Area talent shines at All-Star Game
If Saturday night’s Sports Medicine Center at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center Bayou/River All-Star Game was indeed Davontavean Martin’s final basketball game, then he went out in style.
The Ellender Memorial standout had a huge night at the annual event, which showcases the best senior talent in Lafourche, Terrebonne, Assumption, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes. Martin scored inside and out and finished with 32 points, earning MVP honors for the victorious Terrebonne/River Team, which won the game 115-108.
Before the game, Martin also shined, earning first prize in the pre-game slam dunk competition, landing a couple vicious slam dunks that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Martin said this weekend will mark the final time he represents a school in sanctioned basketball competition. The Ellender senior has already signed a football scholarship to play at Washington State University next season.
“Everyone wants to win their last game, and I’m just blessed to be able to do it,” Martin said. “It was fun. It was a great time. To get the win, it just made it all even better.”
The night was a good time for all.
The event is sponsored by TRMC and presented by the Thibodaux Lions Club.
Coaches say it’s designed to give graduating seniors one last time to compete with their peers, while representing their schools.
Players say it succeeds in doing exactly that.
E.D. White senior Rafe Blades competed for the Lafourche/River team, earning MVP honors for his team after scoring 21 points.
Blades said the best part of Saturday night’s game was having the ability to share the court with all of the players he’s competed against for his entire high school career.
Blades also competed in the dunk contest, and jumped over a young lady for a slam. In the game, he also threw down a couple two-handed jams in traffic.
“It was an amazing atmosphere to run out to,” Blades said. “It was an honor to play in this game and to play with the best players in the area. It was a little weird playing with some of the players that I usually play against, but it was fun, too. Winning the MVP was something I never imagined. I made some lifelong friends through the game, and made memories I’ll never forget.”
South Lafourche senior Seth Borne agrees.
Borne is attempting to play college basketball after the season, but said he wanted to wear his South Lafourche uniform one last time after the Tarpons narrowly missed the Class 4A State Playoffs.
The senior guard said the talent on the floor was incredible, and he’s happy to have been able to compete in the game.
“It feels good to be recognized after all the hard work I put in during the season,” Borne said. “They had a lot of talented people on the floor making plays all over. It was incredible. I’m just thankful to be able to have played alongside them and to have the opportunity to put on my jersey one more time, because I honestly thought my last regular season game would be the last time I’d ever get to wear it.”
The event featured two All-Star games – one for each gender. In between the girls’ game and the boys’ game was a 3-point shooting competition and a dunk contest.
The games on the floor were both exciting.
In the girls’ game, the River Team defeated the Bayou 67-59 in a game that was close throughout.
Destrehan All-American Cara “Moon” Ursin was unbelievable, earning MVP honors after scoring 12 of her 22 points in the final quarter to lead the team.
Ursin, who is going to Baylor after graduation, said this was a fitting way to end her senior season, which also featured a Class 5A State Championship.
“You can’t ask for anything more,” she said. “The competition was strong, and we just found a way at the end.”
Houma Christian guard Dee Thomas won the Bayou Team MVP after scoring 14 points. H.L. Bourgeois guard Destiny Shelby also shined with 14 in the game.
On the boys’ side, the pace was high and points came freely.
Both teams traded leads several times throughout the game, but the Terrebonne/River squad made the last run, which secured the shootout victory.
Every time the Lafourche/River Team made a run, Martin had an answer, sinking several contested 3-pointers down the stretch to help secure the win.
For Lafourche, the inside punch of Blades and Grand Isle post player Brandon McCurley, combined with guard play from E.D. White standout Kevin Johnson and Central Lafourche guard Nelton Allen, kept the game close throughout.
“It’s just amazing to see all of the talent that there is in this small little region that we have,” Thibodaux assistant coach and Lafourche/River coach Mike Young said. “There are so many really gifted young men and young women. It’s something our community should be awfully proud of.”
In the 3-point competition, Ellender’s Nikkia Johnson took home the title for the girls, while St. Charles Catholic standout Jordan Arceneaux won it for the boys.
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