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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

East hammers West in All-Star hoops clash

Thursday, June 26, 2003

The blowout happened just as everyone predicted. But instead of the West All-Stars roughing up the East squad, it was the exact opposite as the East Basketball All-Stars hammered the West 83-62 June 21 in the 48th Annual Tyson/Wal-Mart/Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Boys' Basketball game at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

Going into the game, most pundits anticipated the West team, featuring Fayetteville's Ronnie Brewer and Little Rock Fair's Vincent Hunter, to dominate their counterparts on the East side.

After all, Brewer, the son of Razorback legend Ron Brewer, and Hunter, who helped lead his school to the Class AAAAA title this year, are part of the Razorbacks' incoming freshman class, touted as one of the best recruiting groups in the nation.

Despite the perceived imbalance of talent, a closer look at the East roster reveals a talented cast as well.

Delight's Donte Norton, son of former Hog point guard Ricky Norton, will play ball at UA-Fort Smith next year.

Preston Cranford, a Heber Springs' standout, plans to walk-on at Fayetteville next year.

Little Rock Parkview's Terrance Akins, enjoyed another outstanding year, and Melbourne's Chad Milligan helped lead the Bearkatz to a 41-1 record and a spot in this season's Class AA Final Four.

Milligan, a 6-2 forward, is headed to the University of the Ozarks next year.

In addition to Milligan, Bearkatz' Head Coach Mike Watson served as part of the East All-Stars' coaching staff, and Levi Taylor, Melbourne's big post player, took part in the festivities as East team manager.

The East team used a 22-4 spurt in the second period to put the West into a big hole, from which they never recovered.

Brewer opened the game for the West with a trey, and scored all seven of his points in the first period. Brewer was named Most Outstanding Player for the West All-Stars.

A floater at the buzzer from Weiner's William Tate knotted the game at 14-all after one period.

The East came roaring out of the gate in the second period behind the play of Akins and Norton.

Akins, named the Herff-Jones Most Valuable Player of the Game, tossed in 12 of his game-high 14 in the decisive second period, while Norton, the East's Most Outstanding Player, slashed his way through the West defense to the tune of 13 points for the game.

The West squad managed only four points in the frame as the East enjoyed an unexpected 36-18 advantage after two periods.

Milligan made his way into the game at the start of the third period, and he played the entire frame.

Milligan's line for the game: 10 minutes, one-for-two from the floor, 0-for-one behind the arc, one-for-three from the free throw line, three points, two fouls and two rebounds.

Milligan's field goal at the 1:26 point of the period was the last for the East squad in the frame as they led 54-33 after three.

The West continued to look sluggish for the remaining two periods. AHSCA All-Star Basketball games consist of five periods of play.

The West got as close as 70-56 by opening the last period with an 11-0 run, but by that point the damage was done as the East cruised to an 83-62 romp.

Future Razorback Vincent Hunter finished the game with four points.

As part of AHSCA All-Star week, Viola's Amy Rucker was named as an All-Star Cheer Coach.

Rucker helped the Viola Longhorn cheerleaders to the Class A state title in their first year of competition.

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