Sunday afternoon will bring together 41 of the best Southeast Kansas high school senior basketball players for the seventh annual KSEK/KLKC Via-Christi All-Star Basketball Games at the St. Mary's Colgan Fieldhouse.
The girls contest gets the party started at 1 p.m. and the boys game tips immediately after. Three-point shooting contests (boys and girls) and a slam dunk contest will also take place for bragging rights and fan entertainment.
On the girls side, Girard and Pittsburg will each be represented by two players — Hadyn Herlocker and Hope McLeod for Girard, Alaura Short and Lizzy Willis for Pittsburg. Herlocker and Short play for Team KSEK with McLeod and Willis for Team KLKC. Will McLeod, one of the top on-ball defensive players in the area, guard Herlocker, the best scorer in the area?
Questions like that give the games intrigue and storylines.
Other Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League representatives in the game include Nina Spence and Ashleigh Grimes of Baxter Springs. Spence will join Herlocker and Short on Team KSEK, Grimes will join McLeod and Willis on Team KLKC.
Hannah Tourtillott, another solid on-ball defender, will represent Class 4A third-place finisher Fort Scott, playing on Team KSEK.
The boys side features several players from state tournament qualifiers: Tanner McNutt and Noah Thornbrugh of Humboldt, Dyson Dechant of St. Mary's Colgan, Kyle Hammond of Crest, and Heath Hoffmeister and Alex Steinle of Independence.
Other high school teammate pairs selected include hometown kids Tanner Ellis and FeDor Lomax of Pittsburg and Greyson Spriggs and Dylan Weaver of CNC League champs Riverton.
Unlike every other pair, McNutt and Thornbrugh will both play on Team KSEK.
Players selected represent the Southeast Kansas, the CNC, the Three Rivers and the Tri-Valley leagues.
Past girls' selections include Bailey Waugh (Pittsburg State basketball), Kendra Frazier (Missouri basketball), Bridgette Kendricks (Buffalo/Pitt State basketball and track & field), Alysha Poteat (Cowley CC/Missouri Southern softball), Ashley Spencer (Cowley CC/Kansas softball), Stevi Schultz (Washburn basketball), Jolee Sharp (FSCC/Missouri Southern basketball), Emily Barto (Cowley CC/Emporia State volleyball and basketball), Katie Hayes (Kansas rowing), Kristina Willis (Pitt State basketball), Abbie Smith (Pitt State volleyball), Cheslyn Mitchell (Pitt State softball), Morgan Westhoff (Pitt State basketball) and Skyler Muff (UMKC volleyball).
Past boys' selections include Mitch Rolls (Colgate), Zac Dickey (Oklahoma State/FSCC/Pitt State football), C.J. Fondren (FSCC football), Ethan Cordray (Coffeyville CC/Pitt State basketball), Blake Wilson (Friends basketball), Brock Borovetz (Kansas Wesleyan basketball) and Brannon Green (FSCC/Oklahoma football).
KSEK/KLKC Via-Christi All-Star Basketball Games
Hannah Tourtillott, G, Fort Scott
Nina Spence, G, Baxter Springs
Jaymie Nesbitt, G, Oswego
Kylie Ewing, F, Independence
Shelby Trout, G, Chanute
Page 2 of 2 - Baylea White, F, Jayhawk-Linn
Jamie Jackson, G, Chetopa
Hadyn Herlocker, G, Girard
Alaura Short, F, Pittsburg
Michaela O'Brien, F, Labette County
*Bricynn Johnson, F, Oswego
Ashleigh Grimes, G, Baxter Springs
Bethany Barlow, G, Caney Valley
Kailey Cleaver, G, Erie
Hope McLeod, G, Girard
Sadie Atkins, F, Labette County
MacKenzie Dunbar, F, Riverton
Brenna Olson, G, Chanute
Lizzy Willis, F, Pittsburg
Abbie Herkelman, F, Coffeyville
Karesa Lewis, G, Pleasanton
Tanner McNutt, G, Humboldt
Brock Gilmore, F, Chanute
Jake O'Brien, F, St. Paul
Dylan Weaver, F, Riverton
Tanner Ellis, G, Pittsburg
Dontae Johnson, G, Labette County
Kyle Hammond, G, Crest
Johnathan Stark, G, Fort Scott
Heath Hoffmeister, F, Independence
Noah Thornbrugh, F, Humboldt
Brandon Voth, F, Fredonia
Greyson Spriggs, G, Riverton
Justice Baird, G, Neodesha
Dyson Dechant, F, Colgan
Tanner McIntosh, G, Caney Valley
Craig Beachner, G, Parsons
Blake Barto, F, Frontenac
Brenton Esslinger, F, Uniontown
Alex Steinle, F, Independence
FeDor Lomax, F, Pittsburg
*Selected but injured.