East boys, West girls win basketball all-star games

SHREVEPORT — Saturday’s LHSCA/LHSBCA boys all-star basketball game at Centenary’s Gold Dome was all-fun, alley-oops and pull-up 3-pointers for the first 35 minutes. Then, it became about winning.

“I wanted to win bad,”Glen Oaks’ Chris Thomas said. “So bad. I hate losing. I go to Glen Oaks High School, and all we do is win, so I wanted to win here today too.”

Thomas helped lead a late comeback for the East squad, which won 95-93 after trailing 93-89 with less than two minutes remaining.

“This was a nice arena, and the crowd was into it,” Thomas said. “They really gave us the energy to go hard.”

Thomas led all scorers with 19 points and added five rebounds and two steals on his way to claiming the MVP trophy.

“This was awesome, and I got to bond with all of the different players from across the state,” Thomas said. “On Friday, we came together as a team. We had a lot of fun, and I wish I could have been playing with some of these guys before. It was wonderful to play against the top players in the state. I wanted to prove I was one of the best.”

For the East girls, the game wasn’t close for long, with the West pulling away for an 85-70 win.

Early in the boys game, both teams wowed the crowd with high-flying dunks. Thomas caught a half-court alley-oop and threw the ball down. Scotlandville’s Damien Jones scored his six points on thunderous slam dunks.

“It was very exciting, with everyone dunking and stuff like that,” Jones said. “It was just a lot of fun.”

Scotlandville had a trio of players in the game, with Tre’Lun Banks and Brian Bridgewater joining Jones. Banks finished with eight points; Bridgewater scored 16, most down low and from the free-throw line, although he did make a 3-pointer.

“It seemed a lot like just playing another high school game,” Jones said. “It was pretty easy for us all to meld together. The only think different from a normal high-school game was the excitement level.”

East Ascension’s Javaughn Williams hit two big 3-pointers in the second half to help the East stay in the game.

Madison Prep’s Chad Williams finished with 11 points.

WEST GIRLS 85, EAST 70: After the teams battled to a 29-29 tie, Southwood’s Jessy Ellis led an 18-0 run to close the first half, as the West took a dominant 47-29 halftime lead.

“It was almost like a playoff game,” said Di’Mond Jackson of University High. “It was an intense game for us. The competition was way better. You have a lot of other people to compete against.”

Ellis was named MVP after scoring 17 points, but Jackson was the East team’s biggest threat with 12 points.

“I was fairly familiar with the players on our team,” Jackson said.

“You could see glimpses of us being close and playing well together. We gained that in two days time.”

While the East girls couldn’t catch up in the second half, St. Michael’s Taylor Morrison said her team had fun playing.

“It was a great experience,” said Morrison, who had three points.

“The outcome wasn’t what we wanted, but it was good to come together and play with all of the players you know and have played against from across the state.”

McDonogh 35’s Kaitlyn Pratt was the only other East player in double-figure scoring with 10 points.