Basketball: Lady McLegends defeat high school all-stars 85-61
By Tommy Williams For Sun-Times Media May 2, 2014 10:48PM
McLegend's Juaneice Jackson takes a shot for 3 at Highland High School on May 2, 2014. | Jim Karczewski\Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 3, 2014 9:14PM
HIGHLAND, Ind. — By their nature, high school basketball all-star games can be entertaining.
Of course it never hurts to have the Jesse White Tumblers perform at halftime, or have two area-born players who played for college basketball national championships as part of the festivities.
But in Friday night’s McDonald’s Lady McLegends Game, featuring Northwest Indiana and Illinois senior high school girls players vs. former varsity players who graduated as far back as 1987, there was an unexpected twist one will only see in an all-star game: Late in the first half, Ronald McDonald got some playing time. In his five minutes on the floor, the hamburger chain’s top mascot scored one point.
There was no clowning around with the true meaning of the all-star weekend, which continues Saturday afternoon with the McLegends vs. high school boys all-stars.
Friday night, the Lady McLegends earned a 85-61 win over the high schoolers at Highland High School. Half of the game’s proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House.
On this night, the Highland gym was Jenny DeMuth’s house. Again.
DeMuth scored 21 points in her first game at Highland since her senior season of 2000-01, when she was named to the Indiana All-Star Basketball Team.
Not a bad performance, considering it’s been a while since DeMuth touched a basketball before Friday’s game.
“It was really surreal coming back here and seeing everyone. It was awesome,” said DeMuth, who’s coach Friday was Chris Huppenthal, her high school coach.
“It was surprising that I scored that many points, but I need to work on my free throws. I had knee surgery a month ago and it’s been two months since I touched a basketball.”
Former Wheeler star Becca Bruszewski, who once helped Notre Dame to the NCAA Tournament title game, scored 10 points Friday. She helped lead a couple of fast-break baskets, not exactly her MO in high school or college.
“Overseas, it’s a real big running game,” said Bruszewski, who finished off a season in Ukraine after previous stops in Finland and Puerto Rico. “I’ve lost weight and I’m a little lighter on my toes. It’s a real momentum/transition type game. At Notre Dame I was an inside presence but it was a little different (Friday).”
For the high schoolers, Crete-Monee’s Ashley Henry was an inside presence with 21 points. She was one of two prep stars who scored in double figures.
“We just kept turning the ball over and we couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” Henry said. “Games like this help me because it’s more physical and the refs don’t make as many calls. It gave me a feeling of what college ball would be.”
Chesterton’s Caroline Puntillo added 15 points, including three three-pointers for the high schoolers. Valparaiso grad, Cassie Kerns who at Connecticut, also got playing time for the McLegends.