Boys Basketball: Cline, Richendollar and Young Show Out at All-Star Game
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: The Senior Trio Will Play One Final Time This Friday
By Eric Trent / firstname.lastname@example.org
LONGVIEW – For most high school ballers, playing in a senior all-star game means the final match of their prep career. For Winlock’s Bryce Cline, Carson Richendollar and Morton-White Pass’ Hayden Young, they get a two-for-one.
All three of those Lewis County guys played in the senior all-star game at Lower Columbia College Tuesday night, Cline and Young for the White Squad and Richendollar for the Red Squad. They’ll also get one more shot at lacing up their sneakers Friday at Centralia College’s all-star match at 7:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, the Red Squad pulled off a 114-104 victory, but like every all-star game, the final score didn’t really matter.
It was a contest marked by a bombardment of 3-pointers, including a couple NBA-range treys, a few crowd-pleasing slams and an unofficial count of 10 missed dunks. Knappa’s 6-foot-7 post Mason Westerholm took home MVP honors after dropping a game-high 33 points and one vicious slam dunk.
For Cline, Richendollar and Young, all three of which are stars in the Central 2B League, it was an eye-opening experience playing against 1A, 2A and 3A competition. Cline led the trio with 10 points.
“It was definitely different,” said Richendollar, who scored seven points. “Going from the small 2B schools to playing against these tall, long lengthy guys, it was definitely different.”
Richendollar, a 6-foot-3 second-team all-league forward, is used to being one of the tallest and most talented guys on the floor in the C2BL. On Tuesday, seven of the 20 players suited up were either as tall or taller as Richendollar.
Richendollar said the biggest difference between this match and the regular season was the pressure to perform well. There was none. The night was about having fun, not about winning.
“In this game you could definitely let loose,” Richendollar said. “We weren’t really playing for a purpose, so you could go out there and have fun and not be afraid to mess up. That’s what was more enjoyable about it.”
Richendollar recalls watching a couple all-star games at Centralia College a few years ago and even came to one of the Lower Columbia all-star matches back in the day as a kid.
When Lower Columbia boys basketball coach Mickey Polis called him at 2 p.m. on Sunday and offered him a spot on one of this year’s teams, he couldn’t believe it.
“For him to personally call me, that was pretty cool,” Richendollar said.
Richendollar, who has yet to sign with a college team, has one more summer of AAU ball coming up before figuring out what his next move is.
“I haven’t really put myself out there,” Richendollar said. “ I created a highlight reel, but I haven’t been contacted by coaches.
For Morton-White Pass’ leading scorer Young, the only time he has fun in the regular season is when the Timberwolves win. In the all-star game, he said, the players have fun either way.
“It was a pretty fun experience,” Young said. “It’s a lot different than playing regular season because the other guys you play every night and you scout them. This was a lot more fun, a lot better players. It was kind of like playing an open gym.”
As Young, Cline and Richendollar approach the cusp of their high school careers, the trio will get one final shot to solidify their recruiting resume at the Centralia College all-star game at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
“It’s pretty sad,” Young said. “You don’t think about it until you’re a senior. It kind of comes at you fast. But I definitely enjoyed every bit of it.”