The rosters for the Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star Game read like a Who’s Who among seniors at the Top 28 this past week.
Of the 30 all-stars, 15 played on Top 28 teams and four are reigning state champions.
The game tips off at 3 p.m. at Hirsch Coliseum after the girls game, which begins at 1 p.m.
The East team contains all four state champions — Riverside’s Von Julien and Jordan Andrews; University High’s Maxwell Starwood and Scotlandville’s Lamarcus Lee.
Julien said he’ll enjoy playing with Andrews one last time, but he’s looking forward to playing with and against a lot of familiar faces from the AAU circuit.
“Just playing with all the best in Louisiana and going out and competing with everybody, I just want to have a good time,” said Julien, singling out West guards Chad Lott (Byrd) and Marlain Veal (Helen Cox) as players he’s looking to play against, although the pair messing with him during the press conference might have evoked those responses. “It’s good to see (Lakeview’s Tay Hardy) again because we knew they were coming for us (in this year’s state title game) knowing that we beat them last year.
“It’s like a little rivalry.”
Riverside knocked off Lakeview for the second time in the Class 2A state title game this past week, but the game made just as many headlines for the amount of unsportsmanlike behavior between players and among fans.
Hardy implied that no hard feeling will carry over to Satruday’s game, but he’s looking forward to playing against the Riverside duo again.
“Losing the championship … I didn’t really take that to heart,” Hardy said. “I get a chance to redeem myself out here.
“It’s going to be real fun. There’s no grudge against them. They played a good game and are a good team.”
Hardy will pair up with district rival guard Ka’Davion Evans of North Caddo. Hardy scored 31 and 45 points against North Caddo, while Evans scored 37 points in his only game against Lakeview.
“Probably so. If anybody thinks they can shoot better than me, I’ll have to show them,” said Evans when asked if he’ll be the best shooter in the event, drawing a lot laughs and challenges from a talented group of shooters looking on. “I’ll be looking forward to playing against Riverside (beat North Caddo in the Top 28 for the second straight season) guys. I don’t like how they did us down there.”
Lott, Evans and Hardy are three of six northwest Louisiana players, joined by Parkway’s Artayvious Lynn, Natchitoches Central’s Danny Cohen and Arcadia’s Eric Brown on the West team.
“It’ll be great getting to play with some of the best guys in North Louisiana taking on South Louisiana,” Lott said. “We want to go out and show the East team and that we’ve got some guys that can hoop just like they can.”
After Cohen and the Chiefs beat Scotlandville for the 2014 title, Scotlandville’s Lamarcus Lee and Co. got revenge this past week to add another trophy to the Hornets’ collection. They’ll be on opposite sides again Saturday.
“What I didn’t show throughout the regular season, I get to show Saturday,” said Cohen, whose Chiefs’ team felt like a mini all-star team in itself. “It’s pretty much the same thing here because of all the talent. Take what’s given to you.”
According to Yahoo rankings, Lott and Melvin Frazier (L.W. Higgins) are three-star recruits for the West.
The East is led by four-star forward Jacob Evans III (St. Michael’s), whose a Cincinnati commit. Julien is also a 3-star point guard.
“After school and the gym, I caught the second half of the Cincinnati win (over Purdue in the NCAA tournament),” Evans said. “It means a lot to see (Cincinnati) in the tournament because you’ll know what the expectations are, and I want to continue the tradition.”
Other members of the West team, who is coached by Leslie Maddox (Elizabeth) and David Bryant (Plain Dealing), include Ishmael Lane (Port Allen High and Northwestern State signee), Corey Davis (Lafayette High), Leland Alexander (Ellender), Christian Fontenot (St. Louis), Devante Marshall (Plaquemine), Randy Primeaux (Midland), and Colby LaFauci (Elizabeth).
The East team, coached by Sterlington’s Kevin Caballero and Jesuit’s Chris Jennings, also includes Zach Davidson (Denham Springs), Quiante’ Scott (Family Christian), Raynaldo Dade (Choudrant), Kevin Hicks (Warren Easton), Spencer Kleinpeter (Episcopal), Trey LaForge (Jesuit), Tiajah White (Lutcher), Courtney Julien (St. Amant), Chris Vickers (Salmen) and Sylvan Starnes (Ouachita Christian).