

Olivia Sheehan, Champaign Central 5-6 G

Ashley Walker, LeRoy 5-9 G

Amanda Wallace, Mahomet-Seymour 5-7 G

COACH — Danielle Cooley, LeRoy

OFFICIALS — Paul Dalbey, Ray Donald, Leroy Schluter

BOYS' GREEN TEAM

NAME, SCHOOL HT. POS.

Taylen Alexander, Centennial 6-5 G

P.J. Blissit, Urbana 6-2 G

Devin Carter, Centennial 6-4 G

Dylan Chapman, Fisher 6-3 F

Reid Farchmin, Mahomet-Seymour 6-4 F

Taw Fredrickson, Fisher 6-2 G

Dennis Hightower, Danville 6-0 G

Gauge Snider, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 6-4 C

Tim Weaver, Cerro Gordo 6-1 G

Malik Williams, Judah Christian 5-9 G

COACH — Chad Benedict, Mahomet-Seymour

BOYS' BLACK TEAM

NAME, SCHOOL HT. POS.

Travis Britt, Rantoul 6-4 G

Corvon Butler, Champaign Central 6-5 F

Ryan Dieu, Georgetown-Ridge Farm 6-0 G

Clayton Jones, Champaign Central 6-0 G

Aaron Larson, Unity 6-7 C

Cameron Lee, Oakwood 6-5 C

Brett Lindenmeyer, Arcola 6-1 G

Tanner Ribbe, Bismarck-Henning 6-2 G

Alex Thorson, Unity 5-11 G

Travis Whitley, St. Thomas More 6-4 C

COACH — Brett Frerichs, Rantoul

OFFICIALS — Paul Dalbey, Ray Donald, Leroy Schluter

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