COLUMBUS — Sydney Shelton had a few things she wanted to cross off on her to-do list this week as an Indiana Junior All-Star.
The first was a given and easily obtainable for Mt. Vernon’s all-time leading scorer in girls basketball history. Finishing with a total of 19 points in 36 minutes of court time through both exhibition games against the Indiana All-Stars, Shelton showed she belonged among the state’s best.
The second proved elusive as the Indiana All-Stars completed the sweep of the juniors with an 86-83 win at Memorial Gymnasium after taking the first game 78-63 on Monday in Richmond.
The third, simply put, she just wanted to enjoy the moment as a core member of the Junior All-Stars.
“It was intense. It was a lot of fun,” Shelton said Wednesday night. “These whole three days, counting this past week, have been so much fun. It’s really been something to remember.”
In the exhibition finale, Shelton had nine points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field, including a 3-pointer. Two days prior, she shot 3-of-9, but she was the team’s second-leading scorer at 10 points.
The Juniors were led by fellow core members Jackie Young of Princeton and Heritage Christian’s Tyasha Harris on Wednesday with 21 and 20 points, respectively.
Indiana Miss Basketball Ali Patberg of Columbus North paced the Indiana All-Stars for a second straight game with 23 points. She put together an 18-point performance in Richmond.
In front of her hometown crowd, Patberg, a Notre Dame commit, and the seniors jumped out to a 44-29 lead.
However, Shelton and the Junior All-Stars rallied with a 54-point second half to narrow the gap as the game showcased two ties. The Juniors held the lead twice against the All-Stars on Monday, but they weren’t so lucky the second time around.
“You’re playing with really talented girls against other really talented girls. It teaches you to play together as a team and play with confidence,” Shelton said. “Every person contributes what they do best, and sometimes you don’t get that just at your school.
“It’s such an opportunity and such a blessing just to wear Indiana across your chest. It’s an incredible opportunity for all of us.”
The Indiana All-Stars will travel south to face the Kentucky All-Stars before coming back home again to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday night for the conclusion of the annual two-game series.
Junior boys triumph
The Indiana All-Stars reigned supreme in the first of two primer games against the Junior All-Stars, but the underclassmen got their revenge Wednesday night in Columbus.
Led by Cathedral’s Eron Gordon, who scored 23 points, the Juniors defeated their elders 103-89. On Monday, the Indiana All-Stars won 118-79.
Five players finished in double figures for the Juniors. Carmel’s Ryan Cline, a Purdue commit, had a game-high 28 points for the Indiana All-Stars, but a 53-point eruption by the Juniors in the second half turned the tide.
The game was tied at 50 entering halftime with the lead changing hands eight times and the score sitting deadlocked seven times.
In the end, the Juniors shot a blistering 51 percent from the field, including 45 percent from 3-point range to split the exhibition series at a game apiece.
All-Stars Exhibition Series
at Columbus North (Wednesday)
Indiana Girls All-Stars 86, Indiana Junior All-Stars 83
Juniors (pts): Ae’Rianna Harris 2, Jackie Young 21, Tyasha Harris 20, Kristen Spolyar 6, Sydney Shelton 9, Megan Walton 3, Holly Hoopingarner 2, Lauren McBryar 0, Tyana Robinson 20, Kara Gerka 0, Emily Sullivan 0.
All-Stars (pts): Ali Patberg 23, Victoria Gaines 3, Brittany Ward 13, Jenna Allen 12, Darby Maggard 13, Madeline Raster 0, Alexa Bailey 0, Jordyn Frantz 3, Michal Miller 3, Zuri Sanders 6, Tiara Murphy 4, Tori Schickel 6.
Indiana Junior All-Stars 103, Indiana Boys All-Stars 89
Juniors (pts): Kyle Guy 14, C.J. Walker 10, Eron Gordon 23, Damien Jefferson 12, Joey Brunk 10, Parker Chitty 8, Tucker Blackwell 6, Dru Smith 2, John Kiser 0, Djimon Henson 0.
All-Stars (pts): Devin Cannady 11, Ryan Cline 28, Sean McDermott 11, Tahjai Teague 19, Derrik Smits 6, Joel Okafor 4, Harris Brown 0, Jaelan Sanford 2, Ryan Welage 8.