Area players invited to first MCAA-HOA all-star game

Six senior basketball players from the Free Press coverage area have been invited to play in the first all-star basketball game between the Mid Central Activities Association and the Heart of America League.

The inaugural event, developed by Hesston College coaches Tim Swartzendruber and Joel Kauffman, includes a girls’ game at 6 p.m. and a boys’ game at 7:45 p.m., Saturday, March 25, at Hesston’s Yost Center.

Only seniors are eligible to play in the game.

In the girls’ game, Toni Gordon and Allie Maddox from Marion have been invited to join the MCAA squad while Danielle Bair has been asked to compete for the HOA.

Two Hillsboro Trojans, Kyle Kroeker and Wade Weibert, have been invited to represent the MCAA in the boys’ game while Derek Benson from Peabody-Burns is an HOA selection.

In all, 40 girls and boys have been invited to play.

The other girls invited from the MCAA are: Ashley Bell, Andrea Bogart and Paige Floodman from Wichita Collegiate; Melissa Bryant from Nickerson; Kacy Garnett, from Halstead; Chelsea Malone from Ellinwood and a recent signee for Tabor College; Britta Tjaden from Smoky Valley; and Liz Wray from Hesston.

Coaches are Chance Lindley from Wichita Collegiate and Bill Maddy from Ellinwood.

The other HOA invitees are: Lauren Cherry of Bennington, Emilee Claassen from Berean Academy, Clarissa Coats and Michell Love from Remington, Madison Mosiman of Sedgwick, Stephanie Pankratz and Rene Swisher from Inman, Megan Wedel of Moundridge and Mary Duarte of Hutchinson Trinity.

The girls will be coached by Jeff Friesen of Inman and Bill Scheef from Bennington.

The eight other MCAA all-star boys to receive invitations were: Darrin Biegert of Smoky Valley; Blaine Clark, Kevin Sechrist and Cameron Simms from Lyons; Kelly Linton from Hesston; Justin Regehr of Halstead; and Derek Rockwell and Shawn Sullivan from Nickerson.

Coaching the MCAA all-stars will be Danny Smith from Lyons and Joe Gerber of Halstead.

The other all-stars invited from the HOA are Jay Cargile of Sedgwick; Jesse Claassen and Gavin Wuthrich from Remington, Tyler Cordel and Alex Wasinger of Hutchinson Trinity, Robby Hill of Moundridge, Jonathan Lee and Trent Severs from Inman, and Chris Mann of Bennington.

The HOA boys will be coached by Joe Hammersmith of Hutchinson Trinity and Bret Howard of Remington.

Swartzendruber and Kauffman, head men’s and women’s coaches, respectively, at Hesston College, said they hope the game will become an annual event.

“There’s a lot of interest in high school basketball in this area,” Swartzendruber.

“And this will be a different type of all-star game, where the focus will be on leagues competing against each other rather than simply profiling individual players.

“It’s a good way to promote the two leagues, and to recognize the leagues for their accomplishments”

Tickets, priced at $5 for adults and $3 for students, will be available at the door.

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