Sports

Area stars head to East-West games

With Red Wolves #14 Kahlil Barnett stuck in the corner, Panther #5 Connor Crabtree defends with outstretched hands. The Cedar Ridge Red Wolves and Orange Panthers basketball game in Hillsborough, N.C. on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. Orange won 76-62.
With Red Wolves #14 Kahlil Barnett stuck in the corner, Panther #5 Connor Crabtree defends with outstretched hands. The Cedar Ridge Red Wolves and Orange Panthers basketball game in Hillsborough, N.C. on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. Orange won 76-62. newsobserver.com

Getting one last shot at glory, six athletes from the area will be playing in the East-West All-Star games in Greensboro beginning Monday.

These annual contests provide high school graduates one more game before they head off to college. And their participation gives coaches attending the North Carolina Coaches' Association convention an evening diversion while in Greensboro.

Talia Barnes, who played girls' basketball at Jordan and will be off to Catawba in the fall, will be on court for the East girls.

Barnes, who finished her career with as the Falcons' team captain, was an NCBCA All-District selection and was PAC-6 all-conference. She averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds as a senior.

"I am excited to be playing in the all-star game," Barnes said. "I'm expecting to play against some high-level competition and meet some great coaches.They're some of the best in state."

Orange's Connor Crabtree, who led the Panthers to the third round of the 3-A state boys' basketball playoffs before suffering a season-ending foot injury, will suit up for the East team.

Crabtree was AP All-State, NCBCA All-State second team and was the Big Eight player of the year. He averaged 27 points as a senior and will continue his basketball career at UNC Asheville.

"It's going be be fun competing and meeting new people," Crabtree said.

The basketball games will take place on Monday beginning with the girls' game at 6:30 p.m. and the boys following.

In soccer, Carrboro and Chapel Hill will be sending teammates.

Natasha Turner and Laura Sparling of Carrboro will play in the girls' game. Chapel Hill will be sending Brendan Holly and Sam Linker to play in the boys' contest. Both games will be on Tuesday at Bryan Park's Macpherson Stadium with the girls playing first at 6:30 and the boys following.

Sparling and Turner, who both were all-state performers, spurred the Jaguars to their third straight 2-A state girls' soccer championship. They will be playing their final game as teammates before heading off to college where they will be rivals. Sparling will continue her career at UNC, while Turner will be going to Duke.

"I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to play in the all-star game," said Turner, who returns to action after missing the state championship match with a broken foot. "I am looking forward to a good, competitive, high-level game. I think it will be a lot of fun."

Holly played defense for the Tigers and was an all-state performer.

Linker, a midfielder for Chapel Hill, also was an all-state performer. He finished with 18 goals and 13 assists as a senior.

Hillside's Elisia Grissett was an initial selection in girls' basketball but withdrew from the game in preparation for starting her career at South Carolina in the fall. In football, Northern offensive lineman Andrew Eisenson and Orange defensive back Keshawn Thompson were picked but also withdrew.

The football game will take place on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Grimsley High School.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6889, @HPreps

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