Boys basketball seniors ready for final game

Lorain County’s top basketball seniors will get one last chance to showcase their talents as they come together tonight at Oberlin College for the Gene Legaza Lorain County Boys Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game at 6:30 p.m.

The top 20 seniors from schools all over Lorain County will compete in an exhibition game played in a college format with two 20-minute halves.

Avon’s Kevin Sapara and Avon Lake’s Eric Smith will coach one of the two teams while Firelands’ Brett Bartlett and Columbia’s Larry Babics will coach the other.

On Sapara and Smith’s team for the game are Jimmy Hessel (Avon Lake), Jack Poyle (Avon), Elyria Catholic teammates Tyler Riddell and Danny Whitacre, Lorain County’s Division I Player of the Year Kody Bender (Elyria), Louis Cheers (Lorain), Lorain County’s Division IV Player of the Year Devin Gabriel (Lake Ridge), Nate Inal (North Ridgeville), Dylan Weidrick (Wellington) and Luke Parker (First Baptist).

Their opponents in the game are Columbia teammates Zach Stopper and Jacob Simon, Joe Hyster (Firelands), Lorain County’s Division III Player of the Year Jason Moore and his Oberlin teammate Marcus Bailey, Wes Davic (Midview), Anthony Rini (Vermilion), Clifton Brown (Clearview), Alex Robinson (Brookside) and Adam Hopkins (Keystone).

Rivals come together on Sapara and Smith’s squad as Hessel and Poyle from Avon Lake and Avon, respectively, will join their respective coaches in the All-Star game. Bender and Cheers also team up after leading their respective teams to the district semifinals, with Cheers’ Titans getting the better of Bender’s Pioneers in the first round of the Lorain County Holiday Classic Tournament back in December.

The team also features two of Lorain County’s four Players of the Year in Cheers and Gabriel — Division II Player of the Year Cameron Kuhn of Vermilion is only a junior.

On the other side is two sets of teammates as Columbia’s senior duo of Stopper and Simon joins forces with Moore and Bailey from Oberlin. Stopper and Simon led the Raiders to a 25-2 season, and Moore and Bailey helped the Phoenix win their first district championship in 12 years.

Midview’s Davic, who is the only player entering tonight’s game averaging a double-double, should be among the most intriguing players to watch.

The night will kick off with the three-point contest, won last year by former Avon Lake standout Eric Stuczynski who beat Bender in the final round.

The dunk contest will follow along with the presentation of Lorain County’s 2013 Mr. Basketball.

At halftime, Keith Sooy and Craig Demyan will be inducted into the Lorain County Boys’ Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.


Last Updated: 3/23/2013 11:26:04 PM EST

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