Senior staff writer
The geography may have been a little askew, but four standout basketball players representing Southside high schools played in Saturday’s 30th annual North/South Indiana All-Star Classic in Martinsville.
Center Grove’s Cassie Hardin scored eight points, and Beech Grove’s Cameron Cardenas added four and grabbed a rebound that helped the North defeat the South 100-99. Perry Meridian’s Sadie Hill scored seven points with five points coming in the fourth quarter for the South. (Isn’t Perry Meridian north of Center Grove?)
“This was a long day but it was a fun day,” said Cardenas, who closed out her high school career at John R. Wooden Gymnasium. “It was humbling to even be a part of this game; I’m glad I could be on the same team with some girls that I’ve played against all of my career.”
Cardenas, a 5-8 guard, has her sights set on Marian University, where she will major in elementary education and play basketball for coach Katie Gearlds of Beech Grove. She will start training in July.
Hardin, who will play in the Indiana All-Star game against the Kentucky All-Stars in June, scored on a 3-point bank shot from the left side, which gave the North a 98-91 lead with 1:18 left.
“I did not know that shot was going in,” grinned Hardin, a 5-10 guard who will play for Purdue. “I definitely was honored to be invited to this game. I was excited just to play; I had a lot of fun.”
Ironically, Hardin will have to wait until the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star games to finally be paired on the same team as Purdue recruit Kayana Traynor, a 5-9 guard from Martinsville who played for the South.
“It was weird because I was on the North, but Center Grove is in the South half of the state,” Hardin laughed.
Hardin sees no break in basketball. The Indiana All-Stars have a two-day mini-camp in May before playing Kentucky. The second all-star game is June 9, but she is due at Purdue for summer classes June 11 and to begin offseason conditioning.
Hill, who played Saturday in front of veteran Perry Meridian coach Mike Armstrong, will be headed to Murray (Ky.) State after graduating from high school. Hill got into some foul trouble but finished with a strong fourth quarter. She was an “Indiana Basketball Magazine” first-team all-state member.
Greenwood was represented by sharpshooting 6-7 forward Joey Reynolds, a St. Francis recruit. Playing for the South boys’ team, Reynolds connected on a corner jump shot and a nifty drive to the basket in the first half as the South scored an astounding 70 points.
Ben Davis coach Mark James, former Franklin Central coach, mentored the South All-Star boys.