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TAMPA — Sickles stars Malcolm Johnson and Dan Harris combined for 34 points, and Robinson’s Justin Madison chipped in 15 more as the West toppled the East 108-85 in the TBBCA Hillsborough County all-star basketball game Saturday night.
The West team, along with a few stars from the East squad, now will head to Eckerd College on March 22 to face the all-stars from Pinellas. Everyone, that is, except Johnson, a Navy commitment, who had 20 points and eight rebounds. He will be in Washington, D.C., where he will compete in the Elite Showcase Basketball Classic.
“It’s because of the Naval Academy that I actually got up there,” Johnson said. “They had someone from Navy play in it last year, and I happened to be the one they picked this year.”
Joining the West stars as part of the all-county team are Wharton’s Sir Patrick Reynolds and C.J. McGill as well as Armwood’s Vontrey Hill. Reynolds and McGill had eight points each Saturday, while Hill had 14 points and seven rebounds.
Although the game remained close for the first seven minutes, the West went on a 15-3 run over the next four minutes, led by Alonso’s Greg Robinson and Jesuit’s Joey Galvis, to jump ahead 30-15. Quick rebounding and steals led to fastbreaks and soon the East was down 50-34 at the half.
The West then built the lead to 77-47 with 13:11 remaining. But Hill and Tampa Bay Tech’s Ryan Cummings rallied the East for a bit, getting the deficit down to 22 points, down 85-63 with 8:16 left.
However, it was too little, too late.
“It’s always a fun game, and these are people here that you have played with and have been friends with for a long time,” Johnson said. “You’re having fun because it’s an all-star game. We may look like we are just joking around, but in actuality, everyone really wants to win.”
Johnson and Hill grabbed MVP honors for their respective teams.
At halftime, Jesuit’s Devin Harris bounced a ball off the wall behind the basket in winning the slam dunk contest while Durant’s Trent Robertson won the 3-point contest.