Phillipsburg’s Chris Mann had some dunks that could have brought the house down on Saturday.
Well, maybe not the whole house, but he did smash a barricade.
The Stateliners senior scored 28 points for the East squad during the Via All-Star Basketball Classic at Northampton Community College’s Spartan Center.
The West all-stars were victorious over the East, 119-112, in the showcase for area seniors. Proceeds from the event benefit Via’s work with people with disabilities.
Mann only had one miscue on Saturday. It came when he slammed the ball so hard off the iron that it whizzed out of bounds and took down a courtside railing.
“I’m blaming it on the loose rims,” Mann said with a smile.
The Army West Point recruit started his day off with a thunderous first-quarter alley-oop, on a lob from Nazareth’s Maihan Ramin, and continued to impress throughout the afternoon. His Phillipsburg teammate, Jayshawn Grant, who finished with 14 points, also attacked the rim consistently, including a back-to-back coupling of jams in the second half.
Mann, who helped the Stateliners to the sectional semifinals during the winter, was grateful for Saturday’s experience. After all, only the Tournament of Champions winner has a satisfying conclusion to the season in New Jersey.
“Nobody gets a win in their last game, which kind of sucks,” said Mann, who also played in the North-South senior all-star game at Rider University earlier in March. “But it’s cool to finish it off with this. And this is for a great cause, too. The Via is doing great things.”
Freedom’s Dylan Arnold added 20 points for the East all-stars. Wilson’s Vigan Gashi and Nazareth’s Jahan Dotson added 16 and 14 points, respectively.
The Northampton duo of Aidan Ellwood (28) and Cory Weisenberger (25) combined for 53 points to lead the West team to victory.
Central Catholic’s Jay Vaughan added 14 points and Catasauqua’s Isaiah Graves had 13.