If the Indiana All-Stars needed any extra motivation to knock off the Junior All-Stars, it got it a few weeks ago via Twitter.
“We took notice,” Fort Wayne Northrop’s Bryson Scott said with a smile.
The All-Stars used their defense to jump to an early lead and cruise to a 106-95 win over the juniors in the first of the two exhibition games this week. Scott, the 6-3 guard who signed with Purdue, finished with 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting.
In the girls game, the All-Stars produced an 84-65 victory.
The boys juniors, including a few who had predicted a win over the seniors on their Twitter accounts, played without 6-9 Tech forward Trey Lyles, who is training with the Canadian national team.
The All-Stars suffocated the juniors early, using the quickness of starting guards Scott and Demetrius Jackson (Mishawaka Marian/Notre Dame).
“I thought our guards really did a good job pressuring the ball and making it difficult for (the juniors),” All-Stars coach Scott Heady said. “Our wings got some deflections and steals and our defense turned into transition offense for us to get us the lead.”
It was the all-round effort Heady was hoping for early in the week. The team will play the juniors in another exhibition game on Wednesday at Tipton in preparation for games vs. the Kentucky All-Stars on Friday at Freedom Hall in Louisville and Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
New Haven’s V.J. Beachem (Notre Dame), a willowy 6-8 forward, added 14 points for the All-Stars, which had seven players in double figures. The All-Stars had 27 assists and shot 44-for-75 from the field (59 percent).
“We have a lot of unselfish guys,” Beachem said. “I think it really started in practice. We were unselfish in practice and it carried over to the game. We’ve all played together and know each other’s games pretty well so this is just the start.”
Cathedral’s Collin Hartman (Indiana) added 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting and Mr. Basketball Zak Irvin of Hamilton Southeastern (Michigan) had 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting.
The juniors were led by Park Tudor forward Trevon Bluiett, who scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half and added five steals. Brebeuf Jesuit’s P.J. Thompson added 14 points and Marion’s James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana) added 13, but was 3-for-16 from the field.
Hamilton Southeastern’s Taya Reimer (Notre Dame) led the girls All-Stars with 22 points and seven rebounds. She was on the floor much of the night with Brownsburg’s Stephanie Mavunga, Miss Basketball, who finished with 13 points.