Sparked by a quick start coupled with hitting several key shots in the fourth quarter, the West All-Stars withstood a fierce second half rally by the East to come away with a 62-54 win Saturday night in the Southeast Nebraska All-Star Girls Basketball game held at SCC-Beatrice’s Truman Center.
Fairbury graduates Sidney and Shelby Pollman were teammates on the winning West team.
Diller-Odell graduate Josie Vitosh was a member of the East All-Stars.
The West All-Stars got off to a fast start racing out to an 11-0, behind the scoring of Shelby Pollman who accounted for seven of the team’s points in the uprising.
After being held scoreless for over four minutes, the East put together a 7-0 run to slice the deficit to 11-7.
Following both squads trading three-point field goals, the West finished out the opening quarter on a 10-3 scoring spree to widen its lead to 24-13.
With less than two minutes off the clock in the second quarter, the West had expanded its margin to 30-13 off a three-point hoop by Shelby Pollman, 1-2 free throws from Sidney Pollman, and a two-point basket by Friend’s Jennifer Lawver.
The West grabbed its largest lead of the first half, 36-20 on back-to-back two-point field goals by Crete’s Kaitlin Paulsen, and Wilber-Clatonia’s Cortney Krauter with 1:49 on the clock.
In last :75 seconds of the quarter, the East tallied four points including a two-point hoop from Johnson-Brock’s Kendra Alberts and two free throws by Josie Vitosh to leave the court at half trailing, 36-24.
Points were tough to come by for the West in the third quarter, as the team connected on just one field goal, while hitting only 4-9 attempts at the free throw line.
A two-point basket by Nebraska City’s Shady Hollesen inched the East within five points, 40-35 with 1:29 remaining on the clock.
The West’s Shelby Pollman buried a trey with :20 seconds left in the quarter increasing the West’s lead to 43-35.
With three seconds on the clock, Weeping Water’s Marylyn Mozena drained a trifecta bringing the East back to within five points, 43-38 heading to the fourth quarter.
Vitosh nailed the first basket for the East in the fourth quarter which sparked the team to go on a 10-2 run in a span of 6:12 to grab a 48-47 lead.
In crunchtime, the West found a way to score, as Sidney Pollman tickled the twine on a pair of three-point hoops extending their lead to 56-50.
The West closed out the scoring in the game with Superior’s Jaysa Hoins going 4-4 at the line giving the West its final eight-point margin.
Fairbury’s Shelby Pollman was named the MVP of the all-star game, as she led the West All-Stars in scoring with 15 points.
After the game, Shelby took a few moments to comment on the all-star game and being selected MVP.
“It was definitely unexpected, but it was a cool honor. It was good to see my basketball coach Amy Engle-Evans here, along with the support from everyone in Fairbury,”said Pollman.
Pollman remarked it was fun to play on an all-star team with a group of talented players.
“It was a good experience to play on a team with a lot of talented players. It was fun to play with girls that I had played against during my high school career. It gave me an opportunity to get to know them a little better aside from being opponents,”stated Pollman.
Sidney Pollman chipped in seven points for the West All-Stars, while both Sidney and Shelby Pollman combined to hit five of the West’s six three-point hoops.
Josie Vitosh scored five points in the game for the East All-Stars with Marylyn Mozena of Weeping Water leading all scorers for the East tallying 10 points.
West All-Star head coach Greg Veerhusen of Heartland Community felt the team despite struggling to score at times in the second half found ways to score and were able to come away with the win.
“Our team came out on fire in the first quarter. Shelby Pollman got us rolling scoring seven points early on helping us build an 11-0 lead,”replied Veerhusen.
“We had a tough time scoring in the third quarter, as the team scored only seven points. At times in the third quarter we had a hard time finding the basket. I think a little bit of our struggles of not scoring was due to fatigue, and another factor was these girls were not use to playing basketball with each other,” said Veerhusen.
When the game got tight in the fourth quarter, the West had players step up and hit timely shots.
“I was pleased with how the girls found ways to score in the pivotal fourth quarter. Sidney Pollman hit two key three-point baskets late in the quarter to give us breathing room with a six-point lead,” commented Veerhusen.
“I hope the girls had fun in this all-star game. They were a good group of girls to coach. The main point of this all-star game was to go out and have fun and give the girls one last hurrah,”stated Veerhusen.