Michigan might want to consider scheduling a game at Tipton High School this season. For that matter, so should Indiana, Notre Dame and Purdue.
The boys IndyStar All-Stars routed the Junior All-Stars 133-111 in the second of two exhibition games on Wednesday night, blistering the Tipton nets for 16-for-31 shooting from the 3-point line.
Michigan recruit Zak Irvin, this year’s Mr. Basketball from Hamilton Southeastern, made four 3s in the first 3 minutes and finished with a team-high 21 points.
“I didn’t even go to shootaround,” Irvin said of his hot shooting night. “But going through warm-ups, my jump shot was definitely feeling nice so I felt like once I made that first one, I was going to get on a roll.”
Irvin followed right in step. Cathedral’s Collin Hartman (Indiana) was 4-for-4 from 3 and had 14 points, and Notre Dame recruits Demetrius Jackson (14 points, six rebounds, four assists) and V.J. Beachem (18 points, four rebounds) and Purdue recruit Bryson Scott (17 points, eight rebounds) all had big games.
Tipton’s Mike Crawford, a St. Louis recruit, added 15 points.
“We had 31 assists out of 50 field goals,” All-Stars coach Scott Heady (Carmel) said. “You don’t see that all the time in an all-star game. You just don’t. Our guys were really good at sharing the ball and making the extra pass. I give our guys a lot of credit for that.”
The Junior All-Stars kept pace for a while. Marion’s James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana recruit) made his first three 3s and finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-for-15 shooting. Kokomo’s Tayler Persons (Northern Kentucky) added 16 points for the Juniors.
Warren Central’s Devin Davis (Indiana) missed the game due to a blister on his foot. Heady said the 6-6 Davis is expected to play Friday night when the All-Stars travel to Louisville to play the Kentucky All-Stars at Freedom Hall.
In the girls’ game, the All-Stars used their size to outrebound the Juniors by 26 and cruise to a 95-69 win.
Four players 6-2 or taller — Hamilton Southeastern’s Taya Reimer (17 points), Brownsburg’s Stephanie Mavunga (16 points, 15 rebounds), Sullivan’s Rhagen Smith (12 points) and Roncalli’s Bridget Perry (11 points, nine rebounds) — led the way.
“We not only have good size, but we have good versatility,” Smith said. “We can play Taya at the (small forward) spot and Bridget at the (shooting guard). It’s really nice to play with girls with size and presence. It’s been awesome. It’s nice not be the focal point of a defense and be able to work high-low.”
The All-Stars also used their size on the defensive end. Mavunga and North Central’s 5-10 Celeste Edwards each had four blocked shots, and the team had 11.
“The good thing about it is we have players who just do whatever the coach tells them to do,” Mavunga said. “People step up and play whatever position we need. It’s nice to have big strong bodies in there so you know somebody has your back inside.”
A bright spot for the Junior All-Stars was the play of Logansport guard Whitney Jennings. The Iowa recruit scored 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting and knocked down four 3-pointers. She also had four rebounds, three assists and just one turnover in 28 minutes.
“I had heard her name (before this week) but couldn’t match her name to her face,” Mavunga said. “I know the girl now. That girl is nice. I don’t know what to describe her as, but she’s going to be a great player. I’m looking forward to seeing what she’s going to become.”
Kindell Fincher, a 5-10 Xavier recruit from Fort Wayne Canterbury, added 14 points and six rebounds for the Juniors.