For the second consecutive year, a team of basketball all-stars from Regions I and II defeated a team representing Regions III and IV, as the North defeated that South, 113-95, in the 66th annual Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star Basketball Game at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio on Monday night.
Three Houston-area players represented the South team, while one played on the North squad.
The North jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game but the South, buoyed five points from Kevin Brown of Elsik, rebound to grab a 14-12 lead midway through the opening period.
But Langham Creek’s Mackey McKnight came off the North bench to score seven points and lead an 18-8 run that gave the North a 30-22 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the South’s shooting woes continued and the North pulled away to establish a margin that they would not give away. Starting with an 8-2 run and leading 45-29 with six minutes to go in the quarter, the North would steadily increase their lead to 19 points at halftime, 61-42.
The second half turned out to primarily be a showcase for various players, as the two teams effectively traded baskets. The South outscored the North, 53-52, after halftime.
The South did use an 11-2 run of their own to start the third quarter and eventually draw as close as four points, 67-63, before the North recovered to lead 83-69 heading to the final period.
Individually, Darius Richardson of Fort Bend Bush, the Class 5A state champions, was named outstanding player for the South team. He was also named the Class 5A state tournament MVP in March.
Richardson led all scorers with 20 points, even though his participation was reported as doubtful before the game. The University of Texas at Arlington commit injured his ankle last week while working out in Arlington and was not expected to play in THSCA game.
Joseph Young of Yates scored 13 points and also won the 3-point shootout held at halftime of the game. Elsik’s Brown, who is committed to Tulane, appeared to injure a knee or ankle at the end of the first quarter and did not return to the floor after that. He finished with five points.
McKnight, a Lehigh commit and the lone Houston-area North (Region II) all-star, scored 11 points in the first half and finished the evening with 13. T.J. Taylor of Denison led the North in scoring with 18 points.
On Tuesday, the THSCA will shift focus to the football field, as the 76th Football All-Star Game will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Both all-star showcases are part of the annual coaching convention and school hosted by the THSCA.