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CL’s Davidson scores 15 to help Blue Team win

March 24, 2016
By Gib Snyder III ( , Westfield Republican

SINCLAIRVILLE - Twenty-nine senior boys basketball players had one last opportunity to suit up for a high school basketball contest March 16 during the Chautauqua County Exceptional Seniors All-Star game at Cassadaga Valley - and they did not disappoint those in attendance.

"For some kids, this might be the last competitive game they ever play," White Team head coach Kevin Moore said. "And to be able to cap off their high school career with a game like this, in front of friends and family, that's a great opportunity for them."

"It's always a treat to be able to get some of the best players in the county - graduating seniors - for their last hurrah," Blue Team head coach Brady Deuink said. "It's always a tremendous experience when you get to have a Clymer kid compete against a Dunkirk kid and have a Jamestown kid on his team. It's just a neat experience for everyone around."

After falling behind 65-55 with 16:26 left in the second half, thanks in part to a 10-2 run by the White Team, the Blue Team outscored its opposition 51-36 over the remainder of the game for a 106-101 win.

"It was an impressive group of kids," Deuink said. "There wasn't a weak link out there. You see (someone like) Carter Davidson and I think he had seven or eight threes over the course of the game. And Zacc Kinsey was great all the way around and Matt Hair had a huge second half. They were just continuing to do the things we've seen them do all season long."

Chautauqua Lake's Davidson finished with 15 points on five 3-pointers, including three in the last 4:26 of regulation, while Kinsey, a Jamestown product, finished with a team-high 20 to earn Most Valuable Player honors for the night.

"I didn't see Jamestown at all this year and I knew they were a really good team," Moore said. "And I can see why. (Kinsey) makes them go. He drives with the ball, he can draw attention and he can find the open man."

And it was Kinsey who made the Blue Team go Wednesday night as he routinely found his way to the basket, created open space to drain 3-pointers and made circus-style passes to find his open teammates, making it hard for those who had the vote, to vote for anyone else for MVP.

"It showed a great deal of guts," Deuink noted of the Blue Team's comeback in the second half. "We got ourselves in a hole there, but Zacc Kinsey was here firing kids up on the bench. He said he didn't want to lose his last high school basketball game, so that was kind of our theme for the second half. And the kids took ahold of that and took it to heart and lo and behold, we win by five. It was a good finish."

The White Team's largest lead of the first half was nine, reaching that twice at 29-20 and 31-22, but the Blue Team did not go away, eventually tying it 53-all with 10 second left on the clock on a basket by Silver Creek's Trevon Thompson, who finished with 12 points.

"It seemed like everybody had a great time," Deuink said. "These kids don't have a ton of opportunities to interact off the floor during the course of the season, so when we had the media practice with both teams practicing at the same time, it was just a neat experience.

"And all the credit in the world goes to Loren Smith for all the time and energy he's put into organizing this game over the years," Deuink added. "It goes off without a hitch each and every time and everybody should be incredibly appreciative of that. It was terrific."

After the White Team's 10-2 run to open the second half, the Blue Team took over, finally taking its first lead of the night on a basket by Clymer's Adam Honey with 11:26 left in regulation.

The Blue Team did not relinquish the lead either, as Frewsburg's Matt Hair scored all eight of his points in a matter of minutes to help the Blue Team to an 87-80 cushion with 8:37 remaining in the game. The seven-point margin was the Blue Team's largest of the night until it went up 102-93 on a 3-pointer by Davidson with 2:18 left in the second half.

"They shot the ball well," Moore said of what the Blue Team did in the second half to come away with the win. "Carter Davidson shot it well and I think that was part of it. And defensively, not that it was a defensive game at all, I think they did a great job of getting to the basket."

The White Team got as close as 103-99 down the stretch on a free throw by Thomas, who had a game-high 22 points, but the Blue Team was able to close things out to earn the win.

"Pretty much go out and enjoy yourselves," Deuink said of what his team's game plan was. "We just tried to put some new combinations together so they got to play with different kids and hope it all works out in the end. That was the main goal - get the kids out there and have some fun."

Overall the game had more of a National Basketball Association all-star game feel than what you would think a high school all-star game would look like, as there were a lot of fastbreak dunks and little defense played. But the game was more about the players having fun than who won or lost.

"You should have seen our dunk contest the other night at practice," Deuink said. "It was the most impressive in my seven years. Between (Rashad) Brown, Chad (Butts) and Isaiah Thomas from Dunkirk and Pat Moore, Josh Eddy, Chris Blose and Pat Nelson, all those kids can throw it down. It was just impressive to say the least. Somebody jumped over Zacc Kinsey (Tuesday) night on a dunk, so that just speaks to the athleticism of the kids that were involved this year."

"We had fun," Moore added. "At practice we had fun and we talked about throwing some lob plays and back screens. And we actually executed one of those early in the first half. So it was fun for the kids to be able to do that."

NOTES: Scoring for the Blue Team were: Panama's Jack Payne (7), Chris Blose (9), Josh Odell (5) and Josh Eddy (4); Jamestown's Zacc Kinsey (20), Luke Kindberg (4) and Noah Johnson (4); Frewsburg's Matt Hair (8) and Kole Brink (3); Silver Creek's Jake Lewis (2) and Trevon Thompson (12); Chautauqua Lake's Carter Davidson (15); and Clymer's Dylan Neckers (7) and Adam Honey (7). Scoring for the White Team were: Fredonia's Pat Moore (18) and Eric Swoyer (2); Dunkirk's Chad Butts (20), Isaiah Thomas (22) and Rashad Brown (6); Brocton's Aaron Riforgiato (6); Westfield's Trevor North (5); Southwestern's Ben Burk (2); Falconer's Sean Nord (7); Forestville's Jackson Egan (1); and Cassadaga Valley's Shane Parsons (6).



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