Dawson-Amoah, Tillet help lead South
The high school basketball regular season ended weeks ago when the state tournament concluded in Hershey. For most teams in the Lehigh Valley, it ended much earlier than that.
But for a number of high school seniors, there was one last game to be played in their respective jerseys.
As part of a quadruple-header set of hoops games, the 41st Annual Via All-Star Basketball Classic was held on Saturday at Northampton Community College where dozens of female and male players earned one more opportunity to take the court in high school. A total of 11 Bethlehem area players were named to the Classic.
In the second game of the day, a pair of Bethlehem Catholic players helped the South boys defeat the North team, 116-96.
Teammates Kweku Dawson-Amoah and Deandre Tillet combined for 21 points in the victory as South scored the first 10 points and led the entire 40 minutes.
The mission of Dawson-Amoah and the rest of the South team was simple.
“Our goal was to blow them out,” said Dawson-Amoah after scoring 14 points.
The competitive side of Dawson-Amoah and the rest of the players certainly didn’t disappear after a successful winter season. But Saturday’s event was more than just picking up the victory. It was a chance for players to suit up with others they normally call opponents.
“It was easy,” Dawson-Amoah said. “I used to play with them off the court. We’re all friends off the court…It wasn’t as hard as some people think it might be.”
Dieruff’s Tajon Roberts led South with 20 points, and Allen’s Josh Gray added 19. Liberty’s Andrew Hudak was also selected as an all-star for the South. Kevin Ferguson of Pocono Mountain East led all scorers and paced the North with 23.
Via’s “Super Saturday” of basketball games was just part of a great experience that benefited children and adults with disabilities from the area. Many of the players also had the opportunity to help run a clinic with those children, as well as attend the ceremonial banquet a week prior to the games.
“It was fun getting to meet new people and all of that,” Dawson-Amoah said. “It’s a different environment, but I definitely enjoyed it. I wish I could do it again.”
The first matchup of the day between the North and South girls contained the most Bethlehem area players. A trio of Hurricanes (Madison Capuano, Kaylin West and Torie Zerbe) and Becahi’s Jordynn Jones suited up for South, who came up a point short in their 70-69 loss.
Jones led the South with 14, Capuano and Zerbe each scored 12, and West pitched in with five. Pleasant Valley’s Renee Milos led North with 19 and East Stroudsburg North’s Rona Robinson scored 18.
Game 3 featured the West and East Girls, with the EPC-heavy West squad rolling to a 75-60 win. Freedom’s Nia Mims was selected to the East but did not attend. Palisades’ Karlee Krchnavi led everyone and scored 28 for the East; Parkland’s Nadine Ewald led the West with 19.
The West boys edged out East in the finale, 112-101, behind Central Catholic’s Zay Jennings (26), Northampton’s Mario Delker (25) and Catasauqua’s Shaquan Mason (22). Freedom’s Najee Cash led the East with 26 points and Patriot teammate Nate Stewart added 19.