TAMPA — In many ways, this was a welcoming party.
Many of the country's top high school players met the fans of the schools they'll play for next season at the WBCA All-America Game on Saturday at the USF Sun Dome.
Connecticut fans showed the most love, cheering loudly for a pair of players headed to Storrs.
Tiffany Hayes of Winter Haven and Elena Delle Donne of Ursuline Academy in Delaware led the Red team to a 114-79 win over the White.
The Red totaled the most points in a WBCA All-America Game.
Hayes had a game-high 18 points but almost didn't play because of a stomach flu that began bothering her Friday night.
"I could barely run," Hayes said. "I thought I would do worse than I did."
Delle Donne showed why she was named the State Farm player of the year during a timeout in the first half. She earned Red team player of the game honors for her 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The duo said they were happy to be on the same team after playing on opposite sides in last week's McDonald's All-America Game in Milwaukee.
"At McDonald's you didn't know what to expect," Delle Donne said. "We wanted to come here and just have fun."
The game was mainly about celebrating and promoting women's basketball. Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer signed autographs at halftime from her midcourt seat, and coaches from all but Division I were recognized for winning national titles this year. WNBA players Lindsey Carter and Tamika Catchings were the teams' honorary co-captains.
The White team's player of the game was guard Nnemkadi Ogwumike, the only Stanford signee who played. Ogwumike, of Cypress, Texas, scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds in 27 minutes.
Rutgers and Tennessee each had four signees in the game. UConn had two, and LSU also had one.
Delle Donne said the players got along by not speaking about the colleges they signed with.
"We put it aside," she said. "Now it's on (for today's Final Four)."
Izzy Gould can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 580-5315.