ANNA – Anna Independent School District hosted the Texoma All-Star basketball game Saturday at Anna High School, an event meant to showcase top graduating seniors from local-area schools. The idea, complete with a three-point shooting contest and slam-dunk competition, was the brainchild of three local head coaches, Tom Bean’s Wes Chapman, Anna’s Kyle Phifer and Van Alstyne’s Russell Best. All three were on hand as host coaches for the occasion.

“Basically, we felt like, with the amount of talent that’s in this area, we needed an All-Star game for the seniors,” Chapman said. “There are just so many good players in this area and they need to be kind of showcased. Then also, it’s to try to give some of these kids a chance to play at the next level. We invited some college coaches out and hopefully they’ll get a look, in a smaller setting, rather than going to one of the big showcases.”

Said Phifer, “It’s one last time for them to put on their jersey and play against elite talent from this area. It’s exciting to be a part of it. … Anything we can do to get these kids a little more recognition, I’m all for it.”

The event drew 20 players from 14 area schools, including Anna’s Keamoni Mattocks, Dillon Lewis and Elijah Smith. A planned girls’ portion of the event had to be cancelled due to conflicts with the state track meet and on-going softball playoffs.

In the three-point shooting contest, Anna’s Smith was nipped in the finals by Ector’s Ryan Wilder, while Harrison Martin of Blue Ridge flew to first place in the slam-dunk competition.

In the main event, the All-Star game, the home team, coached by Leonard head coach Luke McCarley, defeated the visiting team, 102-88. Mattocks, the contest’s high scorer with 24 points for the home team, was named game MVP and awarded a $500 scholarship courtesy of Grayson Collin Electric Cooperative. Other high-scorers for the home team were Smith of Anna (16) and Noah Boyd of Tom Bean (11). High-scorers for the visitors included Daishawn Nelson of Sherman (17), Desmond McNiel of Whitewright (12) and Wilder of Ector (11).

Plaques for competitors were provided by Awards Unlimited.