Friday, April 16, 2010

SPORTS >> Area players earn all-star accolades

Leader sportswriter

Seven area basketball players were named to the Arkansas Activities Association all-star basketball teams released Thursday.

The all-star game, between the East and West squads, will be played at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville on June 24.

Lonoke’s Asiah Scribner and Searcy seniors Lauren Harrison and Kristen Celsor made the East girls team to be coached by North Little Rock’s Daryl Fimple.

North Pulaski’s Aaron Cooper and Daquan Bryant, Jacksonville’s Deshone McClure and Garrett Southerland of Abundant Life will play for Conway coach James Bates and the East squad in the boys game.

Scribner was named Leader girls player of the year after averaging 15.1 points and 10.2 rebounds a game as Lonoke reached the state semifinals. The 6-0 postplayer will play for UALR and coach Joe Foley in the fall after starting four years under

Nathan Morris on the Lady Jackrabbits.

Scribner received the most votes of any player in the 2-4A Conference, and will be joined by fellow post player and conference rival Whitney Donahue of Clinton.

“We’re certainly happy; actually, we’re as proud as we can be,” Morris said of Scribner’s selection. “It’s a great opportunity for her to complete her high school career on a big stage and showcase her abilities. Plus, it’s just an all-around fun week for the kids.”

Searcy’s Celsor and Harrison will have one final game together after growing up as teammates on various AAU teams, as well as being a part of the Lady Lions program since junior high and helping the Lady Lions to this year’s 6A state final.

McClure will lead a strong contingent of local boys players from the area. McClure, the Leader pick for boys player of the year, averaged 18.3 points a game for the Red Devils under coach Victor Joyner.

North Pulaski’s Cooper averaged 16.9 points a game and will play at Missouri State in the fall. Cooper, Bryant and McClure have all won AAU national titles together on the Arkansas Wings.

“They deserve it,” North Pulaski coach Ray Cooper said of the Falcons’ all-star selections, who helped North Pulaski to the state semifinals. “It’s really rewarding for them. They have made sacrifices.

“They played unselfish and didn’t worry about stats, and a lot of times they didn’t even play in the fourth quarter because we were beating teams so badly. They never complained.”

Southerland led the Owls to the 2A regional tournament this season, and has been a three-year starter for Abundant Life. At 6-6, Southerland is noted as one of the best outside-shooting post players in the state.