JONESBORO — The 2017 Clayton County Senior All-Star Basketball Game was held Wednesday at Mount Zion High School. Both teams from the South — consisting of players from Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Mount Zion, Mundy’s Mill and Elite Scholars Academy — were victorious in their respective games.
Jonesboro’s Saadia Munford leads South girls to victory
The South won the girls game by a score of 68-49 behind a strong showing from Jonesboro senior Saadia Munford.
The Elon commit earned MVP honors, leading her team in points and assists. Munford said she enjoyed going up against the likes of Morrow’s Da’Ja Green and North Clayton’s Dalania Clardy, players from schools Jonesboro didn’t play this season.
“It’s fun. I’ve been wanting to play in it even though I wasn’t a senior last year,” Munford said. “I’ve always wanted to play in it and to play with everybody. It was cool and a fun experience to play against people I didn’t get to this year like Da’Ja (Green).”
Munford was selected as MVP by North head coach, Drew’s Chris Smith.
“It feels good,” Munford said regarding winning MVP. “One of my old teammate’s dad said if I won MVP he would take me out to eat, so I guess I’m eating Carrabbas later on.”
Drew’s Darika Chelsey was a bright spot for the North. She hit multiple three-pointers and was named MVP of the North team.
“It’s great. I wasn’t expecting it, I didn’t know I had that good of a game,” Chelsey said. “But I am thankful.”
Chelsey, like Munford, said she enjoyed playing with some of her closest friends from other schools during the game.
“Yeah, it’s pretty cool because we don’t see everybody during the season,” she said. “We see most people but it’s fun playing with people you play with during the summer and stuff. It’s always fun to play.”
North Clayton’s N’Keria Larris tops Munford in sudden-death to win girls three-point contest
The girls three-point contest followed the game, and it looked like Munford would win another trophy after earning MVP in the All-Star Game.
Yet, North Clayton’s N’Keria Larris made enough shots in the final round to send the contest to overtime. Munford missed all five of her shots in the extra round, and Larris nailed her second three-pointer to clinch the victory.
Larris wasn’t even a scheduled contestant, but made 13 total three-pointers when she was asked to fill in.
“I was very nervous because the original three-point shooter contest contestant didn’t show up,” Larris said. “So me and Dalania (Clardy) were fighting over it because we didn’t want to shoot. But I just took the job.”
Munford made 11 shots through three rounds. Mount Zion’s Tamera Tilley (6) and Lovejoy’s Symone Williams (5) also shot the ball well in the contest.
Morrow’s DiJon Brown lights it up to win boys three-point contest
While there was drama in the girls three-point contest, the boys was much more straight-forward. Morrow’s DiJon Brown drilled nine shots in the first round and then nine more in the finals against North Clayon’s Joseph Polk to win the event.
Brown said he practiced for the event and was prepared for the unusual circumstances.
“I prepared. I went to the gym yesterday and got the shots up,” he said. “I’m a competitor and I like competition. All my friends right here are competitors too. I like to be the best at what I do. It’s a check off my list, I wanted to win a three-point contest in my life.”
Polk made eight shots in the opening round. Elite Scholars Academy’s Cam Wade (7), Riverdale’s Jonathan Foster (6), Mundy’s Mill’s Tyree Keith (6) and Jonesboro’s Ellis Wester (6) also had quality showings
Forest Park’s Avery Wilson wins slam dunk contest
There were several exciting dunks in the slam dunk contest, but Forest Park senior Avery Wilson was the most consistent. He made the finals and needed just one dunk to beat Drew’s Michael Brown and Mount Zion’s Ebtimi Orubina and claim the trophy.
Wilson scored the highest overall score after his two dunks in the opening round. Orubina, who leaped over two friends for his first dunk, and Brown tied, setting up a three-way championship.
Once Brown and Urubina failed to get any of their dunks down, Wilson only needed to finish an attempt to win the contest. He did so by throwing the ball off the backboard, catching it and dunking it with two hands.
South boys win close contest on Jaylon Terrell’s last-second dunk
The boys game resembled an NBA All-Star Game for the majority of the contest, as the players involved attempted long three-pointers and dunks in hopes of popping the crowd.
But with two minutes remaining and the score close, both teams got serious and provided a frantic finish. The North held a small lead late in the game until the South tied the game at 63. A turnover by the South gave the North a chance to win the game, but a missed shot led to a fast break for Jonesboro’s Jaylon Terrell. He dunked with 10 seconds left to put his team up by two points. The North had one last shot but it was missed.
The MVPs of the game were North Clayton’s Ahsan Asadullah (North) and Mundy’s Mill’s Mike Malolo (South).