Girls’ contest will get up and down the floor
Having fun, meeting new people and enjoying the game of basketball.
All of those are key ingredients to all-star games.
However, there comes a time during those events when the competitive nature takes over and both the players and coaches want to win.
Both Ohio head coach Drew Greenwood of Union Local and West Virginia head coach Penn Kurtz of Wheeling Central are expecting that Sunday when they lead their respective states into the annual Samuel A. Mumley OVAC All-Star Basketball Classic at Ohio University Eastern.
Greenwood, who was on the losing coaching staff in last Friday’s District 12 All-Star Game, likes the make-up of his Lady Buckeyes’ squad.
“I think we’ve got a nice mix of everything,” Greenwood said about his guards and forwards. The Ohio coaching staff has set equal playing groups through the course of their two practices.
“We grouped them with guards and posts,” Greenwood said. “We think we can compete well and at a high level.”
The Lady Buckeyes have enjoyed their workouts and getting to know each other, but Greenwood believes his team will be all business today when it reports to OUE.
“We want to win,” Greenwood said. “Obviously, we want the girls to have fun, but they’ve gotten after it in practice with the expectation of winning the game.”
Kurtz has almost made coaching the OVAC All-Star Game an annual part of his schedule. He’s coached it so many times, he’s lost track of just how many.
“I really enjoy this game,” Kurtz said. “It’s a great chance to meet other players and another chance to coach. It’s a different kind of coaching because you don’t have much time to develop anything, so you’ve got to put something together quickly.”
The Mountain State girls had three practices to prepare for today’s game and Kurtz was pleased with all of them.
“We’ve got a lot more guards than post players,” Kurtz said. “How we shape our lineup will definitely depend on personnel.”
Before the stretch run, however, the Mountain State will utilize the normal three groups of five for equal minutes.
“We’re going to do our best to make sure everyone gets a lot of playing time,” Kurtz said. “Then we’ll mix and match as the game goes along.”
Kurtz is well-aware of some of the Ohio players. He faced several as his Lady Maroon Knights consistently play one of the area’s more challenging small-school schedules.
“I’ve not really seen their complete roster,” Kurtz said. “I know they’ve got some good players from Shadyside and Alex Kuhn from Monroe Central is a really good player. They’ve got a lot of three-point shooters and they’ve got a nice mix of post players.”
- SEVERAL SPECIAL awards will be presented during the course of the afternoon.
- THE ALL-STARS will be honored at a banquet at 1 p.m. at Undo’s West in St. Clairsville.
- AT HALFTIME of both the girls and boys’ games there will be a three-point shootout, which is sponsored by Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration.
- TOM BECHTEL and the recently retired Bellaire head coach Gene Ammirante serve as the game directors.