Short beats buzzer, leads South

The participants in the inaugural naplesnews.com Collier County All-Star Boys Basketball Game made it a memorable one.

The contest came down to the last shot. That shot came to St. John Neumann’s Jon Short, who drove to the hoop and scored a layup with less than a second left to give the South an 84-82 win over the North at The Community School of Naples Fieldhouse on Thursday.

In the girls game that preceded the boys’, the North battled back from an early 11-point deficit to cruise to a 50-36 win.

Short wasn’t expecting to take the last shot, but he said he was willing when it came to him.

“I thought (Golden Gate’s) Jeff (David) was taking the last shot, then he passed it to me,” Short said. “I figured I might as well.”

The South boys held a comfortable first-period lead, up 21-9 at one point, but that changed when Gulf Coast’s J.J. Neely got hot. Neely, disappointed he didn’t score much in the Southwest Florida Association of Basketball Coaches All-Star Game, wanted to turn that around.

“I didn’t play or score much that game,” he said. “Then I came to practice here and felt like I could score more than I did there.”

He was effective inside and out, finishing with a game-high 21 points. But the South didn’t fold. In fact, they electrified the crowd thanks to two monster dunks from Lely’s Cedric Sanderson.

Golden Gate’s Richard Council owned the 3-point line, hitting four treys and finishing with 14 points. His Titan teammate John Mesadieu was effective inside for 20 points.

The South girls looked like they were going to run away with the game, jumping out to a 14-3 start. Marlena Elbert led the way, scoring the South’s first seven points.

“I was shooting well in the first half,” she said, “yeah, the first half.”

But the South’s shooting hands started to freeze and the North started to run the floor. The North took its first lead in the third period and never gave it back. Karady Gatz of Class 5A state champion Barron Collier led all scorers with 12 points, while Angel Woods, playing her last game on her home court, scored 10.

Eight of those 10 points came in the second half as the North made its run, and Woods wanted to make her final game on the Community School campus count.

“I really wasn’t thinking about it during the game,” she said. “But afterward it hit me this would be my last game. I really wanted to win it.”

But the final score in either game was secondary to the fact that these basketball players were the first to get a chance to showcase their talents in an all-star game on Collier County soil. It pleased them to have the chance to play against the people they grew up with one last time.

“I hope I’m able to come back and watch the game next year,” Elbert said.

“You’re playing with and against these guys all year long,” Short said. “It’s nice to get one more chance to show your stuff.”

NORTH GIRLS: 50 -- SOUTH: 36

NORTH (50)

And it was such a fun experience that they plan on staying interested even after their high school days are through.

Naretta 2 0-2 4, Gatz 4 2-4 12, Woods 5 0-0 10, MacGregor 1 0-2 2, McCormick 2 0-2 4, Larson 3 0-0 6, Talbert 2 2-2 4, Jean 1 0-0 2, Dunfee 2 1-2 6, Totals 22 5-12 50

SOUTH (36)

Daffin 3 2-4 8, Delk 1 0-0 2, Aurelio 0 0-0 0, Elbert 5 0-0 11, DiFazio 1 0-2 2, Price 1 0-0 2, Wickham 2 1-2 5, Raley 0 0-0 0, Stevens 1 0-2 2, Burgess 0 0-2 0, Houston 1 1-2 3, Vanderkelen 0 1-2 1, Totals 15 5-16 36

North: 5 - 11 - 21 - 13 — 50

South: 14 - 8 - 6 - 8 — 36

3-point goals – N: Gatz 2, Dunfee, S: Elbert 1. Total Fouls – N: 12, S: 8. Fouled out – none. Technicals – none.

SOUTH BOYS: 84 -- NORTH: 82

NORTH (82)

Samouce 5 0-0 12, Huprich 1 0-0 3, Hudson 3 0-0 7, Russo 0 0-0 0, Neely 8 3-4 21, Folker 7 1-2 15, Jean-Louis 2 0-2 4, Davidson 5 0-0 12, Bennett 4 0-0 8, Totals 35 4-8 82

SOUTH (84)

Mesadieu 10 0-0 20, David 4 0-0 11, Council 5 0-0 14, Johnson 2 0-0 4, Sanderson 5 2-2 12, Holm 0 0-0 0, Wise 1 1-2 3, Dieujuste 2 0-0 5, Short 3 0-0 7, Wholihan 3 0-0 8, Totals 35 3-4 84

North: 18 - 22 - 21 - 21 — 82

South: 27 - 19 - 20 - 18 — 84

3-point goals – N: Samouce 2, Huprich, Hudson, Neely 2, Davidson 2, S: David 3, Council 4, Dieujuste, Wholihan 2, Short. Total Fouls – N: 5, S: 6. Fouled out – none. Technicals – none.

© 2006 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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