SANDWICH – For six local basketball players it was a chance to lace up the sneakers and hit the hardwood one last time on the prep level Saturday night at Sandwich High School.
The 32nd Annual Leland Lions Club All-Star Shootout, pitting the Little Ten and Interstate Eight Conferences in both a girls and boys contest, is a showcase for the top seniors in each league.
The Little Ten all-start girls team saw a valiant fourth quarter come back fall a point short in a 51-50 loss, while the Interstate Eight boys made it a clean sweep with an entertaining 99-82 triumph in the nightcap.
Indian Creek coach Joe Piekarz had the honor for the first time of leading the Little Ten boys team, which included a trio of his players from this year’s regional championship team.
“They all three are such great kids, so it was a great opportunity to coach them one last time,” Piekarz said of seniors Garrison Govig, Garrett Post and Noah Holm. “It was special to see them compete one last time. I couldn’t be more happy for and proud of them.”
Post, who averaged a double-double this season and was a First Team All-Area selection, had a solid game for the LTC contributing 13 points, 10 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
“It was cool to team up with all the other great players from our conference,” Post said. “I’ve been playing against a lot of these guys since fifth grade, so getting the chance to play on the same side was as good as it gets. It was a great time.”
Holm, who scored four points and handed out a team-high five assists, was involved in one of the game’s best plays, even if by some what of an accident. The point guard’s nifty drive turned into a fantastic off the backboard tip-in by Post midway through the final quarter.
“I was trying a behind-the-back to myself layup to psych them out, but I ended up just being able to put it up off the glass,” Holm said with a laugh. “It turned into a better play than I thought it would with Garrett being there to finish it off. This was a great game to play in, I had a lot of fun.”
The game isn’t always a good fit for posts with the fast pace and over abundance of drives and 3-point shots. The 6-foot-9 Govig had a point and grabbed five boards, but admitted the game was exactly the experience he thought it would be.
“It was exciting as I thought it would be without a doubt,” Govig said. “I just feel honored to be involved in such a historic event that the Leland Lions Club has provided for over thirty years.”
Hiawatha’s Pancho Garcia also scored nine points and pulled down five rebounds for the LTC.
In the girls game, the LTC tied the game late after trailing by 10 heading to the fourth quarter. With the LTC down five, Indian Creek’s Samantha Mosley’s clutch layup with two minutes to play made it 48-45 in favor of the I-8. However, a late three-point play by the I-8 sealed the victory.
“It was really fun to be a part of,” said Mosley, who finished with seven points and seven rebounds. “I’ve been playing against these girls for years now, so to play on the same team with them was very cool.”
Hinckley-Big Rock and Daily-Chronicle All-Area Second Team member Lauren Paver had three points and three steals for the LTC. She said this will be an event she’ll have memories about for the rest of her life.
“It was a fantastic experience, and I was glad I was able to be in it,” Paver said. “It was different being teammates with these girls after all these years as being opponents. Although we lost by one, it was so much fun and a game I won’t ever forget.”