Smoggie’s shot sends White Team to Rotary win
Sean Smoggie bounded backward in celebration, his hand still held aloft after draining a three-pointer with 2.4 seconds left in the Rotary Club Washington-Greene All-Star Boys Basketball Game Friday night.
But the shot and the celebration, which followed a 109-107 win for Smoggie’s White Team, only told part of the story.
On the bench, the opposing team’s coach was none other than Carmichaels’ Don Williams, who couldn’t do much more than cringe as Smoggie pulled a bit of a role reversal.
Take that one, coach.
“I liked it. That’s my coach,” Smoggie said. “I wanted to get back at him, get a laugh and a few giggles.”
That sure happened.
So did a raucous celebration, as the White Team clawed back from a 58-53 halftime deficit.
Smoggie finished with 12 points, but he ceded Most Valuable Player honors to Trinity’s Christian Koroly, who knocked down six three-pointers in the opening half and finished with 26 points.
“I was very relaxed,” Koroly said. “We were having fun.”
Burgettstown’s Josh Mack scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the victorious White Team. He also set the screen that allowed Smoggie to pop open from the left wing.
Just as Canon-Mac’s Rick Bell envisioned.
“Coach drew it up real good,” Smoggie said. “I rolled off the screen, I looked, saw the defender sagging off and thought, ‘I’m open, I’m going to shoot it.’ “
Bentworth’s Cody Levine scored 17 points, 11 of them in the first half, but Washington’s Jordan Drew took home MVP honors for the Red Team after finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Despite being a role player and stopper this season for the Prexies, Drew took this opportunity to showcase a nifty offensive game, one full of dribble-drives, a two-handed dunk and a couple finger rolls.
“I think I did pretty well,” Drew said. “I figured that since it was an all-star game, there wasn’t that much at stake, and I would do some different stuff than I usually do. I guess it worked.”
California’s Tanner Huffman won the three-point shooting competition at halftime, downing Canon-McMillan’s Seth Combs, 16-13. Huffman made 47 treys in the three rounds combined.
McGuffey’s Taylor Pasquariello finished with 14 points, Trinity’s Berton Miller added 13 and Washington’s Darius Spinks contributed 12 for Red Team.
Fort Cherry’s Tyreke Brown gave the White Team a much-needed boost by scoring 11 of his 15 points in the second half, while Charleroi’s Sheldon Linneman also hit double figures with 10 points.
The Red Team had a 58-53 lead after a first half that featured just about as much defense as everyone expected: none.
Twenty players scored in the opening 20 minutes, the highlight being Washington’s Rikwon Moore twice going for a steal, getting it on the second attempt, then scoring on a tip-in at the opposite end to give the Red Team a 51-49 lead with 2:38 left in the opening half.
A lineman on Wash High’s football team, Moore later provided an even bigger shocker by knocking down a three-pointer, his first of two on the night.
Koroly led all scorers with 18 points in the opening half, all on three-pointers. Levine contributed 11, and Drew added eight points, six boards and a couple of near dunks.
Those two were certainly impressive, but no question the night belonged to Smoggie, who got to knock off his high school coach in an all-star game.
“I knew it was going to be a good game, but I didn’t know we were going to hit that shot,” Koroly said. “That was awesome. I’m so happy for (Smoggie). What a memory he made. He hit a game-winning three in the Rotary Club All-Star Game. That’s awesome. I’m very happy for him and just glad we could bring home the ‘W.’ Bet he got a good laugh.”