Talia Barnes didn't have the offensive impact on the outcome of the East's 74-71 comeback win over the West on Monday night at Greensboro Coliseum but she was on the court at the end when it mattered most.
Barnes' defense in the post helped stymy a counterattack by the West in the final minute of the contest.
Barnes finished with a modest two points as she hit 2 of 4 free throws but she grabbed 11 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. Her rebounding total was just behind N.C. State-bound Kayla Jones' 13, who also added 19 points, en route to game MPV honors.
"It feels exciting and I am so happy we won," Barnes said. "I really enjoyed myself, especially the game."
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Barnes was a starter for the East and played about the first five minutes of each quarter. She finished with 22 minutes of playing time in the 40-minute contest, including key stretches of East rallies and the decisive final minute.
The East trailed by as many as 11 points late in the third quarter with Barnes on the bench. When she returned to the court, the East scrapped back into the game and eventually built a five-point lead with 57 seconds to play.
Barnes, who played at Jord and and will be off to Catawa College in a few weeks to join its women's basketball team, said she happy to have been chosen to play in the East-West game.
"Before I was here, I was down at there for their two-day camp," Barnes said. "I am looking for to learning about the team, bonding with them and winning, of course. I am glad to be staying close to home because I have so many siblings. I didn't want to go too far from home.
Another player from the area who had an impact on the game was Northwood's Kristian Eanes, who suited up for the West squad.
Eanes, who will continue her career at Queen's College, led the West with seven rebounds before fouling out. She also scored six points on 3-of-6 shooting and added three assists to go along with a pair of steals.
Eanes said she was a bit surprised to be playing for West.
"Chatham County is in the dead center of North Carolina and since we were the easternmost west team, I guess that's how they put me on it," Eanes said. "It was just a great experience and I will remember it forever.
"In the first three quarters we were playing fast like we wanted because they were so much bigger than us but in the fourth quarter they caught us."