By TONY EIERDAM
Of all of the area players from Palo Pinto and surrounding counties, none had the impact on Saturday’s 24th Annual Chicken Express All-Star Classic basketball game as Santo senior post Sarah Van Remmen, who was named the Most Valuable Player of her West squad.
The West defeated the East, 80-67 in the girls’ contest, and in the boys’ game the West outlasted the East, 92-78.
Van Remmen, who finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, including six points in the second half, was excited about earning her award.
“It feels good to be chosen as my team’s MVP,” Van Remmen said. “Our team atmosphere was good, and I think my rebounding was on, and that is my favorite part of the game.
“I had a lot of supporters at the game, and I appreciate them. But what I will remember most about this game was that the girls I was playing with and against were a lot of fun.”
Brock’s Braylee Flaska, who played two years at Mineral Wells High School, also participated in the game with teammate Cora Jenkins, another MWHS ex.
“It felt great to play in this gym again,” Flaska said. “All of my friends were here watching, and the atmosphere of this game was awesome.
“The best part about this game was playing with and against girls from Mineral Wells and with girls I played with and against in select ball in the summers.
“It was just so much fun to get to play with them again.”
Although the game is designed to give players one last chance at showcasing their skill and talent to college coaches, not all of the all-stars plan on playing college basketball.
Perrin post Kelsey Hutton was just happy to be playing in the game that features top area players from all classifications.
“It was a lot of fun playing in a basketball all-star game, especially this one,” Hutton said. “Basketball is not my top sport, so it was a total surprise for me to get to play in this game.
“I am from a 1A school, so playing with and against girls from 5A and 4A schools was amazing. I felt I held my own against the other girls, and although I realize I am not the best player out there I also know I wasn’t the worst.
“It was fun, but it was also kind of sad because it is just one more thing that reminds me that high school is almost over and all of my sports are done. Even though I am ready to just go to college, it is sad that one chapter of my life is almost over.
“But this was a great way to end my high school sports career.”
Joining Van Remmen as MVP was the East squad post and Mineral Wells Lady Ram Sydney Shelstead. The boys’ MVPs were Arbnor Kelmendi from Stephenville (West squad) and Keaton Hickman from Paradise (East squad).
Chicken Express also gave out two $1,000 scholarships to the two three-point shooting contest winners. The girls’ winner was Rhiana Michou of Lipan, and Colton Stegall of Hico was the boys’ winner.
By TONY EIERDAM
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