Newark’s Jalen Dartis had a tough first half during the District 11 All-Star game Friday at Granville, but he more than made up for in it the second half.
Dartis made only 1-of-5 shots in the first half and scored two points. In the final 20 minutes, he made 6-of-8 shots, including two 3-pointers to finish with a team-high 16 points for the South.
Dartis’ play helped his team to a thrilling 100-99 victory in triple overtime. The game actually ended in sudden death. After a two-minute overtime, the score was tied 99 and neither team scored in the second overtime. It then was agreed the first team to score would be declared the winner.
Pickerington North’s Devon Price was fouled on a drive to the basket, and his free throw ended it.
“This was a fun game to play in, and even though it’s just for fun, it’s always good to get the win,” said Dartis, who also had nine rebounds. “The first half, I was just kind of feeling my way around. But it’s an all-star game, so I decided to start shooting more. It felt good to have some shots start falling and help my team win.”
The South trailed 48-43 at halftime, but they began to pick it up offensively. Newark Catholic’s Jett Speelman, Licking Heights’ John Righter and Granville Christian’s Ty Burson all had a hand in the South’s victory.
“It was fun because the competition is really good, and there’s a lot of talent in District 11,” Righter said. “It’s hard in all-star games because you are not used to playing with each other. But we all have skills. We just had to get a feel for the game and a feel for each other.”
Speelman finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Righter added seven points, five rebounds and two assists and Burson had four points and three rebounds.
Utica’s Luke Homes played for the North and finished with six points, five rebounds and two assists.
Speelman was honored for being the Division IV player of the year, and Lakewood’s Don Thorp was inducted into the District 11 Coach Hall of Fame.
South girls fall short
Licking County players scored 36 of the South’s 44 first-half points, and the score was tied at 74 with three minutes left, but the team ultimately fell 82-79.
Newark Catholic’s Caroline Wollenburg — who finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots — scored eight consecutive points to start the game.
Newark’s Paige Cashin led the South with 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting. She also had nine rebounds and three blocks.
Granville’s Brittany Atkinson added 13 points, three rebounds, four steals and two assists. Utica’s Taylor Dush finished with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Atkinson was honored for being the Division II player of the year for the second consecutive year. Johnstown’s Natalie Carpenter was the Division III player of the year, and Newark Catholic’s Jill Blacksten was the Division IV player of the year.
Johnstown’s Carl Dufford coached the South, along with Utica’s Terry Logue. Dufford was the honored for being the Division III coach of the year.