Illinois Beats Missouri In Riverwar Game

Torres Roundtree

ST. LOUIS — The feature game of the McDonald's Riverwar High School Basketball All-Star Games on Saturday at Chaifetz Arena on the Saint Louis University campus matched nine Division I recruits from the state of Illinois against eight D-1 recruits from Missouri.

In the end, it was the Illinois squad's depth — the Illinois roster had 11 players, compared to eight for the Missouri team — that made the difference in a well-played 108-99 victory on Saturday night.

The Illinois squad had nine Division I recruits: Homewood Flossmoor's Kevin Dillard (Southern Illinois University), Edwardsville's Anthony Campbell (Austin Peay), Alton's Ruben Cotto (Saint Louis), Decatur Eisenhower's Jeremy Robinson (Illinois State) and Lewis Jackson (Purdue), Chicago Simeon's Keyon Smith (Illinois State) and Stan Simpson (Illinois), Vienna's Brett Thompson (Saint Louis) and Pinckneyville's Kyle Cassity (Saint Louis).

The host Missouri squad featured eight Division I recruits: McCluer North's Torres Roundtree (Southern Illinois), Anthony Booker (Southern Illinois) and Femi John (Saint Louis), Zumwalt South's Josh McCoy (undecided), Washington's Scott Suggs (University of Washington), DeSmet's John Brandenburg (Virginia), Webster Groves' Drew Hanlen (Belmont) and Versailles' Isaiah Rhine (Missouri State).

The Missouri squad led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter, but led by only six at halftime after Dillard drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer.

The Illinois team, led by Jackson and Cotto, took the lead with a strong run in the third quarter and led by six, 76-70, after three quarters.

The fourth quarter went back and forth before Illinois pulled away.

The Illinois all-stars led 97-96 with 1 minute, 24 seconds remaining after McCoy scored on a layup off a nice feed from Hanlen, but couldn't get any closer. Dillard hit four free throws in the final minute and Smith and Robinson each added baskets as the Missouri squad couldn't keep up.

Dillard, a 6-foot point guard, was named the most valuable player for the Illinois team after racking up 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, which were all team highs. He also knocked down four 3-pointers.

Cotto, one of four Saint Louis University signees playing in the game, added 17 points, including a game-high five 3-pointers. Campbell scored 16 points, while Robinson had 14 and Jackson scored 12.

Roundtree was selected as the Missouri team's most valuable player after scoring a team-high 20 points. His high school teammate, Booker, added 17 points and 12 rebounds. McCoy scored 17 points. Suggs had 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Brandenburg and Hanlen each added 10 points. John had nine points and a team-high six assists.

The Illinois squad's bench outscored Missouri's bench 71-34.

In the first of three games on the day, the Illinois girls defeated the Missouri girls 89-77 as five players scored in double figures.

East St. Louis's Dabrielle Franklin led the Illinois girls with 16 points, while Warren Township's Sarah Boothe (Stanford) and Momence's Candace Sykes (Alabama) each scored 12, Proviso East's Miame Giden (Western Michigan) added 11 and Edwardsville's Anya Covington added 10. Althoff's Alisha Goodwin (Saint Louis) scored eight points.

St. Joseph's Academy point guard Patrice King (Ball State) led the Missouri girls with 17 points and nine assists. New Haven's Kathleen Scheer (Duke) had 14 points, while Kirkwood's Devonna Smith (Saint Louis) added 10. Columbia Hickman's Yvonne Anderson (Texas) and Windsor's Megan Sheffield each scored eight points.

In the second game, the I-70 Showdown, the St. Louis boys all-stars defeated the Kansas City all-stars 102-96.

Normandy's Anthony James (Northern Iowa) led the St. Louis squad with a game-high 27 points. Lafayette's Tony Meier (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) scored 20 points, while Soldan's Ken Brown had 14 and Gateway Tech's Kenneth Harris added 13.

The Kansas City boys squad had six players in double figures: Ruskin's Milton Garner (18 points), Hickman Mills' Rafael Brown (17), Don Bosco's Tyrone Hooker (16), Lincoln Prep's Beaumont Beasley (12), Lincoln Prep's Justin Henderson (11) and Lebanon's Ryne Bechtel (10).

The 3-point contest was won by McCoy, who defeated Campbell in the final round. After both McCoy and Campbell made eight 3-pointers in the finals, McCoy edged Campbell in a 30-second shoot-off with seven 3-pointers compared to Campbell's six.

David Ruckman of Freeburg (Ill.) High defeated Roundtree in the finals of the slam dunk contest.

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