BOSSIER CITY — A desperation 3-pointer by Rayville’s Mylik Wilson bounced off the side of the rim as the final buzzer sounded, allowing the West to escape the East with a 102-100 victory in Saturday’s Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star game at Bossier Parish Community College.
The game featured some of the top talent in the state although Sophie B. Wright’s Damiree Burns and Greg Hammond Jr., along with Peabody’s Darius Smith and Jamal Hayward, opted out of the contese for the East.
At one point during the game, Bossier’s Jacoby Decker and Kaalas Roots, who was filling in for one of the no-shows, smiled and chided each other over a ball lost out of bounds. It exhibited the playfulness the game often engenders.
The West got an MVP performance from Natchitoches Central guard CJ Carpenter who fired in 15 points with consistent and flashy play throughout his in-game minutes. Coaches were charged with changing their lineup every five minutes until the final five minutes of both halves. The victory put a smile on the face of South Beauregard coach Adam Coleman, who directed the West.
“This had to be one of the best All-Star games ever, and it was a very enjoyable weekend to coach this talented bunch of guys who are humble on sides of the bench,” said Coleman. “It’s tough when you have the constant rotation of 5-in and 5-out. It takes a little while to get things going – but we handled it well.”
The game was tight until the West opeened some distance with about 8 minutes to play. A bucket underneath the basket by Lakeview’s Zarious Lewis put the West in front 91-79, its largest lead. But the East closed the gap quickly and got within 95-94 with just under 3 minutes remaining.
Decker, the smallish dynamo who led the Bearkats to the LHSAA Class 4A state title game last week, scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to keep the West in front. It was his two free throws with 9 seconds left that were the difference. Ouachita’s Paul King hit a 3-pointer with 3 second left to make it closer.
“It was a fun experience, and I felt like I had to go out with a bang,” Carpenter said. “It was great to play with some guys from all areas of Louisiana. I got close to a lot of these people, and I called them my brothers.”
Decker was a catalyst in the open court as he’s been for the Bossier Bearkats for the past four seasons. He went among much player taller than him to get his double digits.
“There was a lot of competition — a lot of good players,” Decker said. “We have a lot of talent at Bossier, so I was used to it. It was fun going against Kaalas, because we do that every day in practice.”
The East had six players in double figures led by Delhi’s Tyler Washington and King with 17 points apiece. Dutchtown’s Nicholas Caldwell, a Southeastern Louisiana signee, added 15 points, while Mylik Wilson (Rayville, UL), Jamarkus Wilson (Rayville) and Wossman’s Rayson Robinson chipped in with 10 points apiece.
The scoring was spread further for the West, which had Woodlawn’s Tra’Michael Moton score 11 as the only other double-digit scorer. Lakeview’s Zarious Lewis and Red River’s Jessie Davis scored six points apiece.