Senior All-Stars Celebrate Game at Hall of Fame
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The last time Justin Girard stepped on a basketball court to represent Drury High School, the night ended in a bitter defeat to arch-rival Hoosac Valley.
On Friday night, Girard had a chance one more time to represent the Blue Devils.
This time, he walked off all smiles -- but not because his team came out on top.
"It was great to come out and play," Girard said after the Western Massachusetts Senior All-Star Game at the Basketball Hall of Fame. "To be able to end my high school career here -- this is the Mecca, basically. It's just nice to be able to step on this court beneath all the greats who spend the rest of time here with their plaques after being inducted."
The Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams, under the Hall of Fame's distinctive silver globe-shaped building, is a unique setting for the game the hall honors. The high ceiling arches up toward the plaques Girard mentioned, and the overhang that allows visitors to look down on the court actually can interfere with shots taken from the corners of the court.
But what was really unique on Friday night was the chance for Girard and players from throughout the region to play with some of their former adversaries -- and against some others.
The final scores were secondary. But for the record, Girard's Red Team defeated the White Team, 98-88, with a balanced attack led by Frontier's Tim Hoar with 12 points in the Division 2, 3 and 4 boys game.
The victorious Red squad got 10 points each from Girard and Taconic's Charles Davis, who hit a key jumper from the right-wing corner with just more than a minute left to give his team a 92-86 lead.
In The Divison 2, 3 and 4 girls game, the Red Team also came out on top, 62-53.
The White Team featured all four girls from Berkshire County in attendance: Mount Greylock's Lucy Barrett, Pittsfield's Lauren Carnevale and Hoosac Valley's McKenzie Robinson and Emily Rosse.
Rosse was honored at half-time of the girls game with the Hall of Fame's Player of the Year award for Western Mass.
Barrett led the Berkshire girls contingent with eight points in a game that -- unlike the boys contest -- featured a good deal more defense.
"I think with guys, when some can dunk and some think they can dunk, it's a lot more of that style of play," Barrett said. "But we had a lot of fun.
"We wanted to play defense so it was a little bit competitive, but we still wanted to have fun with it and not get too uptight or mad."
"It's a basketball game," Carnevale said. "You've still got to play your hardest and work as hard as you can and do everything you can. A game's a game. It doesn't matter what kind."
That said, it was also a party.
"It was fun," Carnevale said. "It was nice to have a last little hoo-rah kind of thing, to celebrate us being seniors and being invited to come today."
While Girard and Davis got to walk off the Colangelo Court with a victory, the rest of the Berkshire boys were not too upset with coming out on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
Lenox's Evan Lanoue scored 14, and Mount Greylock's Emmett Shepard had 13 for the White Team, which also featured Pittsfield's Chad Shade and Wahconah's Collin Parrot.
"This is great," Shepard said. "I've never been a part of this, and it's really fun to be a part of something like this.
"These are all great people. We're all looking to have fun. Most of these guys didn't win Western Mass. They lost in the playoffs, and they're itching to get back out there. It's just good people playing a good game and having fun."