SVC, HOIC all-stars to square off
GIBSON CITY — Randa Harshbarger, from St. Thomas More’s Class 2A state championship girls’ basketball team, will be one of the headliners in Saturday night’s senior all-star basketball game at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School.
The 18th annual event matches top graduating players from the Sangamon Valley Conference against the stars from the Heart of Illinois Conference.
The girls’ game starts at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a dunk contest and the boys’ game, at about 7:30.
St. Joseph-Ogden’s Emily Dunlap will suit up for the SVC stars, along with Watseka’s Devin Curry and three Paxton-Buckley-Loda athletes: Janele Flanigan, Brittany Heyen and Jori Maynard.
Among the roster players for the HOIC are Fisher teammates Caitlin Cole, Olivia Heffernan and Hannah Varner, along with Blue Ridge’s Jamison Brandt.
In the boys’ game, St. Joseph-Ogden teammates Nate Michael and Brent Schluter will take the court again. Michael was one of 16 players chosen by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association for its combined 1A/2A all-state first team. Schluter was one of 15 second-team selections, along with one other area athlete, Monticello’s Nick Stokowski.
Blue Ridge’s Michael Plunk, who committed to Elmhurst College on Tuesday, was the lone area athlete on the IBCA third team of 20 players. Plunk and another Blue Ridge teammate, Will Duggins, will be a part of the HOIC boys’ all-star squad Saturday.
Fisher’s Kyle Williams and GCMS’ Ross Royal are among the others from the area who will be in uniform at Gibson City.
The IBCA’s all-state fourth team of 25 players featured no one from the area.
Six area individuals were among 68 accorded special mention: Bismarck-Henning’s Andy Bott, Hoopeston Area’s Brennan Crose, Hoopeston Area’s Mason Layden, Salt Fork’s Ross Learnard, Milford’s Alex Portwood and St. Thomas More’s Doug Wallen.
The IBCA honorable mention list of 66 included four area athletes: Chrisman’s Ty Bolen, B-H’s Wilde Garowski, Paxton-Buckley-Loda’s Drew Schrodt and Salt Fork’s Max Stutsman. Schrodt is not listed on the PBL roster for the upcoming all-star game.
Hardin eighth. Rantoul’s Talon Hardin tied for eighth in the Class 3A state three-point shooting contest in Peoria. The senior hit 9 of 15 attempts and was within one basket of competing in a tiebreaker for the final qualifying spots.
Finke picked. Centennial’s Michael Finke was one of five players chosen by The Associated Press’ media panel to be on the Class 3A all-state first team. In Class 4A, Danville’s Denzel Smith was one of the top 15 vote-getters and was named to the honorable mention list.