Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 3, 2013

Inaugural basketball All-Star game set

Rocky Stanley
The Independent

ASHLAND — Pike County Central girls basketball coach Clay Campbell says the Consol Energy WV-KY All-Star Game has a chance to be something special.

The new event for graduating seniors makes its debut Saturday at Mingo Central High School in Newton, W.Va.

Campbell will coach the Kentucky girls squad, which takes the floor at 5:30 p.m.

“The game has good sponsorship and I think there’s excitement growing about it,” Campbell said. “I see good things for the future. As far as the Kentucky teams, the idea is to try to keep it to the 15th and 16th Regions.”

The boys and girls rosters reflect that.

On the girls’ side, Arden Gross (Russell), Destiny Jones (Greenup County), Brooke Callihan (West Carter), Paige Warren (Menifee County) and Kerie Steele (East Carter) will represent the 16th Region. Four of them were All-Area selections this season.

Warren, who averaged 17.3 points, and Piarist’s Kelly Akers (21.6 ppg) will be going on to play at Kentucky Christian University.

Sheldon Clark teammates Katelyn Newsome (21 ppg) and Candice Porter (17 ppg) are headed to Hillsdale College (Michigan) and University of Pikeville, respectively.

The Kentucky team also includes three of Campbell’s players at Pike County Central — daughter Cassidy Campbell (17.5) ppg), Kassidy Prater (15.1 ppg) and Cameron Blackburn (9.5 ppg).

Mingo Central coach Boo Hatcher is head coach for the West Virginia girls squad.

Austin Hunt leads a group of four Boyd County players listed to take the court in the boys game. Hunt, who signed with Lincoln Memorial, averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Lions as a senior. Joining him from Boyd County will be post player Brandon Taylor, shooting guard Todd Stacy and exchange student Stefano Vaghi.

Some of the top 15th Region players on the roster include Pikeville’s Ray Kasongo and Ethan Rowe, Sheldon Clark’s Chase Kirk and Belfry’s Brett Charles, Tony Messer and Josh Robinson. Rowe averaged 22 points per game.

Sheldon Clark’s Frankie Smith is the head coach.

Helping out on the inside for Kentucky will be 6-foot-7 Dalton Cornette, who averaged 16 points and nine rebounds for Perry Central.

West Virginia’s boys team has several All-State players as well as Carlos Arroyo and Williams Otor Gabriel of nationally ranked Huntington Prep.  

Two-year-old Mingo Central High is a consolidation of Delbarton, Gilbert, Matewan and Williamson.

“I look for a big crowd,” Campbell said. “The gym is really nice and seats about 3,000.”

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.