By Rocky Higginbotham
Webster Progress Times
The North boys’ squad roared to a huge first-half lead, then held on for a 108-99 victory over the South in the Mississippi Association of Coaches’ All-Star Basketball Game held last Friday.
East Webster junior Charlie Brand scored six points in 10 minutes of action for the North squad, which was coached by Wolverines’ head man Michael Seger.
“It was an incredible experience,” Seger said of the all-star contest. “There were 8-to-10 potential Division I players combined on the two rosters. Players had the opportunity to get a taste of what the college game is like by competing in practices and the game against the best players in Mississippi.
“Charlie played well,” Seger said. “He really shot it well in the practices leading up to the game. His teammates started calling him ‘Luke’ in comparison to sharpshooter Luke Kennard of Duke.
“He entered the game with 16 minutes remaining in the first half and promptly made a 3 to build on an early lead,” Seger said of Brand, who knocked down two of his 3-point attempts. “He had several deflections that led to steals for our team. His toughness and grittiness were evident as he dove on the floor at midcourt to force a turnover against the South’s best player.”
The North squad, which put four players in double figures and got a game-high 21 points from Dewayne Stewart, erupted for 61 points in the first half. They led by more than 20 before settling for a 61-42 halftime lead.
“All five North starters have big-time D1 offers,” Seger said. “A lot of people probably wondered how a 5-9 guard from a Class 2A school made the roster, but his play in the game proved he belonged. He was one of the top shooters from either roster.
“This was a privilege and an incredible learning opportunity,” Seger said. “The chance to spend time with other successful coaches and see them interact and organize practice was beneficial. We gave our best effort to make this a memorable and beneficial experience for the 24 young men involved.”
The contests were played at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton.