CONWAY -- Collin Moore didn't get the state championship he wanted last season for North Little Rock, but he picked up a consolation prize Saturday.
Moore scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds to push the East to a 95-78 victory over the West in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association Boys All-Star basketball game at the Farris Center.
"It's a pretty good way to go out," said Moore, who was named the game's MVP. "You can't beat the feeling of winning. I just try to come out and play hard no matter what. This was my last high school game ever, and I wanted to go out with a win. Thankfully, we were able to make that happen."
He missed out on a chance to nab a title in March when the Charging Wildcats lost in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs, but a third-quarter surge from Moore and his fellow East All-Stars ensured he'd go out a winner Saturday.
Greg Johnson of Little Rock Hall had 17 points and 8 rebounds for the East, which scored 15 of the first 19 points in the second half to turn a 49-40 lead into a 64-44 bulge. Conway's Kylen Milton chipped in with 14 points while Marion's Tim Ceaser, Pine Bluff's Kaleb Higgins and Nettleton's Jarquavious Cain all had seven points apiece.Gallery: High School All-Stars Boys/Girls Basketball
Kaiden Hunter of Ashdown led the West with 10 points, while Lake Hamilton's Mondo Watkins ended with 7 points and 6 assists en route to being named his team's top player. Lane Kersey, also of Lake Hamilton, had nine points.
The game didn't start off like normal all-star events, and according to Johnson, the East wasn't interested in treating it as such.
Using the five-quarter format, the East hounded the West from the opening tip and didn't allow them to get off a decent shot during the game's first four minutes. The West missed all eight of its attempts in that span and trailed 12-0 before Hunter scored on a layup with 2:59 left in the first quarter.
"[Friday] during practice, coach [David Clark of Marion] told us to go out with a bang," Johnson said. "This was our last high school game, and we wanted to go out there and get it done. For me, it's especially a good feeling because my last game at Hall was a loss in the state championship game.
"But we locked down from the jump in this one."
The West settled in as the game wore on and grabbed its first lead, 22-21, early in the second quarter on a three-pointer from Watkins. But Johnson scored eight of the next 12 points to give the East a 31-24 lead.
The West pulled within 35-34 after a three-pointer from Pottsville's Wesley Heikes with 4:56 to go before halftime, but Milton scored seven points during a closing 14-6 rally to put the East up 49-40 at the break.
A three-pointer from Hunter on the first possession of the second half cut the East's lead to 49-43, but Moore answered with nine points during his team's momentum-changing 15-1 run to open a huge lead. The West closed to within 86-77 with 3:04 remaining after a basket from Springdale's Vincent Mason. Milton drilled a 22-footer on the ensuing trip to end the threat.
"We wanted to play well," Moore said. "Coach Clark was just telling us to play hard the first three quarters and try to have fun over the last two. I think we were able to do that.
"So it's a good way for me to go out before I head off to Sunrise Academy in Kansas."
Dawson Bailey 1 0-0 3, Kaiden Hunter 4 1-2 10, Lane Kersey 2 3-4 9, Vincent Mason 2 0-1 4, A.J. Matthews 3 0-0 7, Mondo Watkins 2 1-2 7, Xavier Wright 2 0-0 5, Jacob Green 1 0-0 2, Addison Brown 0 0-0 0, Will Pridmore 2 2-2 6, Carson Journagan 2 0-2 5, Dwalyn Jones 3 1-2 8, Wesley Heikes 3 0-0 8, Garrett Cross 0 1-2 1, Xavier Hall 1 1-2 3. Totals 28 10-19 78.
Kaleb Higgins 2 2-2 7, Tim Ceaser 3 1-2 7, Collin Moore 8 4-7 20, Dax Gibson 1 0-0 2, Alex Brogden 1 0-0 2, Bomani Roberson 3 0-0 6, Grant Patterson 1 0-0 2, Greg Johnson 6 5-6 17, Jarquavious Cain 3 1-2 7, Avery Felts 1 0-0 2, Kylen Milton 6 0-0 14, Elijah Ellenberg 0 0-0 0, Davis Morgan 1 2-3 5, Kyler Gammil 2 0-0 4. Totals 38 15-22 95.
West 14 10 16 17 21 -- 78
East 17 14 18 22 24 -- 95
Three-point goals -- West 12 (Heikes 2, Watkins 2, Kersey 2, Bailey 1, Hunter 1, Matthews 1, Wright 1, Journagan 1, Jones 1 ), East 4 (Milton 2, Higgins 1, Morgan 1). Total fouls -- West 17, East 15. Technical foul -- Cain.
Sports on 06/23/2019
Print Headline: Moore, East come out with purpose, defense