NEW CASTLE Callier sets scoring record to lead Pa. past Ohio
The George Junior standout poured in 31 points for Western Pennsylvania.
By BOB ROTH
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Benson Callier and Shawn Simpson combined for 50 points Friday to lead the Western Pennsylvania All-Stars to a 128-115 victory over Eastern Ohio in the Rising Star Basketball Classic on Friday at New Castle High.
These standouts from George Junior Republic were being coached by their head coach at George Junior, Bob McConnell, and his staff, which includes Ohioans Brian Danilov and Mark Metzka.
The contest had 13 dunks by the taller Ohio team and 13 3-pointers by the winning Pennsylvania squad and an individual game record scoring performance by Callier. The game was in hand early.
In the early going, Warren Harding's Ethan Banks had seven of the 13 points he scored in the game, but a 21-10 Western Pennsylvania run to the halftime buzzer had them leading 69-48 at the half.
Along with Callier, his team's MVP, and Simpson, there were four other Keystone performers in double figures, with New Castle guard Mark Demonaco next in line with 15 points on the strength of four 3 pointers.
Scoring standout: Callier's MVP 31-point night was a single-game record breaker for this classic, outdoing Chester Mason from Cleveland South of the Ohio team in the 2000 game.
Simpson finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.
"I came out shooting and had fun playing tonight and it was good to be able to break a record," Callier said.
McConnell said, "It was enjoyable to be coaching the best players in Western Pennsylvania, and the best thing about our guys is that they played together and played unselfishly."
Campbell resident Brian Danilov, who assisted McConnell Friday and all season at George Junior Republic, felt that last night's contest was a unique feat for him.
"Three years ago when I was at Ursuline I coached in this game for a winning Ohio team, and now tonight for a winning Pennsylvania team," he said.
The Eastern Ohio team had seven players in double figures, with their MVP, Mike Melton, a 6-5 guard from Cleveland Central Catholic, leading them with 18 points.
From Canton McKinley, Adrian Hill a 6-7 forward had 16 points, which included a game-leading six dunks, and 6-7 Doug Bell from Wadsworth also scored 16 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Turnovers were a big difference, with 22 by the Ohio team leading to the first half margin for Western Pennsylvania.
Ohio's coach, Joe Lynch from Strongsville, said, "Like most All Star games there was a lot of flow with a lot of great athletes, and their guard play was a little stronger than ours."
Beaver County 102, Lawrence County 95: Charles Glass, from Freedom High School, was named MVP for Beaver after scoring 21 points, with four 3-pointers. Eric Beauford from Rochester scored 20 points.
There were 26 3-pointers made in this contest, with the winning Beaver team hitting eight and losing Lawrence popping in 18.
C.J. Hunt, a 6-0 guard from Union High School, was the Lawrence MVP on a 19-point night, which included a tournament record tying five 3-pointers.
Ellwood City's Anthony Ovial had 21 points and New Castle's Dante Spino had 18, with both of them hitting a trio of 3-pointers.