NCAC boys' all-stars all have a ball
Pressure off, fun prevails
Jim Moore/The Dominion Post
Fairmont Senior's John Stanley (22 points, 10 rebounds), MVP of the Home team, takes a shot over Morgantown High's Nick Hedges.
BY JUSTIN JACKSON
The Dominion Post
Fairmont Senior's Cornelius Dillard caught the ball on the wing, gave Preston's Thomas Hooton a little crossover dribble and dunked the ball uncontested with two hands.
"Good move, Corny," Hooton said.
Morgantown's Bobby Prim hit four consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter -- the fourth one over Fairmont Senior's Will Bridges.
Bridges just smiled as he ran to the other end of the court.
Bridges later got his revenge, driving past Prim for a layup in the fourth quarter.
Normally, Prim would be fuming, but not on this day.
"There was no trash talking at all," Prim said. "Actually, you just heard a lot of good things. Everybody was telling somebody else they hit a nice shot and stuff like that."
They would say it to their own teammates -- and the opposition.
It was easy to tell that an all-star game was being played Thursday, this one between senior all-stars of the North Central Athletic Conference, at Morgantown High.
But, as you watched the smiling faces run up and down the court, the carefree style of play mixed with a little horseplay and fun, one thing began to stand out:
Why couldn't it be like this all the time?
"You have no idea how fun it was to play in this game," said Prim, who scored 26 points and was named the NCAC Away team MVP. "Everybody knew each other out there and was just having fun."
It has become a world where the word "fun" is rarely used anymore in the same sentence with the word "game." "Win at all costs" is no longer a phrase used by the pros and college teams, but at the high school level as well.
"I think when you get a chance to play in this type of atmosphere, you can actually play better," Prim said.
The score? It had no meaning in this game, but for those interested, the NCAC Away team, made up of players from MHS, Preston, North Marion and Buckhannon-Upshur, beat the NCAC Home team, made up of players from Fairmont Senior, East Fairmont and University, 77-76.
"Oh my, it's an absolutely wonderful feeling coaching in a game like this," NCAC Away coach Tom Yester said. "Nobody cares what the score is and everybody just goes out there and does their thing. There's no pressure for kids to perform.
"For once, they got to be kids playing a game and have a little fun."
NCAC Home coach David Retton, of Fairmont Senior, agreed. "When it comes down to it, this game is strictly for the kids. These are great kids with dreams and they will soon be off to face new challenges in their life.
"They got one last chance to have a little fun today."
NCAC AWAY 77, NCAC HOME 76
Hooton 2 0-0 4, Hartley 2 0-0 5, Burnside 1 0-0 3, Manchin 4 1-2 10, Hedges 1 0-0 2, Shaver 4 2-2 12, Prim 10 0-0 26, Vidovich 7 1-2 15. Totals 31 4-6 77.
Ralphsnyder 3 0-0 8, DeVault 1 0-2 2, Smith 1 0-0 2, Stanley 9 2-2 22, Dillard 7 2-4 17, Bridges 5 3-4 13, Stevens 5 0-0 12. Totals 33 7-12 76.
Away 14 21 25 17 -- 77
Home 21 18 16 21 -- 76
3-pointers--Away 12 (Prim 7, Shaver 2, Hartley, Burnside, Manchin); Home 7 (Stevens 2, Ralphsnyder 2, Stanley 2, Dillard). Rebounds--Away 43 (Shaver 12); Home 43 (Stanley 10). MVPs --Away (Prim); Home (Stanley).
Return to the listing of articles of May 31, 2002.