Following a whirlwind finish in Saturday’s opening girls game, a 51–49 Home team victory, tournament director and announcer Nat Jackson described it as “[it] might be the best game we’ve had thus far” in the six-year history of the Fredericksburg Area Basketball Organization’s Area All-Star Classic at Riverbend High School.

The subsequent boys game did not disappoint as well as roughly 800 fans were on hand to watch the Away squad to pull off a 103–100 victory.

North Stafford’s Kellan Egan knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Home squad a 100–99 lead, before tournament MVP Jarius Ashlock of John Marshall scored the go-ahead basket. Devin Mosley of Culpeper made both ends of a one-and-one situation from the foul line with 6.9 seconds left to secure the win.

“It feels great to be playing for my city. It feels unbelievable,” said Ashlock, a former player at Massaponax who finished with a game-high 25 points. “We had more of an urge to win. Winning was on our mind.”

In the spur of the moment, Ashlock competed in both the 3-point shooting and slam dunk competition and held his own. He bested Colonial Forge’s Antonio Mcilwain in the long-distance shooting finale, and reached the final five in the slam dunk competition. James Monroe’s Giradi Cubillan easily won the latter contest, besting Ashlock along with Colonial Forge’s LT Woods and Mcilwain and North Stafford’s Egan.

“Seen All-Star games like this since I was growing up,” said Cubillan, who helped spark the team victory with 19 points. “Now it was my time; I had to shine for the people, represent Venezuela where I came from, and for James Monroe High School.”

Mosley chipped in with 13 points. With Mykai Smith of Caroline and John Day of Washington & Lee both converting a trio of 3-pointers, the Home team converted 15 treys in total but failed to convert a single free throw, going 0 for 2 from the line. Day and Brooke Point’s Chris Motton paced the Home team with 17 points. Egan added 12 and Smith had 11.

About the play of the home team, Will Pataki of Mount View commented: “I was surprised. Just put us together and we messed pretty quickly. We got a great group of guys and didn’t have any problems.”

Pataki finished with seven points and will continue his basketball career at Hood College in the fall.

“I enjoy [it] every time. You get to hang around with some of the best young talent around,” said Courtland’s Eric Davis, who coached the Home team. “Get them here [Tuesday] and work out and try to select the team evenly. Both the girls and boys games were last second [games] so I think we do a pretty good job of splitting the talent up.”

GIRLS GAME

Home 51, Away 49

Brianca Atkinson of Chancellor felt little pressure despite putting up a last-second shot.

“I knew it was tied. If I missed it, they aren’t going to hate me. I took my chances,” she said. Her team trailed by eight points midway through the second half.

Tournament MVP Lauryn Avery of Brooke Point sparked the triumph with 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots. Chancellor’s Isis Moore had 11 points and Atkinson finished with nine.

“My coaches tell me not to swing [her arms],” Avery explained her shot-blocking skill. “I just go up. It’s like a burst of energy. I’m use to blocking shots a lot and I know all the girls we were playing against.”

Avery plans to work on her ball-handling skills and weightlifting prior to attending Concord (W.Va.) University. Both Atkinson and Moore will be attending Virginia Wesleyan.

Top scorers for the Away team were Stafford’s Karoline Lawrence with 19 and Riverbend’s Jasmin Williams with 14.

In the 3-point shooting competition, Stafford’s Makenzie Wilson put on a stellar display of shooting, besting Riverbend’s Mikayla Via in the finals.

“It was really a lot of fun and I played with a lot of great players today. It was exciting,” said Wilson, who signed a letter-of-intend to attend the College of Southern Maryland on Thursday. “I knew if we settled down and did what Coach [Adam] Brown told us, we would come back on top.”

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