Colonial League teams fall in Via All-Star Classic
The 38th Annual Via All-Star Classic tipped off at Northampton Community College Saturday, pitting teams from the Lehigh Valley Conference, Colonial League and Mountain Valley Conference against each other.
On the girls side, the Lehigh Valley West all-stars, comprised of players from Allen, Central Catholic, Dieruff, Emmaus, Parkland and Whitehall high schools took on a team of stars from the Colonial League, with players from Bangor, Palisades, Palmerton, Northwestern, Notre Dame Green Pond, Salisbury, Southern Lehigh and Wilson, with the LVC stars coming away with a 63-61 win.
Meanwhile, the boys all-star team from the same LVC schools downed a team of all-stars from the Colonial League, featuring players from Bangor, Catasauqua, Northern Lehigh, Northwestern, Notre Dame - Green Pond, Palisades, Salisbury and Wilson. The LVC boys picked up a win in that matchup in an exciting 105-95 game.
All of the players agreed that while they battled on the court, they also played with a lot of respect for the other players and made sure to have fun playing alongside players that they were more used to playing against. It was also an interesting send off for seniors, because they played the game under college rules, playing two 20-minute halves and using a shot clock.
"We had a great group of girls, they played hard, had a good time and it all benefitted a great cause, which is the most important thing," said Northwestern coach Chris Deutsch, who took the coaching reins of the Colonial League girls team. "It's not always easy to get a group of players to play with real effort in an all-star game, but these girls stepped up and played with heart."
In the girls game, Bangor's Morgan McCollian scored a game-high 17 points, while Salisbury's Megan Hrebik hit for 14 points.
"It's hard to get together when you only have a few practices to get used to players that you normally play against, but it was nice to play with them for one game," said Hrebik. "We weren't used to the shot clock at all, but that's what it's going to be like at the next level and we had help from our teammates on the bench letting us know when the clock was running down."
When the boys took the court, Lehigh Valley West jumped out to an early lead and led by as many as 27, but the Colonial League team fought back, cutting the lead to just five points late in the game. Northern Lehigh's Josh Eden led the Colonial League with 18 points, including scoring five points in a 30-second span to cut the LVC lead to 91-86 with just over four minutes left in the game. Allen's R.J. Fletcher seemed to seal the Colonial League's fate when he slammed home a big-time dunk with just 30-seconds left to put the LVC up by 15, but the Colonial League still didn't die, scoring five unanswered points to cut it to ten.
Salisbury's Tyler Brown was a member of the Colonial League team and finished the game with five points, all coming during the Colonial League's offensive run in the second half. His Falcon teammate Dan Reichenbach was also a Colonial League all-star.
The teams were made up of players voted into the game by media members from area outlets. That same group of voters assembled the Team of the Year lineup, Player of the Year honors and Scholar Athletes.
Northwestern's Sara Jones was the girls Via Player of the Year, while Gerald Terry of Wilson was the boys Via Player of the Year. The Scholar Athlete Awards went to Bridget Smith of Bethlehem Catholic and Josh Eden of Northern Lehigh.