Saturday night marked a banner day for county boys basketball, as 25 seniors took to the court at Howard Community College for the first East vs West Howard County All-Star game.
In front of a packed house, the East squad outlasted the West, 110-106.
Hammond's James Turner (22 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists) ended up being named MVP of a game that came down to the final couple possessions.
The West squad had a chance to win or tie with less than 10 seconds remaining, but Marriotts Ridge's B.J. Durham (13 points) had his three from the corner rim out and the tip-in try from Marriotts Ridge's D.J. Tucker (20 points, 12 rebounds) was also off the mark. Oakland Mills' Antonio Manns (16 points, 6 rebounds) grabbed the rebound, got fouled and then sank two foul shots to create the final four-point margin.
Turner did most of his damage early on, scoring 14 points in the first quarter alone for the East team. His teammate, Long Reach's DeVaughn Nowlin, also had a big opening period with 7 points and 3 assists before hurting his knee and being forced to the bench.
The West got back in the game in the second quarter behind the efforts of Mt. Hebron's Deonte Moses (15 points) and Chapelgate's Jordan Lawrence (9 points, 3 steals). In addition to the efforts of those two guys, an alley-oop dunk by Glenelg's Alexis Chahine off a pass from Marriotts Ridge's Arjun Patel (17 points, 6 assists) provided a good deal of momentum. By halftime, the East led by just two, 49-47.
It was still a two-point game by the end of the third quarter, 76-74, and down the stretch the East was able to maintain its lead in part due to six key free throws from Manns. The play of Wilde Lake's Dante Garner (10 points, 8 rebounds), Howard's James Bartnik (10 points) and Atholton's Darren Fitzpatrick (10 points) also proved critical for the East squad.
Other participants in the game for the East were Ben Goldsmith (Centennial), Nick Zayatz (Oakland Mills), Duane Echols (Hammond), Mike Alexander (Howard), Devaughn Garner (Wilde Lake), Darryl Taylor (Long Reach) and Brian McMahon (Atholton).
The West's other team members were Jordan Bryant (Chapelgate), Joe Tolbert (Glenelg), Joey Usher (Reservoir), Keon Booth (Reservoir), Corey Ruben (River Hill) and Eric Qui (River Hill).