The N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association showcased its senior All-Star basketball players Saturday at Providence Day with plenty of acrobatic dunks, 3-pointers and eye-popping passing.
In the boys’ game the West secured a 130-128 win in the final minute on two free throws by Rabun Gap School’s Tomas Butkus and a late 3-pointer by Carolina Day School’s Tai Giger.
In the girls game the West out-scored the East 59-33 in the second half for a 104-88 victory
Giger led all scorers with 27 points which included si 3-pointers. Gaston Day’s Nate Hinton had 20 while 2018 McDonald’s All-American Devin Dotson from Providence Day added 19.
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Dotson wasn’t the only 2018 McDonald’s All-American in the game. UNC-Chapel Hill signee Coby White (Greenfield School – Wilson, NC) also played. The future Tar Heel didn’t disappoint by scoring the game’s first points on a 3-pointer and leading the East All-Stars with 18 points.
“It’s not every day that you can play with players of that caliber, so it’s good to compete,” said White. “I know a bunch of these dudes but I don’t get to see them a lot because we all live so far away from each other. To be able to hang with them for a weekend was real cool.”
White was asked how he thought he would be used at Carolina in the backcourt, as a point guard or a shooting guard.
“I know I’m going to play both as of right now,” White said. “He (Coach Roy Williams) said I’m going to play both. It really doesn’t matter to me as long as I’m on the floor.”
The suspension of Jalek Felton by UNC on January 30 and his subsequent withdrawal from the school rocked the Tar Heels’ basketball world. Felton is the nephew of former UNC national champion and former Charlotte Bobcats’ player Raymond Felton.
White gave his reaction to the shocking news.
“It hurts just because I know him,” said White. “He’s part of the family and it hurts the team because he’s such a talented player. Things happen and I hope he stays mentally strong through it. He’s a good kid, a good player and I wish him nothing but the best now. Keep his head up.”
▪ In the Girls’ All-Star game the West’s Shiniya Jones (Wesleyan Christian) led all scorers with 32 points while Providence Day’s Kennedy Boyd and Carolina Day’s Kasey Kidwell each has 3 points.
For the Girls’ East All-Stars Izabela Nicoletti (Neuse Christian) led the way with 15 points. Nikki Cook (Trinity Christian) added 12 and Shamani Stafford (Concord First Assembly) chipped in 11.
WORTH MENTIONING: Providence Day all-state guard Trey Wertz and Greensboro Day’s Will Dillard were selected to play for the boys’ but were unable to play in the game due to an injury. Concord Cannon School’s Jairus Hamilton also did not play.
THEY SAID IT: “Coby was shocked that he was so open the first play of the game. He’s not used to that. He showed what he could do and he’s a special talent, and a better kid.” East All-Stars’ Head Coach and Head Coach at Greenfield School, Ray Salter on Coby White.
THEY SAID IT – PART II: “It was crazy. Whenever I got the ball during high school everyone was guarding me, doubling me. I was like, am I sure we are going this way because nobody was near me.” White on being wide open and not covered when he sank the game’s first points.
EAST 55 33 --88
WEST 45 59-- 104
EAST GIRLS: Izabela Nicoletti (Neuse Christian) 15, Nikki Cook (Trinity Christian) 12, Shamani Stafford (Concord First Assembly 11, Shenell Davis (Northwood Temple) 10, Jessyka Leak (Concord First Assembly) 8, Izzy Strigel (Durham Academy) 8, Courtney Meadows (Concord First Assembly) 8, Madison Taylor (Ravenscroft) 7, MacKenzie Wilder (Nuese Christian) 6, Camille Small (Concord First Assembly) 2, Arielle Wilson (Northwood Temple) 1.
WEST GIRLS: Shaniya Jones (Wesleyan Christian) 32, Kennedy Boyd (Providence Day) 13, Kasey Kidwell (Carolina Day) 13, Maleeah Langstaff (Asheville Christian) 11, Braelyn Whiteside (Asheville Christian) 8, Shelly McRae (Wesleyan Christian) 8, (Sherise Jones (Carmel Christian) 6, Tori Huggins (Forsyth Country Day) 6, Ellie Johnson (Hickory Grove Christian) 5, Josie Earnhardt (Rabun Gap) 2.
EAST69 59 128
WEST 62 68 130
EAST BOYS: Coby White (Greenfield School) 18, Jonathan Hicklin (Northside Christian) 16, Josiah Jeffers (Burlington School) 15, Milos Stajcic (Freedom Christian) 14, Stephen Edoka (Concord First Assembly) 12, John Newman (Greensboro Day) 12, Greyson Collins (Caldwell Academy) 8, Elijah McCadden (Greenfield School) 8, Tripp Greene (Greensboro Day) 7, Trey Murphy (Cary Academy) 7, Kris Wooten (Parrott Academy) 6 Makiah Fox (Burlington School) 5.
WEST BOYS: Tai Giger (Carolina Day School) 27, Nate Hinton (Gaston Day) 20, Devon Dotson (Providence Day) 19, MJ Armstrong (Gaston Day) 12, Quan McCluney (Gaston Day) 12, Alex Cox (Cannon School) 9, Madison Monroe (Southlake Christian) 9, Isaac Suffren (Providence Day) 6, Qon Murphy (Cannon School) 6, Tomas Butkus (Rabun Gap School) 6, Elochukwu Eze (Asheville Christian) 4,