Starry night

Henry’s 34 leads New­ton County All-Stars to draw, girls roll

The Covington News - - Sports - Ty­lan Merk­er­son sports@cov­

CONY­ERS — Sev­eral se­nior bas­ket­ball play­ers from New­ton and Rock­dale Coun­ties gath­ered in one gym with one pur­pose on Tues­day; to de­ter­mine which county was the best. The night’s events were hosted by Rock­dale High School and con­sisted of a girls and boys 3-point con­test, a slam­dunk con­test and con­cluded with a girls and boys Al­lS­tar game.

New­ton County’s girls topped the Rock­dale team 41-35 in the first game while the boys played to an 80-80 tie. Boys’ coaches Alvin Wil­liams (Rock­dale) and Rick Ras­mussen agreed to end the game as a stale­mate.

Fans were treated to plenty of out­stand­ing bas­ket­ball skills and ath­leti­cism that left the crowd in com­plete awe over the vast amount of tal­ent be­tween both coun­ties.

The night started with the girls’ 3-point con­test, won New­ton High’s Qais­erah Sharif with 11 points. Rock­dale’s Por­tia McCray came in sec­ond place for Rock­dale County with seven points.

The boys 3-point con­test came down to a battle be­tween New­ton County stars. East­side’s Chris Bon­ner took the tro­phy af­ter out­du­el­ing New­ton's Alex Ordu 10-5 in the fi­nal. Ordu scored the high­est sin­gle-round to­tal of 15 in the open­ing round but it was Bon­ner’s con­sis­tency that paid div­i­dends in the end. Bon­ner scored 10 in the sec­ond round to Ordu’s nine

to set up the fi­nal.

The dunk competition came down to East­side’s Dono­van Barrett for New­ton County and Rock­dale’s Derek Fer­rell. Barrett’s dunk of an al­ley-oop as­sist off the back­board from Ordu was enough to give the Ea­gles’ swing­man the vic­tory.

“We had a lot of fun com­pet­ing tonight in the 3-point and dunk con­tests,” coach Rick Ras­mussen said. “We (New­ton County) won each con­test and the ath­letes take great pride in be­ing able to say that.”

In the girls’ All-Star game, New­ton County bat­tled through­out the game to win 41-35.

East­side’s Jjade Cook dropped 12 points for New­ton County while Al­covy High point guard Lisa Kos­sally scored 10. McCray per­formed bril­liantly as she led all scor­ers with 22 points for Rock­dale County.

“I’m proud of each se­nior that par­tic­i­pated tonight,” Al­covy coach Ki­dada Holtz­claw said. “These girls have worked so hard over the years to earn the right to be con­sid­ered all-stars. It was great see­ing each of them hon­ored and even bet­ter for New­ton County to come away vic­to­ri­ous, but both coun­ties have great tal­ent.”

The boys trailed most of their game but came from be­hind to fin­ish with a 80-80 tie.

New­ton’s Der­rick Henry played his fi­nal high school game and led all scor­ers with 34 points.

Not to be out­done, Rock­dale’s Bernard Thompson led Rock­dale County in scor­ing with 33 points while back­court mate Kevin Ware added 21.

“Der­rick has a bright fu­ture ahead of him,” coach Ras­mussen said. “He is cur­rently in the process of de­cid­ing where he will play col­lege bas­ket­ball. He wants to play for a school that will chal­lenge him both on and off the court. You can’t go wrong with a pos­i­tive attitude like that.”

The high­light of his night came early in the first pe­riod when Henry slammed down an im­pres­sive dunk that would briefly stop the game and send the crowd in a frenzy.

Be­hind Henry in scor­ing for the New­ton County team was New­ton’s Wil­lie Smith who dropped 14 points with a few elec­tri­fy­ing dunks, while Al­covy’s Ro­met­rick Camp scored 11 points.

The New­ton team ral­lied from a dou­ble-digit lead to tie the game late be­fore the game was called at the end of reg­u­la­tion.

“The game ended with a tie so we will never know which county was the best this year,” Ras­mussen said. “But more im­por­tantly, we got the op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate the high school ca­reers of tremen­dous ath­letes. This was a great at­mos­phere to play in and I'm happy that all of these se­niors had an op­por­tu­nity to put on a fi­nal show­case of their tal­ents.”

An­thony Banks/The Cov­ing­ton News

Tons of fun: Der­rick Henry and the rest of New­ton County's all-stars ham it up be­fore their game with Rock­dale Tues­day. The boys tied 80-80 while the girls won 41-35.

An­thony Banks/The Cov­ing­ton News

Ham­mered: Al­covy’s Lisa Kos­saly is fouled go­ing to the rack dur­ing the New­ton-Rock­dale County All-Star game Tues­day.

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