There were plenty of lead changes and ties to keep the crowd entertained, but a late run by McPherson’s Drew Pyle and his teammates helped avoid any late-game drama.
With a one-possession lead with less than three minutes to play, the Blue went on an 11-0 run to pull away for a 106-97 victory over the White in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association boys all-star game at Mabee Arena.
The game featured 10 lead changes and 11 ties before the Blue finally got some separation late.
“We kept attacking,” said Pyle, who was named Mr. Kansas Player of the Year by the KBCA following the 2015-16 season. “We weren’t passive and that helped us get to the free-throw line and get some layups. And we stayed calm against their press.”
The Blue lead was down to three after a bucket by Carson Becker for the White with 2:31 to play made it 95-92.
Paola’s Mason McDow’s third dunk of the game started the Blue’s run, with Pyle getting a pair of free throws and a bucket after driving the left side of the lane to make it 101-92.
Another basket from Highland Park’s Malik Keith and a final 3-pointer from Centralia’s Braden Deters — his only points of the game — pushed the advantage to 106-92.
“It was just a lot of fun,” said Pyle, who finished with 17 points. “I enjoyed playing with these guys and getting to know a lot of people ... people that will be friends with later in life.”
The game was tied at 81-all before a basket by Isaiah Nunnery of Hays put the Blue in front for good. Nunnery also had a steal on the next defensive possession, leading to a basket for Osage City’s Duncan Fort and a four-point lead.
“We had to lock in on defense and not try to give them anything easy,” Nunnery said. “On the offensive end we couldn’t settle. We had to play hard and play with intensity.”
Jared Vitztum of Thomas More Prep-Marian had 21 points and eight rebounds to lead the White.
White 109, Blue103 (OT)
There was also plenty of scoring in the girls all-star contest, as the White rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final three minutes of regulation to force overtime, then never trailed in the four-minute extra period.
Hill City’s Lexie McDowell opened the overtime scoring with a 3-pointer and another from Olathe South’s Kacey Kennett three possessions later put White up 102-98.
Blue twice got within one point in the final minute, but McDowell’s transition basket with 34 seconds to play put her team in front 106-103, and Kennett made 3 of 4 free throws in the final 17 seconds to seal the win.
McDowell, who has signed with Washburn, finished with 20 points and Kennett, a Fort Hays State signee, had 26 for the White. Kansas City Piper’s Jessica Wayne also had 22 points for the White, including 12 in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Sabetha’s Alexis McAfee and Central Plains’ Taylor Rolfs had 21 each for the Blue. Rolfs and Manhattan’s Madison Mittie, who added 18 points for the Blue, are both signed with Fort Hays State.