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Girls high school basketball has developed, and for the second year in a row, the girls played their North-South All-Star Basketball Classic on the same night as the boys.

At the South Charleston Community Center Friday night, the North easily defeated the Cardinals 101-68.

Despite the loss, South and Spring Valley coach Bo Miller is glad the ladies are getting equal play.

Miller said supporting girls’ basketball and equality with guys is fantastic. I recall Glenville’s first female game. It was wonderful, but having the guys game here is great.”

The 2003–2005 North-South girls game was played. After a break, it returned in 2016 to Glenville State’s Waco Center until 2021.

East Fairmont North coach James Beckman felt that girls and boys should play equally.

“Girls basketball has grown so much over the years and it’s great to have this game played on the same night as the boys,” Beckman said.

“The girls deserve to be here. Great fun. I’ll always remember this.”

North MVP Sydney Baird scored 18 points for Webster County. South MVP Cadence Stewart scored 19 points for Greenbrier East.

St. Marys’ Zoe Davis and South Charleston’s Kyleigh Bulger received North and South scholarships, respectively.

Both were $750 to their chosen college.

Tournament Director Bill Gillespie stated, “We were able to up the scholarships from $500 to $750 and upped it to four athletes getting a scholarship.

“They wrote about basketball. One North and South boy and girl will get one, which is great.”

South led 17-9 at halftime. After leading by five, the North embarked on an 18-0 run to win.

North led 57-38 at halftime.

If they went over 100 points in the last minutes was the only drama. Ana Young’s layup with 10 seconds left gave the North 101 points.

Beckman claimed they wanted 100 points badly.

At 81, the girls had 19 to go, and the countdown began. We had one to go with minutes to go, and I didn’t know whether we would get there, but Ana was able to close the deal.”

Young of Pendleton County followed Baird with 17 points for the North.

Gabby Reep scored 10 and grabbed eight for Bridgeport. 14 North players scored.

Adyson Hines of James Monroe and Natalie Blankenship of Logan also scored in double figures for the South. Ripley’s McKennan Hall had 10 rebounds.

Gillespie was happy with the attendance and girls game, but senior week kept some of the state’s finest players away.

Gillespie said that 90% of athletes are on senior week excursions during the game. It greatly influenced the girls this year. We had a tremendous attendance with 48 players. We’re pleased with the girls event’s growth.

By Sanjh

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