Miss-Lou Youth hosts 1st All-Star Game, skills competitions

Published 12:01 am Friday, March 10, 2017

When Allan Morrow had the idea to do something special for the standouts in the Miss-Lou Youth Basketball League, he wanted them to receive a bit of extra recognition.

After some planning and brainstorming with director Mike Bowlin, it turned into a little more than that.

On Thursday, the league held its first All-Star Game at the Vidalia Upper Elementary School to honor 14 children in the 6-and-under division.

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“This is kind of a test run,” said Morrow, who served as a coach in the league. “We wanted to see how it would be. We are trying to make it as fun as we can.”

Morrow said after league play ended last Friday, the coaches from each of the nine teams selected children to be chosen as all-stars. All coaches agreed on who would be selected from the over 60 kids in the league.

“This gives them a chance to play with the best of the best,” Morrow said. “It will give them a jersey to remember and cool photos they can keep. They’ve had a blast and an amazing time.”

During the game, the West defeated the East, 34-23.

A big third quarter pushed West to the win, outscoring the East 12-3 in the period.

Jackson Shirley led the West with 12 points, including eight in the third.

“It was fun,” Shirley said.

KJ Williams and Caid Malone both added eight total points for the West. Also, Jaden White scored four points and Nathan Domangue had two.

The West took the lead at the end of the first quarter, 6-2, but the East came back to tie the game early in the second. It trailed by just two points at the half, 12-10.

Parker Morse was the leading scorer for the East with eight points. Jakyron Johnson followed with six, Jordan Morrow added five and Landry Tyson and Jordan Stubbs each ended with two.

Allan said that the game, however, was about more than winning and losing.

“It teaches them if they do well, they can be rewarded, and with not necessarily a trophy,” he said. “It’s just the fact that they get to be around kids that love the game as much as they do.”

The event also featured two specialty challenges, including a free-throw competition and a skills course challenge.

Williams won both, yet Jordan Morrow put up a strong effort in the free-throw challenge, falling by just one bucket in a shootout.

With enough feedback and support, Allan said he hopes the occasion can continue in the future.

“We want to do this as big as possible,” he said. “It can maybe be extended to the other leagues.”