By Stan Veitch
The AHSAA North-South All-Star girls basketball game in Montgomery definitely on July 20 had an Etowah County flavor to it, with two Gadsden City guards – Haley Troup and Brooke Burns – starting.
“It was great to start alongside Brooke,” Troup said. “The game was different than usual, though. They cycled five in and five out in the beginning.”
Troup and Burns play on the same AAU team.
“There were three other players who are on our AAU team,” Burns said.
The North lost by a score of 57-53.
Troup played 16 minutes and scored eight points. Burns played 18 minutes and scored seven points.
Hokes Bluff’s post player, Kendall Johnson played as a backup. All three players are rising seniors.
The South led 30-20 at halftime and kept a double-digit lead late into the fourth quarter before a Burns’ free throw with 27 seconds remaining drew the North within 55-51.
The South stretched the lead back to six with 20 seconds remaining. Troup nailed a jumper with 11 seconds left, but the South ran out the clock to seal the victory.
“It was very interesting,” Johnson said. “There were a lot or talented girls there and I felt like it was an honor that people watched me play and felt like I was capable of playing in this game. It took me awhile to get comfortable but once I did, it was great.”
Johnson played five minutes and scored two points. Troup and Burns both will play college basketball. Troup is heading to the Palmetto State to play for the University of South Carolina, while Burns plans to take her talents to either Samford University or the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The North-South football game on July 21 was called in the middle of the second quarter, because of lightning and heavy rain.
“We were all pretty bummed out (because of the game being shortened),” said 2016 Gadsden City High School graduate Denzel Mooney. “After all the practices we had that week and getting to know your teammates, it was a blow.”
The North claimed a 14-0 victory in the 57th annual contest at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
Mooney said that the week was fun and he got to know a lot of the other North players.
“We really got along very well,” he said. “And we were able to learn some good football stuff.”
Playing in the game as a receiver, Mooney caught a pass for a 19-yard gain. Two plays later, the North scored its second touchdown.
“That was the only pass thrown to me,” Mooney said.
The game was called at the 8:16 mark of the second quarter, as the lightning showed no sign of letting up.
Mooney will attend Miles College in Fairfield this fall. As a senior this past football season, Mooney 20 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns.