The basketball careers of Marion County all-state players Dakota Kaufman from Hillsboro and Julia Zeiner and Lindsay Hett from?Marion ended Thurs?day at the Kansas Basket?ball Coaches? Association All-Star game at Washburn University?s Lee Arena in Topeka.
This was the second all-star game the trio has played following their senior season in which Marion placed second and Hillsboro made it to the first round of the Class 3A state tournament.
In this contest, the trio suited up for the North team, which lost to the South, 78-68.
Both teams were loaded with premier players from all Kansas areas and classifications. Kaufman, Zeiner and Hett were the only players from the North squad not continuing their basketball careers in college.
Lawrence Free State?s Chantay Caron is headed to Kansas State. Concordia?s Karley Buer will play at Missouri State.
On the south, Andover Central?s Tiffany Bias is headed to Oklahoma State. Wichita Collegiate?s Kamri Phox will play for the Tar Heels of North Carolina.
The game was mostly basket for basket until a Kaufman basket sparked a North run to end the half with an eight-point lead.
Tied at 9-9, Kaufman caught an entry pass near the elbow, pump faked, pivoted baseline with a spin move and scored off the glass for an 11-9 advantage.
The North outscored the South, 22-16, for the next 15 minutes, ending the first half at 33-25.
The South squad opened the second half with a 13-0 run, and stretched its lead to 42-33 with 16:33 left to play in the game.
The North moved to within 56-53 with 9:10 left to play and 63-60 with 5:46 remaining.
With 3:41 left to play, South opened an eight-point lead and kept it until the final buzzer rang.
Bias led all scorers with 18 points. Scoring 17 points were North?s Alexa Bordewick, from Washburn Rural, and South?s Laura Patrick from Hutchinson Central Christian.
Patrick will play at Sterling College. Bordewick will play at Pittsburg State.
North?s Janelle Rust from Berean Academy scored 13 points. South?s Kristina Willis from Pittsburg scored 10. Willis will play volleyball at Pittsburg State; Rust will play at University of Mary in Bismark, N.D.
Kaufman had seven points and 10 rebounds, Hett two points and seven rebounds and Zeiner scored six points.
With the trio pursuing other interests since the end of the high school season, they had to knock off a little rust in preparation for the all-star game.
?I shot around a little in the backyard, just to touch a ball again,? Hett said. ?It really wasn?t that hard, once you get the feel back.?
Kauf?man said, ?It was about middle of the first practice, we finally were getting the hang of it. It?s kind of like riding a bike?it all comes back to you.?
Zeiner said, ?The shots weren?t on like they usually are. You pick up a ball and you get used to it again.?
Despite the loss, the local all-stars enjoyed the experience, especially playing against the best the state has to offer.
?It?s really an honor to play against Tiffany Bias,? Zeiner said. ?She was Miss Kansas basketball. It was just fun to get everyone together to play.?
Added Kaufman, ?It still was intense and we still got down to business. But it was a lot of fun to be with the girls and be with the best players in the state. You can?t really beat that.?
Hett said, ?It was fun. It was a great bunch of girls. The talent?s just everywhere.?