C-H’s Williamson steals show in boys all-star game
Red team's Bill McKee of Avella goes up for a layup while the white team's Nick Zando from Fort Cherry knocks the ball away during the Washington - Greene County High School Senior All-Star basketball game on Friday, March 28.
Red team's Brandon Miller of Avella shoots for two past the white team's defense during the first half of the All-Star game.
The Washington Rotary Club would have been better served to rename Friday night’s Washington-Greene County All-Star Boys Basketball Game the Miles Williamson Show.
The 6-5 Chartiers-Houston forward threw down several highlight reel dunks during the game, won the halftime show’s dunk contest, was named the Most Valuable Player and finished with 24 points to lead the Red team to a 113-94 win at Wash High.
Williamson carried over his strong play from the WPIAL playoffs into the early minutes of the charity basketball game and did not show any rust from taking time off since the Bucs’ loss in the WPIAL playoffs to Aliquippa.
Williamson’s 13 first-half points had Chartiers-Houston head coach Eugene Briggs’ team leading 61-43 at halftime. The White team’s head coach, Charleroi’s Bill Wiltz, is well-aware what Williamson is capable of doing. He scored a game-high 22 points to eliminate the Cougars in the WPIAL playoffs Feb. 15.
“It was expected,” Wiltz said. “He is one fantastic athlete. He can do it all. It doesn’t matter what sport he plays – the kid is impressive. He’s a nice kid, too.”
This will not be Williamson’s final high school basketball game. He was invited to participate in an all-star game at Chartiers Valley next month. While he prepares to play wide receiver at Indiana University of Pennsylvania next, he welcomed the challenge of facing the best players in Washington and Greene County.
“I love going out there and having fun,” Williamson said. “I know a lot of the guys from my years of playing sports and some of them are in our section. We had fun at practice this week and it carried over into today.”
Williamson sank an uncontested three-pointer early in the second half and followed the play with an alley-oop dunk on a pass from Fort Cherry’s Matt Heslin. The dunk was one that would have gotten him a perfect score in the dunk contest, but he didn’t need Heslin to do that. His first dunk, a reverse one-hander, drew a perfect score from the judges and had both benches standing in support.
Briggs, who helps organize the event, enjoyed being able to coach three of his players for the final time, but most importantly, the way his team worked together. Ringgold’s Dayshore Majors scored 19 points and forced multiple turnovers to push the Red team’s lead to 40 points – forcing an accelerated clock in the second half.
“It was great seeing how pumped up they got for each other when someone made a big play,” Briggs said. “And it’s not like they were only focusing on offense. These guys played some great defense.”
Chartiers-Houston’s Ben Shade threw down a one-handed dunk in the second half that had both teams on their feet.
On the other side, Wash High’s Dupree Jenkins was named MVP after scoring a game-high 26 points, including four three-pointers, and Avella’s Nick McKee added 18 points.
While several players had memorable performances, it was Williamson who stood out. During the regular season, he had the benefit of practicing with two other players who can match his athletic talents on the court. Of the four participants in the dunk contest, three were from C-H. During practice, Williamson, Shade and Kodie Hanley challenged each other to see who can be the most creative.
At Wash High, Williamson won.
“It always gets (Briggs) excited to see us dunk,” Williamson joked. “It was nice playing with some guys I don’t know and I didn’t expect to come in here and play the way I did. It was a nice surprise.”