Nine local athletes to compete in Shenandoah Valley All-Star Game
Harrisonburg High School varsity boys basketball coach Don Burgess created an all-star game for area high school seniors last year and, at the time, expressed his desire to make the event an annual occurrence while growing the game each year. In only its second year the event has already expanded.
This year’s edition of the Holtzman Oil & Propane Shenandoah Valley All-Star Game, scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Harrisonburg High, will consist of three games – one girls contest and two boys games – and will feature a total of 65 student-athletes from throughout the region.
“Each year my goal is to make it better,” Burgess said Thursday. “But also more importantly it’s to bridge the gap for the communities. I wanna provide an opportunity for student-athletes to play one last game in a fun, competitive environment.”
The all-star game, limited to high school seniors, will kick off with the girls contest at 1 p.m. That game, which will pit a North versus South, will include 23 players from 15 schools, including five girls from four schools in the local coverage area.
Central’s Tamra Scott, who recently committed to NCAA Division II Concord University, will compete for the North squad after averaging 13.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in her final season with the Falcons this past winter.
Joining Scott on the North team will be Skyline’s Nikea Whitmore, Strasburg’s Haley Bischoff (10 points, 6.9 rebounds per game) and Warren County’s Kima Robinson and Caile Broy. Bischoff, Robinson, Scott and Whitmore were each first team all-conference selections this past season.
Scott, who scored her 1,000th career point early in the 2016-17 campaign, will be one of a handful of girls competing on Sunday to have reached quadruple figures, according to Burgess.
“The number of 1,000-point scorers we have in the girls game is quite remarkable for this to only be the second year,” Burgess said.
Following the girls game will be the first of two boys contests, which will begin at 2:30 p.m. and feature two local players on the North squad – Warren County’s Brendan McMackin, who averaged 14.6 points and 9.5 rebounds as a senior for the Wildcats, and Sherando’s Jared Miller.
The second boys game will follow at 4 p.m., with both teams – coached by Virginia High School League Hall of Fame coaches Roger Bergey and Paul Hatcher – built primarily with players who earned first team all-conference honors this past season, Burgess said.
Two local players – Warren County’s Cam Ford and Sherando’s Alex Morefield – will compete in the second boys game as members of Team Bergey.
Ford, The Northern Virginia Daily’s 2017 Boys Basketball Player of the Year, was a first team All-Conference 28 and All-Bull Run District selection after averaging 20 points per game as a senior. Morefield was a first team All-Conference 21 West pick for the Warriors this past season, when he averaged 12.6 points per game and led the area in 3-point shooting percentage (51.3 percent).
A total of 42 boys players representing 17 schools will participate in the two all-star games.
“We have several (players of the year) and numerous first-team all-region, and of course respective all-conference,” Burgess said, “so both games are going to be very talented and competitive.”
Burgess, who was an assistant coach at four NCAA Division I schools and a Division III head coach at Bridgewater College before taking over at Harrisonburg High last season, said he expects at least 20 college coaches from non-Division I institutions to attend the Shenandoah Valley All-Star Game, which is being held on the same weekend as the NCAA Division III Final Four in Salem.
Burgess said 14 players who competed in last year’s all-star game went on to play college basketball at various levels for the 2016-17 season.
“We’re getting several other coaches outside the region that are stopping in, so that’s good. They get a chance to see some of these Shenandoah Valley all-stars,” he said. “Who knows, even if it doesn’t open up an opportunity for 2017 at least these coaches come through and say … ‘I really like their style of play and how coachable these kids are’ and maybe they’ll come back next year.”
Admission to the 2017 Shenandoah Valley All-Star Game is $5 for adults, $2 for high school students and free to children under the age of 12.
“If you’re a basketball fan and even if you’re out of the area, come on down. You can still grab a bite to eat somewhere in Harrisonburg at the lovely restaurants and then check out some good basketball,” Burgess said. “But more importantly it’s all about the kids. I just want to try to provide an opportunity. Hopefully we can get a nice fan base to come out so these kids can play in front of a nice crowd.”
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or email@example.com