The line in the sand (court) won’t be drawn until an official practice three days before the battle begins, but the plethora of talent assembled should be more than enough to guarantee another spirited contest Friday, June 4, when the Boys Southern Illinois Lions Club All-Stars return to Rend Lake College.
The 26th annual All-Star Basketball Game is planned around 8 p.m. in Waugh Gymnasium on the Ina campus, following a 6 p.m. girls contest. Featured will be most of the top players representing the Class of 2004 before they depart for four-year programs.
Choosing sides will take place early at Tuesday’s mandatory practice.
Unlike the first 24 games, All-Star Head Coaches Jeff Johnston (Christopher) and Mike Hanson (Shawnee) will repeat last year’s procedure utilizing a lottery draft to divvy up the standouts as evenly as possible. A more competitive game is expected after doing away with past formats of Class A vs. Class AA and East vs. West.
Among those accepting invitations to participate were 23 players selected to the Southern Illinois Coaches Association All-South honor squad, including:
** At least three members off Carbondale’s Class AA Final Four qualifying Terriers -- 6-foot-1 forward Alex Spearman, 6-3 center Tommy Holder and guard Michael DeWalt -- and two representatives off Cairo’s regular-season undefeated and No. 1-rated Class A quintet, Brandon Childs and Gary Williams;
** A trio of 6-8 insiders and at least one other invited player expecting to play a couple of weeks later in the statewide Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Classic in Bloomington – Gerren Rogers off Massac County’s Class A Elite Eight contenders, William Carmickle (Eldorado), Daniel Maddox (Pinckneyville) and Nashville guard Josh Maschhoff;
** A half-dozen players or more with 1,000-plus points to their career credit – Steeleville guard Jeff Mulholland (1,480), Christopher’s 6-4 Joe Kretz (1,134), Harrisburg’s 6-4 forward Kolby Smithpeters, Woodlawn guard Derek Burns, Gallatin County guard Trent Wargel and Rogers;
** Nine or more players who will be Juco teammates and/or rivals as freshmen next winter – RLC recruits Marcus Hines and 6-4 Jared Staple, both from Mounds Meridian; John A. Logan College’s Mulholland and 6-3 Matt Rowold (Carterville); Kaskaskia College’s Lance Rabenort (Okawville) and 6-4 Eric Stutes (Pinckneyville); Southeastern Illinois College’s Wargel; Southwestern Illinois College’s Maddox, and Moberly’s Rogers, along with Millikin 6-7 signee Thomas Campbell, (Olney-East Richland).
** Nine "homeboys" from within the immediate Rend Lake College district – Benton’s high-scoring (classroom 4.67 GPA and 977 points) Justin Raby; the Mt. Vernon Ram threesome of 5-7 sparkplug Jay Young, Michael Doggan and Tony Fitzpatrick; Thompsonville’s 6-4 Brandon Chaplain; Woodlawn’s Burns; Pinckneyville’s Maddox and Stutes, and Christopher’s Kretz.
** Completing the All-Star performers will be an IBCA All-State Second-Team pick, 6-2 Matt Jacobs of Massac County; 6-5 Josh Dean of Johnston City; 6-5 Eric Tschannen of Breese Mater Dei, and 6-1 Matt Hawkins of Salem.
(In addition to Jacobs, others boasting IBCA All-State credentials will include First-Team selection Rogers and IBCA 3M Third-Teamers Maddox, a Second-Team Associated Press All-Stater, Maschhoff and Mulholland.)
Tickets are available from sponsoring Benton Lions Club members and from the RLC Athletic Department. They also will be sold at the door Friday. Proceeds benefit Benton Lions Club work in Southern Illinois.
The popular Slam Dunk Contest will move up on this year’s agenda. To help ensure fresher legs among the contestants, this feature will be held after warm-ups for the boys game. The halftime void will be filled by a 3-Point Contest, the same as for the girls.
Among those not expected to answer the bell for various reasons are the Southern Illinoisan "Player of the Year," Justin Dentmon, and his Carbondale sidekick, Lawrence Blackledge; Southern Illinois University-Carbondale prize recruit, Centralia’s 6-7 Matt Shaw; Reid Bastien (DuQuoin); Tommy House (Murphysboro), and Waterloo Gibault’s Jacob Toal.
Boys Southern Illinois Lions Club All-Stars
Player Pos. Ht. School Pts. Reb.
DEREK BURNS • G 6-0 Woodlawn 14.6 4.2
THOMAS CAMPBELL • C 6-7 Olney-E. Richland 13.0 11.0
WILLIAM CARMICKLE * • C 6-8 Eldorado 18.5 10.5
BRANDON CHAPLAIN • F 6-4 Thompsonville 13.1 13.1
BRANDON CHILDS * • G 6-0 Cairo 19.7 --
JOSH DEAN C 6-5 Johnston City -- --
MICHAEL DEWALT G 5-10 Carbondale 5.8 2.8
MICHAEL DOGGAN G 5-10 Mt. Vernon 7.4 3.5
TONY FITZPATRICK • F 6-1 Mt. Vernon 10.2 4.5
MATT HAWKINS • F 6-1 Salem 19.0 6.8
MARCUS HINES G 6-1 Mounds Meridian 16.7 5.1
TOMMY HOLDER • C 6-3 Carbondale 8.6 5.6
MATT JACOBS • G 6-2 Massac County 18.5 3.5
JOE KRETZ • F 6-4 Christopher 15.6 4.5
DANIEL MADDOX * • C 6-8 Pinckneyville 12.8 5.4
JOSH MASCHHOFF * • G 5-10 Nashville 10.0 2.0
JEFF MULHOLLAND • • G 6-0 Steeleville 19.1 5.4
LANCE RABENORT G 6-0 Okawville 14.5 3.0
JUSTIN RABY • G 6-2 Benton 16.3 7.1
GERREN ROGERS * • C 6-8 Massac County 13.5 7.0
MATT ROWOLD • F 6-3 Carterville 18.2 6.0
KOLBY SMITHPETERS • F 6-4 Harrisburg 15.1 6.3
ALEX SPEARMAN • F 6-1 Carbondale 13.3 4.7
JARED STAPLE • F 6-4 Mounds Meridian 17.0 9.0
ERIC STUTES • • F 6-4 Pinckneyville 12.1 2.5
ERIC TSCHANNEN F 6-5 Breese M. Dei 14.1 6.5
TRENT WARGEL • G 5-9 Gallatin County 18.0 --
GARY WILLIAMS • G 5-6 Cairo 6.0 1.0
JAY YOUNG • G 5-7 Mt. Vernon 8.5 --
INVITED BUT NOT EXPECTED TO PLAY
REID BASTIEN • F 6-4 DuQuoin 15.0 7.2
LAWRENCE BLACKLEDGE * • C 6-7 Carbondale 9.1 5.4
JUSTIN DENTMON * • G 6-1 Carbondale 21.7 3.2
TOMMY HOUSE • G 6-1 Murphysboro 21.1 --
MATT SHAW * • F 6-7 Centralia -- --
JACOB TOAL F 6-5 Waterloo Gibault -- --
• Southern Illinois Coaches Association All-South • • Two-time SICA All-South
* Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Classic at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington
Head Coach – Jeff Johnston (Christopher)
Assistant Coach – Matt Wynn (Benton)
Head Coach – Mike Hanson (Shawnee)
Assistant Coach – Wade Thomas (Carmi-White County)