For Camden’s Sharneece Gary, the North-South All-Star game was more than a dream-come-true.
Gary knocked down four 3-point buckets to help the North team to a 71-64 win on Saturday, and he was named the team’s MVP.
“It was a wonderful experience,” Gary said. “I always dreamed of it, but I never thought it would really happen. But I put in the work, and it was great to be able to be out here today.”
Gary’s sharp-shooting gave the North team an advantage in the final five minutes.
Gary and the North squad were trailing by seven midway through the first half as point guard Sydney Shull (Dutch Fork) deftly guided the South offense in a two-minute scoring burst.
The South led 36-31 at halftime, and with aggressive play from Bishop England’s Mary Harriet Moore and West Florence’s Maya Jackson in the low post, looked ready to break away.
But Chapin’s Shaleighya Sulton and Columbia’s Alexis Foulks helped the North team counter to keep the game close.
With 11 minutes left, Blue Ridge’s Ross Mathis stroked a 3-point shot that put the North in the lead, 47-45, for the first time since early in the first half.
The South team pulled ahead with seven minutes left, but Gary kicked in two 3-point buckets and the North went up 62-53 with 3:16 left.
With less than two minutes to go, the North lead was 15 points. The South, led by Dutch Fork coach Faye Norris, closed the game on a 9-1 run.
Midlands players Sulton, Foulks and Irmo’s Taziya Moody combined for 11 points.
“I love all the girls from both teams, and I liked playing with them because I love the competition,” said Gary.
The North squad also won the boys game, with South Pointe’s Tyreece Brice putting up 17 points on the way to a 96-84 victory.
Brice’s squad had a 10-point lead after five minutes, but with three minutes left in the half, the South completed a rally with a DJ Dobson basket to lead 41-39.
The score was tied at 45 at the half.
Late in the second half, the South found itself with another two-point lead, but the North outscored the South 19-10 in the final five minutes for the win.
Irmo’s Jevante Gross put up nine points, and Notorious Booker (Newberry) chipped in five.
“It was a great chance to have one more game, to play with some of the best players in the state and be able to show fans and college coaches what you can do,” Booker said.
For the South, Christopher Turner of Denmark-Olar led the game with 18 points and was his team’s MVP.