Dozens of the Santa Clarita Valley’s best high school basketball players gathered on Thursday for the SCV All-Star Game sponsored by The Signal and Staham Academy at Golden Valley High School.
Hundreds watched as the future collegiate athletes played together one last time this season, as well going head-to-head in the 3-point and slam dunk contests.
Girls’ 3-point contest champion: Elyse Mitchell, senior, Hart.
Boys’ 3-point contest champion: Rylan Starr, junior, Santa Clarita Christian School.
Girls’ All-Star Game MVP: Jade Sims, senior, Canyon.
Boys All-Star Game MVP: Andrew Meadow, senior, West Ranch.
Slam dunk contest champion: Andrew Meadow, senior, West Ranch.
Mitchell wasn’t planning on participating in the 3-point contest but opted in the last minute. The Azusa Pacific commit won the opening round after hitting 14 threes before besting Valencia freshman Cara McKell in the 3-point finals.
Starr beat out Canyon’s Eric Kubel in the boys’ 3-point contest. Kubel sent the crowd into a frenzy in the first round, hitting his first 16 threes in a 22-point, dynamic first-round performance. Kubel hit nine more 3s than Starr but just couldn’t find enough in the finals, where Starr won comfortably.
In the girls’ all-star game, Valencia junior Libertine Oxciano exploded early in the game to lead Team Aaliyah to a quick 12-2 lead. However, Sims took over the game in the second half, where she compiled the majority of her 18 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists.
“I came out and played as hard as I could,” Sims said. “Just one last time playing and representing Canyon and the Foothill League. I went as hard as I could.”
Junior Emma Schaaf of Trinity helped Team Laney jump back into the game. The Heritage League MVP snagged a plethora of rebounds and scored at will in the paint.
However, Team Aaliyah pulled away in the second half. Canyon’s Josie Regez and Saugus’ EvaMarie Rios helped put the game away with some clutch buckets and nice passing to lead team Aaliyah to the lopsided victory.
Sims had played with or seen most of the girls on the floor but was impressed with West Ranch teammate Alissa Saridin’s game.
“Alissa got in there,” Sims said. “She got some rebounds for us and she didn’t stop working. She kept playing as hard as she could and I like that about her. She was a dog out there.”
Meadow put on a show in the boys’ all-star game, dropping 51 points and 15 rebounds in his final game in Santa Clarita.
“I was having fun playing with my guys out there but also wanted to dominate and put on a show,” Meadow said. “Once I hit a few 3s, I knew it was that type of night.”
Meadow was guarded closely every possession but still knocked down six 3-pointers and a ton of points at the rim.
Team Drew players Jacob Mazy and Sean Deme both added 12-point and 8-rebound nights to lead.
Team Linc fell just short of a comeback but was led by its sharpshooters. Joe Miller defended his home court one last time and dropped 15 points with four 3-balls. Hart’s Deven Strong also added 15 and showcased some great ball handling.
Meadow also stole the show in the surprise dunk contest that was not advertised to spectators. The Boise State commit rocked the rim, competing against Trinity’s Lucas Spring, Golden Valley’s Andrew Ezenwa and Castaic’s Gio Valentin. All four displayed absurd verticals as they flew over the rim but only Valentin and Meadow moved on to the dunk finals.
Valentin threw down a windmill slam to break into the finals while Meadow showed off his vertical and athleticism with a 360-slam.
Players were individually honored with medals after each game in front of hundreds of fans who helped provide a loud and fun atmosphere for both boys’ and girls’ games.
“The atmosphere was really fun to be in,” Meadow said. “To be able to play in front of an SCV crowd one more time was a great feeling.”
Seventeen seniors played in potentially their final basketball games in the Santa Clarita Valley but their playing careers may just be getting started. Griner will have plenty more to play locally as the soon-to-be Hart alumna is headed to The Master’s University. Phillips will continue his playing career at College of the Canyons, likely before heading to a four-year program.
Meadow, like many of the seniors, will continue to play away from home but having the send-off he did means the world to the future Bronco.
“It meant a lot to be able to have a send-off like that,” Meadow said. “Now I’m on to the next chapter at Boise State.”