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Davidson's East squad outshines West in 22-point All-Star rout

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Sports Editor

Playing on a big stage is nothing new to Melbourne's Jordan Davidson.

After all, the former Bearkat has played in three out of the last four Class AA Final Fours, helping Melbourne to a 119-7 record during this time frame, while racking up more individual honors than the average trophy case will hold.

Although the above-mentioned Melbourne teams were loaded with stars, including Davidson's brother Patrick, now at Duke University, and Lyon College signee Levi Taylor, there's little doubt that in his last outing as a high school hoopster in Arkansas, Davidson was on a team loaded with enough talent to fill 10 squads.

This collection of talent lived up to its billing as Davidson's East squad routed their West counterparts 76-54 in the 49th Tyson/Wal-Mart All-Star Classic June 17 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

The 22-point margin of victory was the East's largest since they won 101-79 in 1979. The win gives the East a 32-27 lead in the series, including the last four in a row.

Davidson had a quiet game by his standards, being kept out of the scoring column in 11 minutes of play, including 0-2 from 3-point range. Davidson did grab two boards for the game, as he became the second member of his family to play in the All-Star Classic in the past three years.

Davidson, slated to play next fall at Blair Academy in New Jersey, could definitely appreciate the talents of his All-Star teammates. "I just wanted to contribute as much as possible," Davidson said. "We knew the offense would be going through the big guys."

And there was no shortage of big guys on Davidson's squad.

The East was loaded with NCAA Division 1 signees, including P.J. Lacy (Murray State) and Marcus Monk (Arkansas) from East Poinsett County, along with Little Rock Parkview's Marc Winston (Arkansas), Jeremy Parnell (Ole Miss) from Gosnell, and Altheimer's Brandon Patterson (Ole Miss).

Monk gave the fans in Bud Walton a taste of what might come next year as four of his 11 points came on thunderous dunks. Monk was named Most Outstanding Player on the East squad.

Monks' East teammate from North Little Rock, Myron Jackson, also tossed in 11 points, and was awarded the Herff-Jones MVP for his play.

The difference in the game was on the defensive end, where swarming ball pressure from the East kept the West off balance, as they trailed by double-digits for most of the second half.

"We didn't do that good of a job on offense," said EPC's Kevin Kyzer, head coach of the East All-Stars. "But we did a pretty good job on defense. We created a lot of easy shots with our defense."

With the East holding a slim 11-10 lead after the first period, the tide turned in the second frame as Kyzer brought in Davidson, Lacy, Monk and Winston, along with Guy-Perkins' Keane Guiden.

Monk immediately took an alley-oop from his EPC mate Lacy and rammed it through the hoop, the first of his back-to-back hoops.

Guiden drilled a trey, and Monk added a traditional 3-point play, as the East padded their margin.

Monk put an exclamation mark on the frame with a windmill jam at the 24-second mark, helping the East to a 23-17 advantage after two.

The West tried to keep pace in the third behind four points from Eureka Springs' Cash Covington, named Most Outstanding Player for his side, but the East was just too strong.

Parnell had his way inside in the third, as the East bolted out to a 38-26 lead after three.

It was more of the same in the final two frames as the East had an answer for everything the West tried on offense, ending with the East's most lopsided victory in 26 years.

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