SUNBURY — Over 20 local high school basketball players capped off their high school careers by playing in Thursday night’s Northumberland County all-star game at Shikellamy high school.
In the girls game, the Northumberland County all-stars beat the Surrounding Counties 45-34. On the boys side of things, the Northumberland county all-stars lost to the Surrounding counties in a tight battle, 77-76.
The Northumberland County roster comprised of players from Shamokin, Lourdes Regional, Southern Columbia, Mount Carmel, Shikellamy, and Warrior Run. The game gave local players a unique opportunity to play together in a fun, relaxed, and very loose basketball contest.
“It was nice to get together with these other girls and get to know them better while getting another chance to come out and play our game,” said Lourdes Regional’s Lilly Bickel.
Mount Carmel’s Donavan James and Lourdes Regional’s Thomas Schultz looked forward to playing in this game as it presented an opportunity for the two friends to reunite as teammates.
“We’ve played sports together since we were eight-years-old, then we went to different high schools,” said Schultz. “Now we get to play together again, and it’s going to be fun.”
“Playing in this game with friends and other good players is definitely a great way to end my high school career,” said James, who plans on continuing his basketball career at Lycoming College.
As promised, James tossed a few a lobs to Schultz early in the first quarter, making it feel like a schoolyard game between friends.
Some players have already decided that they will be continuing their athletic careers at the collegiate level. On the other hand, some players are still unsure of what lies ahead, and embraced the opportunity to play in this game.
“It could possibly be the last time I play in an organized game,” said Shamokin’s Collin Bowers, who is still weighing out his post-graduation options. “But it’s another chance to just come out and have fun before high school is over.”
Players in both games definitely looked forward to the low-pressure aspect of playing in an all-star game. Towards the end of the girls game, forwards began shooting from outside the arc. Aside from the lobs and dunks in the boys game, some players tried to show off their range and attempt 3-pointers close to the half-court line.
“I’m going for 50,” said Lourdes Regional’s Ty Klembara before the game, joking about not having a limitation on his shot attempts.
All in all, both teams battled as both games remained close from start to finish. More importantly, players were able to smile and laugh while getting this last chance to play at a high school level.
Local players that were selected for the girls game include: Southern — Jill Marks, Morgan Cole, Sarah Rodriguez, Sammy Palacz. Shamokin — Lydia Deptula and Lauren Wagner. Lourdes — Sierra Coleman, Lilly Bickel, Frances Czeponis. Line Mountain — Kasey Boyer, Amber Hackenberg, Katie Mace, and Delaney Klinger.
Local players that were played in the boys game include: Southern — Tobias Walden, Damian Aires, and Jarod Ebersole. Lourdes — Thomas Schultz, Ty Klembara, and Jacob Rees. Mount Carmel — Donavan James.