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Prep Notebook: Season continues for Ohio, Ky. cagers

Apr. 07, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

Basketball season isn't over yet for several area players and coaches in Ohio and Kentucky.

Both states will be well represented in the 22nd Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Basketball Game scheduled Saturday night at Thomas Moore College's Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Ky.

Ironton High's Zac Carter and forward Trey Fletcher will represent the Fighting Tigers in the boys contest. Mark LaFon, Ironton's head coach, will be an Ohio assistant along with Tom Petty of Bloom Carroll. Tony Bisutti of Dublin Scioto is head coach.

Carter, a 5-9 guard, finished his career as Ironton's all-time leading scorer. He was first-team All-Ohio Division III. He averaged more than 24 points a game, helping the Fighting Tigers go 23-3 and make the semifinals in the Ohio state tournament in Columbus where they lost to Ottawa-Glandorf, 61-60, in overtime.

Fletcher, a 6-6 forward, averaged 20.5 points and 7.2 rebounds and made third-team All-Ohio. He surpassed 1,000 points for career. Neither Carter or Fletcher has settled on a college yet. As for LaFon, he was Ohio's Division III Coach of the Year.

Another area player on the Ohio boys team is Minford's Austin McBee.

For Kentucky, the area pick is Pikeville's Ray Kasongo. His coach, Bart Williams, is a Kentucky assistant.

For the girls, three area players are on the Kentucky team along with a coach. Players are Ashland's Madison Jones, Sheldon Clark's Katelyn Newsome and Lawrence County's Taylor Porter. Jones is undecided on a college. Newsome is headed to Hillsdale College and Porter to Murray State. Ashland coach Bill Bradley is one of the assistants. Trent Milbyb of Marion County is head coach.

On the Ohio side, the area pick is Tori Leader of Portsmouth West. She's committed to Ohio Dominican.

Norm Persin, boys coach at Oak Hill, is on the selection committee. He helps with Ohio.

The game also is known as "The Battle at the Border." The girls game will start at 5:30 p.m. The boys will begin at 7:30.

Teams will have practice sessions Thursday and Friday. Friday night's feature is the Slam Jam All-Star Night of Stars. Action begins at 7 p.m. and features 1-on-1, 3-on-3, 3-point shooting and slam dunk contests.

In the series, Ohio has a 14-7 lead in boys and Kentucky's advantage is 12-8 in girls. The game was played at Shawnee State's James A. Rhodes Athletic Center in Portsmouth through 2001. The game switched to the present site in 2002.

The men who helped organize the game are Randy Ward, high school coach in Kentucky for more than 30 years, and Dick Spencer, insurance agent in Portsmouth. Ward is actual game director.

Thomas More College is just 10 minutes from downtown Cincinnati off Interstate 275.

BURCHAM 15TH: Cabell Midland's Jacob Burcham finished 15th Saturday night in the 3200 in the prestigious Arcadia (Calif.) Invitational. The field was stacked with quality runners as 16 of the 28 broke 9 minutes. Burcham's time was 8:59.28, marking the second time he's gone under 9 minutes in the event. He ran a record 8:57.73 to win the Class AAA title in the state meet last year.

Knights coach Chris Parsons said Burcham, who's signed to run cross country and track at Oklahoma, would be chasing many of the top runners in the country. He was right. Ben Saarel of Park City, Utah ran the last lap in 55.2 seconds to win the race in a meet record and personal best 8:45.75. That time makes him the fastest distance runner in Utah state high school history. Saarel has signed with Colorado.

Bernie Montoya (Arizona) was second in 8:47.07 followed by Blake Haney (California) in 8:48.58, Jacob Thompson (Louisville) in 8:48.73 and Jack Keelan (Illinois) in 8:50.74. One of Burcham's goals is to get the all-time West Virginia best in the 3200, so he'll have to wait. Jeff Adkins of Woodrow Wilson ran 8:49.34 in 1979.

FOOTBALL CAMP: Preferred Fitness Center of Ironton will offer a football combine technique and drills camp from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday for players planning to attend a football combine. Players will receive instruction on proper techniques for all combine drills such as 40-yard sprint, 5-10-5 shuttle, vertical jump and L-drills. Cost is $20. Call (740) 534-1156 for more details or to register.

INTERESTING MATCHUPS: Spring Valley visits Huntington High in baseball on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Highlanders travel to Cabell Midland. Game time for each is 7 p.m.

Ashland and Ironton meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Ironton.

David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com.

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