OLD WASHINGTON – Philo’s Layke Fletcher has played many pickup games with Zanesville’s Malik Bocook.
The two took the floor together as part of the West All-Stars, who watched a 12-point halftime deficit disappear before pulling out a 109-102 win over the East in the Pepsi District 12 All-Star basketball game Friday at Buckeye Trail High School.
Bocook earned the MVP, pouring in a game-high 34 points, while Fletcher chipped in 11 for the West, which featured players from Zanesville and several Muskingum Valley League schools.
“It’s not often you get to play in a game and score more than 100,” Fletcher said. “It’s fun to play with a group like this. We play with each other in the summer, but it’s really fun to end our high school careers on this note.”
Meadowbrook’s Isiah Green, who won the dunk contest, chipped in 21 points for the West, while Zanesville’s Ramon Wilson added 14 points, Collin Russell from New Lexington scored seven points and Erik Engdahl of West Muskingum had five points.
Sheridan’s Luke Fox and Joey Palmer and Tri-Valley’s Camden Craig also played for the West.
The East trailed 56-44 at the half before rallying to tie the game at 99 in the fourth quarter, but Wilson drained the go-ahead 3 with 1:30 left to propel the West to the victory.
Russell noted joining forces with league foes is a memorable way for players to end high school careers.
“Everyone is good out here, and there’s no pressure, we can just play the game,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter who wins or loses, it’s about having fun.”
Merritt Flood from Shenandoah led the East with 20 points.
The girls game was not as close, as the West led 29-20 after the first quarter and were never threatened in a 100-66 victory.
The West extended its lead to 49-33 at the half, and the cushion remained in double figures throughout the second half.
Corrie Burkhardt of Philo scored 20 points to collect MVP honors for the West.
Jordan Smith from Crooksville scored 14 points and won the 3-point shooting contest, while Laura Davis of Morgan had 13 points, Maysville’s Capria Hall and Callie Tatman and West M’s Sabrina Madson all added nine points, Monica Crossley from Tri-Valley finished with eight points and Brooke Smith of Maysville chipped in five points.
Hall noted the up-and-down tempo enhanced the game experience.
“This is a game where we’re supposed to have fun from the start,” she said. “It’s a relief to go out, play the game and end our careers on a good note.”
Crossley enjoyed taking the court one more time, especially playing alongside league foes.
“You get to play with everybody you’ve been playing against since biddy league,” she said. “We got to play for one of the best coaches in the league (in Maysville’s Pat Miller), and we had a lot of fun. This is an honor and a great way to end our high school careers.”
Kaysey King from Shenandoah had 16 points to pace the East.