On Tuesday some of the best hoopers from Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon will converge on Myklebust Gymnasium at Lower Columbia College for the annual senior All-Star basketball games.
The girls game will tip off at 6 p.m. with the boys contest beginning around 8 p.m. Rosters were released to The Daily News on Monday.
One girls squad will be coached by Kelso’s Jen Hamilton while Mossyrock coach Autumn Moorcroft, an LCC alumni, will be in charge on the other bench.
Hamilton’s team will include two of her own players with Alexis Kleven and Cooper Joy tabbed to compete. The rest of the lineup will include Payton Aselton of Adna, Payten Foster of Woodland, Nicole Lindblom of Capital, Kal Schaplow of Toledo, along with Maggie Vadala and Anika Waring from W.F. West.
Moorcroft will also have one more chance to coach a pair of her own players with Andee Nelson and Faith Mulligan earning nods to the All-Star game. The rest of the squad will consist of Kenzie Ramsey of Warrenton, Raegen Henry of Capital, Megan River of Black Hills, Carissa Kaut of Centralia, Mason Oberg of Union, and Gaby Dague of Scappoose.
Moorcroft noted that she only knows a few of the girls on her team and is still formulating a game plan in the absence of any practice time.
“I’ve heard a couple of their names in the paper and it sounds like they’ve all had very successful seasons,” Moorcroft said.
Still, this won’t be her first time at the Lower Columbia Senior All-Star game.
“I played in it in high school but I have not coached in any All-Star games yet,” Moorcroft noted. “What I recall is the ability to play with girls that you’ve competed against in your entire career, which is fun. When you’re competing you’re just always trying to win and beat them but it’s a different experience when they are actually on your team.”
The boys’ rosters include plenty of familiar talent as well, starting with a pair of former Red Devils taking care of the coaching duties. Ridgefield coach Jason Buffum will lead the White team while R.A. Long coach Jeray Key will organize the Red squad.
The White team will include Drew Tack and Dillon Davis of Kelso, as well as Ryan Pamplin of R.A. Long. Buffum’s fellow Spudder, Stefan Vosenkuhl was also tabbed for the team along with Dylan Valdez of Columbia River, Hunter Ecklund of La Center and Isaiah Flanagan of Woodland. The rest of the roster includes Bryce Cline of Winlock, Hayden Young of Morton-White Pass, and Corey Gregory of Naselle.
With Pamplin wearing white but Jadon Williamson selected for the Red team coach Key will have a Lumberjack to defend and another to set loose on the hardwood. Williamson will be joined on the Red team by fellow Cowlitz County hoopers Josh Webb and Wyatt Brown of Kelso, along with Broc Keeton of Toutle Lake. The rest of the team will feature Coleson Richendolllar of Winlock, Calvin Baze of Ilwaco, Ethan Lindstrom of Naselle, James Corey of Ridgefield, Nate Snook of Columbia River, and Mason Westerholm of Knappa, Oregon.
This will be Key’s third year coaching the Lower Columbia Senior All-Star game. He also played in the contest once upon a time and has gained some perspective on what the game should look like along the way.
“We kind of just let them go. We don’t have any plays so we just tell them to show off their talent. Run the court. Spread it out and just play like an open gym,” explained Key.
He added that the game can carry extra meaning for local players, like his Lumberjacks, who get one more opportunity to compete in front of familiar faces in the crowd.
“It’s a good feeling. You get to be seen as one of the best athletes coming out of your area and the guys you read about in the paper you get to match up against,” Key said. “When you’re a competitor that’s a fun opportunity to go up against those guys and see what you can do.”
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