The game pitted two elite high school basketball teams comprised of players from the coast to the Blue Ridge Mountains, but when all was said and done, the West All-Stars proved to be head and shoulders above the East in a 119-80 drubbing at the Greensboro Coliseum on Monday night in the annual affair.
Thanks to the efforts of Southwest Guilford’s dynamic duo of wing Jay’den Turner and point guard Keyshaun Langley, the West squad sprinted to a 61-28 halftime lead.
Turner, who committed to Queens University in Charlotte, and Langley who is heading to play for Wes Miller at UNCG, led the Cowboys to an undefeated season and a NCHSAA Class 3-A championship last month. Those winning ways continued throughout the night on Monday.
It would get worse, as the West doubled the East’s score deep into the third quarter.
High Point Central’s Dhieu Deing, who signed with the University of South Carolina-Aiken, had some stellar play of his own to aid the West’s onslaught. He netted 15 points, had 6 rebounds while dishing out 4 assists.
As impressive as the West was on offense, the defense was just as notable. The West nearly doubled the efforts of the East on the boards, out rebounding them 65-37. That included a 25-13 advantage on the offensive glass which led to 16 more field-goal attempts for the West and those second chance opportunities helped dig a hole the East would never dig out of.
Turner, who earned overall MVP honors, had a game-high 24 points. He brought the crowd to their collective feet several times over the night as he threw down eight dunks.
Wheatmore’s Gavin Rains had a strong night as well with a double-double including 16 points and 13 rebounds. Greene Central’s Imajae Dodd nearly netted a double-double as he scored 19 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. Shykiem Phillips, of Winterville South Central, was the fifth player on the West squad to score in double figures with 12 points on the night.
“It feels pretty good. We played together, passed the ball around, played defense, rebounded and looked ahead and got easy buckets. This is something to remember for a long time when I get older. … It’s been a long time since I lost a basketball game,” Turner said.
It was the end of the high school experience for all, and Deing said he was determined to go out on a high note.
“We had the chemistry for about three days. We always knew each other and we played together and got a big W. … I was playing for my family and my city. … It was my last game in the 336 and I even wrote it on my wrist band,” said Deing.
Joe Sirerra, of the Greensboro News & Record, contributed to this article.