Seniors put on a show at annual hoops all-star game
It’s a good thing the daylight hours are getting longer these days, because someone shot the lights out Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
In the finale of a star-studded weekend, players put on a stunning offensive display as two teams made up of some of the best senior basketball players in Alaska combined to score 217 points in 40 frenzied minutes of play at the boys Class 3A/4A Alaska Association of Basketball Coaches Senior All-Star Game.
Most of the damage was done by the “Blue” team, which shot a mind-boggling 51 percent from 3-point range on 24-of-47 shooting. To put that in perspective, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the NBA record of 25 3-pointers on 25-for-46 shooting -- in a 48-minute game.
Grace Christian’s Luke Karlberg made seven treys, with East’s Joey Barranco and Kodiak’s Louis Rochleau splashing five each in a 140-77 win over the “Gold” squad. Karlberg and Barranco scored at a particularly shocking pace, with the Grace star putting up 26 points in under 22 minutes and the T-birds’ sharpshooter dropping 25 in 20:40.
Dimond’s Nicholas Horning led the Gold team with 19 points.
Eagle River’s Aaron Davis represented the Wolves on the Gold squad, chipping in four points and grabbing five rebounds. After the game, the two-time All-Cook Inlet Conference selection said being surrounded by the state’s best was “kinda nerve-wracking at first,” but he quickly settled into the game.
“I just wanted to come out and have some fun,” he said.
The game was the culmination of a day’s festivities that included boys’ and girls’ all-star games for players at both the 1A/2A and 3A/4A levels. There were also 3-point shooting contests for each of the four groups of players, as well as a dunk contest at halftime of the 3A/4A boys game.
Chugiak’s Patricia Houser helped the Blue team to a 63-61 win in the 3A/4A girls game, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with four points. Houser helped Chugiak reach the state tournament this season, scoring 11 points in the Cook Inlet Conference third-place game. The Mustangs went on to take fourth at state.
Barrow’s Kuutuuq Danner scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Gold, while Anchorage Christian’s Chaunice Carr led a balanced Blue squad with 14 points.
The all-star games are both an annual highlight show and a chance for college coaches to get a look at some of the state’s top seniors. While some players have already made their college plans (Karlberg and Barrow’s Travis Adams are bound for UAA in the fall), others still hope to find a way to play the game at the next level. Several college coaches were in the stands, keeping an eye out for players who may have slipped through the recruiting cracks.
Davis hasn’t yet settled on a school yet, but said he’d like to play basketball if he can.
“If I get the opportunity I will,” said Davis, who averaged 12 points and nine rebounds for the Wolves this season.
If he doesn’t play college sports (Davis is also a standout baseball player), he’s still got a bright future — the brainy baller plans to study either math or statistics in college.
For more, visit alaskaabc.com.