BANGOR — When three Division I recruits are on the floor at the same time, exciting things are bound to happen in an All-Star game.
Courtney Anderson, Rebecca Knight and Nicole Taylor showed off the star power that attracted the University of Maine and University of Vermont Saturday afternoon.
UMaine recruit Anderson of Leavitt dazzled the crowd with her pinpoint passing while fellow Black Bear recruit Knight of Catherine McAuley and Vermont-bound Taylor showed off their interior skills while Gorham’s Mia Rapolla was outstanding from outside as the West A-B All-Stars pulled away for a 108-83 victory over their East counterparts in a McDonald’s Senior All-Star game at Newman Gymnasium on the campus of Husson University.
Anderson, who had 14 points and six assists, wowed the crowd with her pinpoint passing and quickness.
“That’s Courtney, that’s the way she plays,” said Taylor, an AAU teammate of Anderson’s who had 18 points and five steals.
The West C-D all-stars made it a sweep with a 103-70 triumph in the second game of the afternoon.In the A-B game, the teams played a see-saw first half that saw the West take a 42-41 lead into halftime.
After the East’s Hillary Throckmorton hit a baseline pullup to give her club a 43-42 lead, Taylor canned a jumper from the top of the circle and then Rapolla nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing off a behind-the-back pass from Anderson to ignite a 9-0 run that gave the West some breathing room.
That margin would steadily climb to 20, mainly thanks to the outside shooting of Rapolla, who poured in 25 points on a 10-for-16 effort.
The West’s other double-figures scorers were Keila Grigware of Biddeford (14 points) and Knight (12), and helped make one of Anderson’s pre-game predictions a reality.
“We told coach (Rick) Clark (of York) we were going to (score 100 points Friday),” she said.
A 3-pointer by Grigware with just over two minutes to play got the West stars into triple digits, and they started using their quickness to generate steals and easy layups more in the second half.
“We weren’t running very well in the first half,” said Anderson. “In the second half we had a lot of chances to get breakway layups.”
Knight also had eight rebounds for the West.
Bangor’s Throckmorton enjoyed one of her best shooting outputs of the winter in leading the East with 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting, while Morse of Bath’s Nikoline Ostergaard had 12 points and Medomak Valley of Waldoboro’s Ericka Christensen 10.
Throckmorton, who will play at Bates College in Lewiston next season, was impressed with the West’s talent level.
“It was pretty exciting, it made us want to beat them more,” she said. “They’re really tough players, I wish them well.”
The West stars collaborated to make an astounding 43 of 104 (41 percent), and it could’ve been higher if Miss Maine Basketball winner and Vermont recruit Kayla Burchill of Deering hadn’t missed the game due to illness.
In the C-D game, the West used a similar blend of offensive consistency to pull away in the second half after leading 48-37 at the break.
Leading five West players in double figures was Allaina Murphy of St. Dominic of Auburn with 20 points, while Valley of Bingham’s Cindy Schultz had 17, Dirigo of Dixfield’s Hannah Knight and Livermore Falls’ Marissa Welch had 13 each, Jay’s Bethany Moore had 12 and Hall-Dale of Farmingdale’s Taylor Massey had 10.
Leading the East was Calais’ Rebecca Redding with 15 points, followed by Washington Academy of East Machias’ Taylor Seeley (14) and Emma Johnson of Bangor Christian and Central of Corinth’s Hannah Pray with 13 apiece.
The West took a double-digit lead for good on a Massey lay-in just under three minutes into the second half, while Murphy scored 14 of her points in the first half to help the West build its advantage.
“I just think things started going our way, our girls got really hot,” said Murphy, who will also play college ball at Bates.
Schultz, who missed her entire junior campaign with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, showed off her deadly perimeter shooting, going 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.
Inspired by their large school counterparts, the West shot a robust 40-of-88 from the floor.
“It kind of inspired us to go out there and play hard because it was a great game to watch,” Murphy said.
Seeley, who led Washington Academy to its first regional championship in program history, enjoyed herself.
“I think at this point it wasn’t about the score, it was about going out and having a good last game,” said Seeley.
The West started to pull away late in the first half, closing it out on a 14-3 run, highlighted by a conventional 3-point play and follow-up shot by Welch and seven points by Murphy.