Hancock County hoopsters showcased in annual all-star event

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ANDERSON – The players didn’t always like their performances, but the chance to play with and against other top players from the state, and in front of some college coaches, were the big takeaways from a busy weekend of high school basketball.

A number of Hancock County’s top basketball players competed at two different venues last weekend, the 14th Annual Indiana Class Basketball All-Star Classic at Anderson University and the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association/IHSAA Top 100 Underclass Showcase in Brownsburg.

“I wish I could have done better, but overall it was a really good experience to play with some really good kids from all over the state,” Mt. Vernon girls basketball standout Ellery Minch said, following her all-star game performance at AU’s O.C. Lewis Gymnasium on Saturday. “Overall, it was really cool getting to see a bunch of people you know from different AAU teams all come together and show how good Indiana basketball is. It was a busy (weekend).”

At Anderson, boys all-star games were held Friday. Girls games were played Saturday.

There were four games each day, opening with a contest between graduated seniors. It was followed by the Futures Game that pitted top players from last season’s freshman and sophomore classes. There were two games each night between players that recently completed their junior seasons.

Minch, who will be a junior next season at Mt. Vernon, played against Greenfield-Central’s Chaney Brown, a 2022-23 sophomore, in Saturday’s Futures Game.

Both played the day before at the Top 100. New Palestine’s Isabella Gizzi was also on the list of invitees to Brownsburg.

On Friday, Greenfield-Central was represented at AU in the Futures Game with sophomore-to-be Braylon Mullins and in one of two juniors games with incoming senior Dylan Moles.

Mullins and Moles were scheduled to play at Brownsburg Saturday, along with New Palestine’s Ian Stephens.

Eastern Hancock twins Jacob Spaulding and Silas Spaulding played in the second juniors game at AU.

“The talent was great,” Silas Spaulding said. “Playing with all classes, 4A, 3A, 2A, and 1A, it showed what each level can do. It showed not just the big schools have the best players. The smaller schools have good players, too, like (all-star teammate) Joey Hart (from Linton-Stockton), me and my brother and Wyatt Thornburg (from Blue River Valley).”

Hart was the MVP of the game with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

“We don’t usually play those bigger schools,” Silas added. “It was cool to see them and know you have got to keep working, humble yourself, and work on the things you need to get better at.”

Silas had six points, three assists and one steal in Team 2 White’s 84-73 loss to Team 2 Red. Jacob Spaulding had two points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block.

“I didn’t play very well, but it was still awesome,” Jacob Spaulding said. “There was a lot of athleticism out there that I am not used to. It was good to play with players at this high level and good to get that experience.”

Moles had one of the better stat lines for area players.

He had 10 points on 5 of 9 shooting, seven rebounds, four assists and a steal in Team 1 White’s 97-79 win over Team 1 Red.

Moles, who already had an offer to play at Marian University, picked up another one from his performances at AU and Brownsburg. He announced on social media Monday that he’d received his second offer, from Grace College in Winona Lake.

“This is one of the main chances to get looked at and to play against great competition,” Moles said of participating at the two events last weekend.

Prior to Moles’ game, his Cougar teammate, Mullins was on the winning team in the Futures Game. Team White beat Team Red 96-90. Mullins had three points and one rebound.

On Saturday, Brown’s Team Red beat Minch’s Team White, 66-50.

Brown had seven points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Minch had one point, four rebounds, one steal and one block.

“I had a lot of fun meeting new people and playing with some different girls,” Brown said of her weekend. “I never thought I’d get invited (to The Top 100 and all-star classic). It’s been a lot of fun.

“I played OK. I scored some buckets, which is good, and that made me feel a little better. I was nervous coming into it.”

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