Trio competes in Lions All-Star battle
There's much more than a victory on the line when the Class A All-Stars and Class B Stars meet in the Lions All-Star games. There's a sense of pride, an ingredient of the big guy versus the little guy, and a summer of bragging rights at stake.
Plus, there's the camaraderie that comes with playing with an elite group of players, being coached by a state champion coach, and a week of summer fun.
"It's a great experience," Ali Edwards, the lone West Fargo girl selected to play for the Class A Stars, said. "It really has been a lot of fun."
Edwards was a key factor in both girls' games, played in Bismarck on Tuesday night and Fargo last Wednesday. The EDC Player of the Year candidate poured in 10 points on Tuesday night and grabbed seven rebounds in a 60-58 victory for Class A. On Wednesday, in front of her hometown fans, she had 19 points and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the line in a losing effort, as the Class B squad pulled out a 74-72 win when Edwards (arguably) fouled Rebecca Feikert. Feikert drained two free-throws with 8 seconds left to seal the win, and the two teams settled for a split.
"That's OK, I guess," Edwards said. "It was a good week. It's been fun to play for a different coach. Coach (Greg) Amundson has been here, done that a few times, and he just knows what he's doing. It's really different. But he's been good."
Edwards' high school dream of playing for a state championship was thwarted by a foul call as time expired in double overtime of the first round of the Class A Tournament. With two teammates on the A squad from Bismarck High, the team that derailed the Packers, Edwards said the first couple of days were interesting.
"We talked about it a little bit," she said. "I'm almost over it. I'd say I'm half over it by now."
On the boys' side, Class A came out with a sweep, thanks to the solid play of former rivals Eric Erdmann of Fargo North and Travis Mertens of Devils Lake. They led the A squad in scoring both nights.
But the friendships forged by the A squad was evident on Wednesday, when each player came out wearing the warm-ups of a different school. Erdmann, for example, wore the West Fargo warm-up of friend Taylor Moch. West Fargo's Ben Wolden donned a Minot High warm-up, borrowed from Blake Wurgler.
Moch was in the thick of things both nights, scoring six points on Tuesday in Bismarck and pouring in five more in Fargo on Wednesday. Wolden, meanwhile, played the point and had three key assists in the first half, as Class A built a 36-34 lead in the opening 20 minutes.
Overall, the event was also marked by a host of players heading to local colleges. Edwards said eight players combined from the boys' and girls' squad will be joining her at Jamestown College in the fall.
"We'll be teammates again, and we'll be seeing a lot of these players on the court again soon, which is cool," she said. "We've gotten to know each other well."