January 11, 2007

Illinois Takes Two from Missouri All-stars

by Brock Bondurant

In the 30th Annual Missouri vs. Illinois McDonald's/Herald Whig All-Star Classic on June 9th, Illinois owned the night at Quincy's Pepsi Arena, winning both the girls' and boys' game. Both Missouri teams gained second half leads, but could not hold on.

Missouri came out cold in the girls' game as Illinois capitalized on MO's mistakes to take an early, 13-4 lead. It did not take long for Missouri to wake up and take the lead behind the play of Marion County's Randi Lee Plunkett. The Mustang all-stater led Missouri on offense and defense and knocked down a shot as the seconds ticked away in the first half to extend Missouri's lead to 28-23 at the half. It appeared that Missouri was going to run away with the game in the second half, but Illinois mounted a comeback in the last five minutes of the game behind the efforts of Quincy Notre Dame's 6'1' forward, Tori Kuhn. Kuhn dominated down-low stealing the game from the west-side girls and propelling Illinois to a 69-60 win.

Randi Lee Plunkett was the Missouri MVP with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Megan Brennan of Clark added 12 points while Jessica Redd had 11 and Katie Serbin of Palmyra added 8 points and 12 rebounds.

The Illinois MVP was a no-brainer as Tori Kuhn led all scorers with 19pts, adding 14reb, 6 blocks, and 3asts.

Scotland County was represented in the game by Cali Holt who started at guard for Missouri and had 1pt, 2reb, and a steal. Fellow Tri-Rivers conference star Kathleen Hinkle of Knox scored 2pts and added 4 rebounds for the west-siders.

The boys' game started off with neither team gaining a large advantage when just before the half, Quincy High's DeAngelo Dean took control and put Illinois up 46-32 at the break with a dominating offensive performance.

Missouri would not go down quietly though as they quickly came back and tied the game after a 14-0 run to start the half, orchestrated by Hannibal Guard Mike Shivers. His three-pointer led Missouri to take its first lead of the game 55-54, midway through the half. However, the 6'5' Dean and company would strike back quickly and put the game out of reach, adding a couple of slam dunks near the end of the game to put the cherry on top of a 93-82, Illinois win.

DeAngelo Dean dominated the game and led all scorers with 29pts to go along with 12reb. Mike Shivers became the Missouri MVP, scoring 24pts in the loss.

Scotland County was represented in this contest by Harley Stone, who saw plenty of action, snaring 5 rebounds for the Missouri squad.

Illinois extended its all-time series lead to a marveling 27-2 in the boys' game.

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