Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

March 22, 2013

24th annual Chicken Express All Star Basketball Classic tips off Saturday

Area players, including four from MWHS, to give college scouts another look at their talents


Mineral Wells Index

— By TONY EIERDAM

Area players, including Mineral Wells all-district players Sydney Shelstead, Niya Benavides, Ricky Scott and A.J. Williams, will compete Saturday in the 24th Annual Chicken Express All-Star Classic at the MWHS gym.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Children not of school age will be admitted free of charge.

The girls’ game will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by the boys’ contest at approximately 8:30 p.m. There will also be three-point shooting contests at halftime of both games.

Chicken Express will award a $1,000 scholarship to the winners of both the girls’ and boys’ three-point contests.

The game, also sponsored by the Mineral Wells Area Chamber of Commerce and the Mineral Wells Athletic Booster Club, features 30 boys and 30 girls who were nominated by their respective head coaches and selected by an independent selection committee.

It is the oldest and most recognized event of its kind, and the players are all seniors looking to give college coaches and scouts a final look at their talents.

All players are guaranteed four minutes of playing time per half, each of which will be 20 minutes.

Rams fans should note that Scott will be playing for the West squad and Williams for the East.

“I am very happy that both A.J. and Ricky are getting the opportunity to showcase their talents in the all-star game,” Rams head coach Aaron Papas said. “I think they are both very deserving and will represent our school well.

“Ricky was our leading scorer (14 points per game) and he averaged seven rebounds and one block per game.

“A.J. was our leading rebounder (nine per contest) and he also averaged nine points per game.”

Lady Rams fans will see Shelstead playing for the East and Benavides playing for the West. Shelstead averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds per game, while Benavides averaged 15 points per contest.

Also, two players from the Class 2A state-champion Brock Lady Eagles, Braylee Flaska (West) and Cora Jenkins (East), will also be playing in the game.

Ending a stellar high school basketball career at the all-star classic is Santo Ladycats all-district post Sarah Van Remmen, who averaged 15.2 points per game this season while grabbing an average of 10.7 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.8 assists per game. Van Remmen, who will play for the West squad, will be joined in the game by teammate Alyssa McKennon, who will play for the East team.

“I have had Sarah and Alyssa on varsity for four years, and they will be missed,” Ladycats head coach Tony Raffaele said. “Sarah is a hard worker who will be successful at whatever she chooses to do, as will Alyssa.”

The Santo Wildcats will also have two players in the game including Christopher Hoover (East) and Parker Conaway (West).

Hoover averaged eight rebounds per game and shot 50 percent from behind the three-point line. Conaway averaged 12 points per game along with four steals and four assists.

“Christopher is very aggressive and attacks the basket,” Wildcats head coach Tony Smith said. “He is an excellent rebounder.

“Parker is a good shooter and passer who usually guarded the other team’s best player.”

Graford will have two players at the game – forward Quinton Reed in the boys’ game and wing Tyler Wimberly in the girls’ game.

“Quinton was our only starter returning this year from our (2012) state tournament team,” Graford head coach Ty Tabor said. “He always played the role of the hard-nosed, tough competitor.

“This year he was our point guard and was definitely a ‘pass first’ player and a true hustle player.

“He is the kind of player every team needs – not worried about the spotlight and just worried about winning.”

The Perrin Lady Pirates will have two girls playing in the game, post Kelsey Hutton (West) and guard Preslee Cox (East).