South beats North in Overtime thriller
The top High School basketball seniors in the Central Valley got one more chance to showcase their skills in the North vs. South All-Star game at the Mission Oaks Gym in Tulare on Saturday night.
After two 25 minute halves it seemed that the stars weren’t quite ready for it to be over as the teams battled to a 95-95 tie at the end of regulation before needing two overtime periods to decide a winner: 102-97 for the South.
The game featured several lead changes over the last few minutes with the north hitting several clutch shots including Lemoore’s T.J. Ivey making two straight three-pointers to tie the game late.
The first two minute overtime period ended in a 97-97 tie wit both sides missing potential game-winning shots as the seconds ticked away.
The south pulled away in the second overtime behind the effort of the games leading scorer Keonta Vernon of Tulare Union H.S. who finished with over 20 points in the game leading the south to a six point victory.
Exeter High School’s Eli Garver had significant playing time in the second half and finished the night with 2 points, shooting 2 for 2 from the free-throw line.
The spotlight however belonged to Keonta Vernon who took home all of the evening’s hardware winning not only the Game Most Valuable Player award but also the pre-game slam dunk competition with a crowd pleasing routine bringing perfect scores from the judges.
Vernon now prepares for a college career as he as earned a scholarship to the university of Wyoming.