Local stars shine at CHSCA All-Star Game. By John Nestor
MERIDEN - A trio of Berkshire League stars wrapped up their impressive high school careers Wednesday night at the CHSCA All-star Basketball Festival. Gilbert's Robert Skinner, Northwestern's John Stevens and Nick Nemergut of Wamogo all took part in the Class S/M game, won by Skinner's Team Mohegan, 119-116, in double overtime at Maloney High.
Players from around the state took part in the game, including Bethel's Dan Garvin, who is headed to Bryant, Dan Upchurch from Notre Dame-Fairfield, tommy Myers of Coventry, who will play football at UConn next fall, and John Luster from 2013 Class M champion Valley Regional.
Upchurch and Julian Sanchez of Windham were co-MVP's for Team Mohegan as both had 21 points, nine rebounds and three assists while Brandon Marshall of Capital Prep scored 33 points to earn team MVP honors for Team Pequot.
Skinner was instrumental in Team Mohegan's comeback win as well, scoring 17 points and hitting three 3-pointers. Garvin put Team Pequot ahead 114-112 with an ally-oop dunk off a feed from Bloomfield's jordan Jennings but a deep 3-pointer by Skinner put Team Mohegan ahead to stay, 117-114 with 55 seconds to go.
Sanchez hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help Team Mohegan overcome a nine-point defecit and force overtime with the score tied 103-103. In the first overtime Jennings hit a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to tie it at 112-112 and force double overtime.
"It was a lot of fun to be a part of the game," Skinner said. "I felt good out there and was able to get in a rhythm and help us come back."
Stevens, who helped lead the Highlanders to a 24-1 record and the BL regular season and tournament titles, finished with eight points and Nemergut added three for Team Pequot.
"I had a good time playing with these guys and it was a good way to end the season," Stevens said.
For Nemergut it was a final chance to play for his dad instead of against him. Dan Nemergut, head coach at O'Brien Tech, coached Team Pequot Wednesday night and got a front row seat as his son wrapped up his high school career.
"All three of these guys had great careers," Dan Nemergut said. "It was a good run for all of them and a really good era for Berkshire League basketball. They were all fun to watch."
For Nick Wednesday was nothing new, but it was better than going against his dad, which he did earlier this season with O'Brien Tech pulling out a 45-42 victory.
"Tonight was fun, I'm used to it having played for him before," Nick Nemergut said. "It was harder earlier this season going against each other, it was a tough game. We stayed away from each other for a few days before we finally shook hands and said it was over."
What is also over is the Skinner-Stevens rivalry. They had one more shot at it Wednesday night being on opposite teams, but they were never really matched up against each other.
"I wanted both John and Nick on my team, but it was fun playing against them one more time," Skinner said.
"It was fitting, too bad we didn't guard each other, I would have shut him down," Stevens joked. "But it was a good game, a lot of good players and I guess it was fitting to play against Robert one more time."
In the Class L/LL game, Ridgefield senior Kurt Steidl scored 17 points to earn team MVP honors and lead team Charter Oak to a 113-91 victory over Team Constitution.
The Vermont bound Steidl, who was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year on Thursday, added and added 10 rebounds and a pair of assists while hitting four 3-pointers and displaying a heady all-around game. Glastonbury's Jordan Butler scored 23 points and had seven rebounds to earn team MVP honors for Team Constitution.
"It was a fun experience to come out and play against these guys," Steidl said. "I've been playing against a lot of them for a while and it was fun to come out in this type of game and not worry about scoring or anything, just have fun and play."
Class S/M Game
Team Mohegan 27 14 32 30 9 7
Team Pequot 22 30 30 21 9 4
Team Mohegan (119) Tyron Williams 7 3-5 17; Zach Rollins 1 1-4 3; Austin Woods 3 0-0 6; Robert Skinner 7 0-0 17; Chris Gonnelli 3 0-0 6; Jon Luster 2 0-0 5; Mike Bozzuto 1 0-0 3; Julian Sanchez 8 1-2 21; Dan Upchurch 8 2-2 21; Kendall Marquez 8 3-3 20. Totals: 49 9-15 119
3-pointers: Sanchez (4); Upchurch (3), Skinner (3), Marquez, Luster, Bozzuto
Team Pequot (116) Tommy Myers 6 2-4 16; Brandon Marshall 15 0-2 31; Shaquan Jackson 2 2-2 7; Nick Nemergut 1 0-0 3; John Stevens 4 0-0 8; Thomas Whipple 6 3-4 15; Taylor Fortin 3 0-0 7; Dan Garvin 10 3-5 23; Jordan Jennings 2 1-2 6; Tre-Kel Douglas 0 0-0 0. Totals 49 11-19 116
3-pointers: Myers (2), Marshall, Jackson, Nemergut, Fortin, Jennings.
Class L/LL Game
Charter Oak 35 24 16 38 - 113
Constitution 20 19 25 29 - 93
Team Charter Oak (113) Jonathan Mitchell 8 1-1 20; Keith Porter 7 0-0 15; Schadrac Casimir 2 0-0 6; Kurt Steidl 6 1-2 17; Nick Gaynor 7 0-0 15; Peter Rankowitz 2 0-0 5; Matt Nolting 3 0-0 9; Brandon Kuczenski 4 2-2 10; Chris Walker 1 2-2 4; Jahlil Askew 6 0-0 12. Totals: 46 6-7 113.
3-pointers: Steidl (4), Nolting (3), Mitchell (3), Casimir (2), Porter, Gaynor, Rankowitz
Team Constitution (93) Tim Butala 2 0-0 4; Zac Campbell 1 0-0 2; Jordan Butler 9 3-5 21; Ian Converse 5 0-0 10; Nick Fenton 2 0-0 5; Tim Blair 4 2-2 10; Bernard Brantley 8 1-1 19; Bobby Bynum 2 0-0 4; Wade McNamara 2 0-0 4; Walter Wright 6 0-2 14. Totals: 41 6-10 93.
3-pointers: Wright (2), Brantley (2), Fenton