Wierema gave fans a familiar shot-blocking expose, particularly in one defensive stand late in the fourth quarter in which she swatted three shots in a row.
“We all wanted to show what we have,” Ieshia Larson said. “It’s still kind of competitive, and for me it was about staying in shape.”
Larson added it was a good way to stay sharp while preparing to play college sports. She will attend Lincoln Trail College next year, studying medicine and playing softball. Wierema will take her talents to Monmouth College where she will major in accounting and continue her basketball career. Wessels plans to run track at Trinity Christian College while obtaining a business communications degree.
In the boys game, the North squad jumped to a 7-0 lead behind a 3 from Phillips and baseline scores from Fish and East Dubuque’s Tyler Kraft. The South narrowed the gap, but the North edged away again thanks to tough low presences from Phillips and ferocious board crashing from Galena’s Michael Schultz.
Losch and Hughes manned the point and found several open baseline looks. Each finished with five points and contributed to several dynamite feeds to teammates for easy baskets. The North took a 35-28 lead to the half, then cracked open the third quarter with an eight-point spurt.
Volckmann, Justin Hughes (Forreston), Fish, and Eastland’s Austin Hansen and Tyrus Hartman contributed to a 10-point swing for the South. Hansen and Volckmann continued to knock down outside shots while Hartman found his way to the post for buckets.
A once 15-point deficit dwindled to a 57-51 North squad lead. Then the North re-awoke, with Schultz and Phillips finishing hard post putbacks, including the game-ending dunk off a feed from River Ridge’s Cody Landwer. The final score was 70-56.
“We’ve been playing these guys all our lives. It was cool getting together and seeing how well we could play instead of against each other,” Volckmann said, his senior season now “officially” over.