North All-Star boys rip South
There was an energy at the John A. Wilson Complex in Las Vegas before the start of Friday night’s 2A/3A New Mexico High School All-Star Boys Basketball Game, and something about it was screaming “this thing might get ugly.”
Ugly is exactly what things got, and in more ways than one.
The rambunctious, raucous crowd, heavily in favor of the North squad, witnessed an intense group of men who more frequently than not let their emotions get the best of them, resulting in several on-court pushing matches, a smorgasbord of trash talk and ultimately a game so tightly officiated it affected the pace of the contest.
The outcome of the game itself was never really in question as the North used its superior speed and length to pounce on the South All-Stars from the tip-off and cruise to a 97-77 victory. The South team had no success feeding its two big men in the post, Magdalena graduates Rio Chadde and Miles Parscal, and by halftime the North had torpedoed it’s way to a 53-36 lead.
Taos’ Max Suazo was seemingly unstoppable in the first 20 minutes, pacing the North with 17 points, most coming off of high-flying, acrobatic lay-ups in transition. He finished with 24.
At least five times during the game’s opening moments, players from opposing squads had to be separated after getting into yelling and pushing matches, most stemming from borderline fouls that might have easily been considered flagrant during the regular season.
The referees refrained from calling any intentional fouls, at least during the first half, but by no means did they neglect their whistles. The South put the North in the double bonus before the 10 minute mark of the first half.
In the second half, the North led as many as 23 points and the closest the North came was 16. Both teams had players foul out with plenty of time left in the game.
Chadde finished with five points, all coming from the free throw line, but he ended his high school career alongside two of his former teammates, Parscal and Daniel Hand. And although the game was basically a disaster for a South team that had won two consecutive versus the North, it was the experience of being an All-Star that served as the payoff for the players.
“This whole week was just great,” said Parscal, who will attend Western New Mexico University in the fall, but won’t play basketball for the Mustangs.
“It was an honor to be selected. I didn’t think I was going to get picked. I had a great time in high school. I can’t say I regret anything.”
There was also an added camaraderie among the players, something that both Parscal and Hand say they’ll definitely take with them. “The first day was kind of awkward because everyone didn’t know each other, but by the third day we were all best friends,” Hand said.
The 2A/3A All-Stars still lead the series, now in its 12th year, seven games to five.