New Paris —
While the result wasn’t the one desired by Berlin Brothersvalley coach Rachel Prosser, having a chance to coach her gifted seniors one last time at the District 5 All-Star Game at Chestnut Ridge was one that she gladly hopped on.
Her West all-star squad, comprised of student-athletes from Somerset County, featured four Mountaineers seniors on the roster and a number of players she’s coached against in WestPAC play.
“It’s a lot of fun and it’s an honor,” Prosser said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these kids, and getting to see them play in a relaxed atmosphere and have fun is nice.”
The experience was along the same lines for Shelby Coughenour, who was named the West’s MVP after chalking up a team-high 18 points.
“It’s a good feeling,” Coughenour said. “We’re a lot looser when there isn’t pressure on us. We just went out and had fun tonight. We lost, but it was a lot of fun and it was a lot of fun to play with the girls from the other teams.
“We actually know each other. A lot of us have played on AAU teams. It’s just fun to play together again without the rivalries in the way.”
Berlin Brothersvalley’s Gina Trulick, Aleesa Fieg and Erica Craig joined Coughenour on the West squad.
“It’s real nice,” Prosser said. “None of them are going to be playing in college, so it really is a cherished moment to see them play together for the last few times.”
The East - comprised of schools from Bedford and Fulton counties - bolted out to a 12-0 lead over the first 3:46 of the game using a trio of baskets from Southern Fulton’s Ashley Roman and two more from Tussey Mountain’s Morgan Lynn before a West timeout followed a Macey Hollenshead bucket.
Coughenour ended the West’s drought, instigating a stretch of near even play on the scoreboard until the end of the first.
While Fieg opened the second-quarter scoring with a 3-pointer for the West, it wasn’t long until the East tore off a 16-1 run with Hollenshead - a Fairfield recruit and the East’s MVP - leading the charge with seven of her game-high 21 points. A late 7-0 run by the West, with five points from Somerset’s Ashley Welsh, drew the team comprised of Somerset County athletes within 18 points at intermission.
The West, which trailed by 24 points following a jumper from Chestnut Ridge’s Mackenzie Feather in the third, unleashed a 13-0 tear late in the frame to draw within striking distance. Six points from Coughenour, who also won the 3-point contest at halftime, highlighted the run.
Conemaugh Township’s Kayla Luprek, who scored 11 points, helped the West draw within nine points twice in the fourth.
A runner from Berlin’s Gina Trulick pulled the West within nine one last time before the East closed on a 9-3 run that was punctuated by a Hollenshead 3-pointer.
Shawn Curtis is the sports editor of The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/shawncurtis430.