Providence Day School hosted its second annual N.C. Private School Girls All-Star Game Saturday before a good crowd at the Mosack Athletic Center.
The game featured some of the top private school senior girls basketball players from across the state, playing two 20-minute halves instead of the usual four eight-minute quarters.
The East All-Stars led most of the way to prevail over the West All-Stars 77-65.
Greensboro Day’s Tamera Thorpe led the East and all scorers with 21 points, including 15 in the second half. Hailey Riffe (committed to Queens) had 14 for the winners, including four 3-pointers.
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Village Christian’s Jada Peterson was also in double figures with 10 for the East. Concord First Assembly’s Remesha Bennett and Carolina Day’s Cheyenne Bunner each scored 12 points to pace the West. Asheville Christian’s Taylor Robinson (committed to Covenant College, Ga.) also chipped in with 10. Rabun Gap’s Dale Earnhardt coached the West All-Stars.
Dani Brown, who helped lead Providence Day to its sixth consecutive state title, talked about being able to play one final game on her home court. “It was spectacular,” said Brown, who will not play college basketball to focus more time on academics. “I love this gym; I Iove everything about it, and it was so special to go out and get to play one more game here. It was awesome.”
Thorpe (undecided) enjoyed the unique experience of playing in an All-Star game with so many unknown players. “The transition was extremely easy,” she said. “Everybody came in with a positive attitude and were willing to be open with everybody. That helped everybody come together.”
The coaches were just as emotional as the players, as East coach Pamela Tudor (Hobgood Academy) shed a few tears after the game while trying to savor the moment. “My prayer yesterday was just thanking God that he gave us all an opportunity to step on the floor again with a whole team of seniors,” Tudor said. “Everybody in the same position; getting ready to step out into life, and starting a whole new chapter with all blank pages.”
Allowing seniors one more opportunity to play a meaningful game and take with them a lasting memory was a big reason this tournament was founded two years ago, said Providence Day girls coach Josh Springer. “Brian Field (Providence Day boys coach) and I put our heads together two years ago and said let’s create a North Carolina private school All-Star game for our kids all across the state. What an awesome day of basketball.”
EAST ALL STARS: Tamera Thorpe 21, Hailey Riffe 14, Jada Peterson 10, Lindsay 8, Dorsey 7, Dobner 7, Flutte 4, Smith 2, Bode 2, Whitlock 2
WEST ALL STARS: Cheyenne Bunner 12, Remesha Bennett 12, Taylor Robinson 10, Thomsen 8, Kunaiyi 7, Mobley 6, Dennehy 5, Brown 3, Pennington 2.