Via All-Star Game held last weekend
In the waning minutes of the final game of Via’s Super Saturday basketball showcase, Aidan Ellwood spotted up behind the three-point line and called “banks.” He let the shot go, and it caromed off the backboard and through the basket. A few feet away his teammates went wild.
The Northampton senior scored 28 points in leading the West all-stars to a 119-112 win over the East in the finale of this year’s Via All-Star Classic, the 43rd annual edition of the event that showcases local senior high school basketball players.
“Of course I called banks,” said Ellwood. “It’s awesome playing with these guys. I’ve played a lot of AAU with them. Playing with them in this type of setting with our school uniforms on, it’s pretty neat.”
Ellwood and Phillipsburg’s Chris Mann (East team) each scored 28 points in the final game of the day, which saw the teams combine to his 35 three-pointers and throw down several dunks with most players taking it easy on defense.
Catasauqua’s Isaiah Graves scored 13 points for the West, while Northampton’s Cory Weisenberger had 25 points, including five three-pointers. Whitehall’s Jake Lisicky added four points for the West.
Freedom’s Dylan Arnold poured in 20 points for the East team.
The event featured four games — two girls and two boys all-star contests — with the Lehigh Valley’s top senior players taking the court for one final appearance.
The opening games pitted the North vs. South.
The South girls pulled away for a 91-58 win led by Southern Lehigh’s Amanda Mobley (16 points) and three teammates with 13 points each.
Bethlehem Catholic’s Natalie Rhine scored eight points for South, while Golden Hawk teammate Morgan Orloski scored two points in the win.
The South boys team also picked up a win, 114-98, behind a 25-point effort from CJ Richardson (Dieruff). Bethlehem Catholic’s Deandre Gardner scored 18 points and dished out several assists for the South.
“All these guys, we’ve been competing against each other all year long since we were freshmen,” said Gardner. “It was fun having a last go around and not being so competitive with each other for once and just going out and having fun.”
Liberty’s Alex Serrano had 12 points for the South, while Hurricane teammates Amadeus Cannon had seven points and Bethlehem Catholic’s Ryan Young scored two points in the win.
The afternoon girls game saw the East team topped the West 72-64, led by Easton’s Kyla Smith and Wilson’s Ally Quinn with nine points each.
Freedom’s Hailey Silfies had eight points for the East, while Patriots teammates Kyra Jefferson (six points) and Carissa Norder (three points) also contributed to the win.
For the West girls, Whitehall’s Alix Buskirk scored 11 points and Catasauqua’s Kenzie Bradley had three points.
Super Saturday, which was held at Northampton Community College, capped the annual Via Classic, which includes a youth basketball clinic and last week’s banquet with featured speaker Herschel Walker.
The games support Via of the Lehigh Valley, which helps proved opportunities for children and adults with disabilities living in the Lehigh Valley. Via finds jobs for people in the community with disabilities and proved training and therapy.
This year’s Via Teams of the Year and Players of the Year were announced at last week’s banquet.
Southern Lehigh’s Mobley and Bethlehem Catholic’s Ryan Young were named girls and boys Players of the Year, respectively.
The rest of the boys Team of the Year includes Greg Eck (ES South), Aidan Ellwood (Northampton), Isaiah Graves (Catasauqua), Chris Mann (Phillipsburg) and Alex Serrano (Liberty). The Via Girls Team of the Year members are Tamia Hines (Stroudsburg), Hailey Silfies (Freedom), Skylynn Faust (Lehighton), Hope Brown (Becahi), Leanna Deegan (Easton).