ST. MARTIN -- West Harrison's DeAnthony Bowie was looking for redemption Thursday and took a step toward it by scoring a game-high 16 points and leading the Away team to an 88-59 win over the Home team in the South Mississippi All-Star Showcase boys senior game.
The Showcase continues Friday with the underclassmen game. The girls game starts at 6 p.m., with the boys game after. In addition, there will be a 3-point shooting contest and dunk contest.
"I didn't think I had that great a senior year," said Bowie, who was named the game's MVP. "I had a lot of regrets about the way I played. I wanted to show tonight who was really the best player on the Coast. I really appreciate this moment."
Behind five points from Bowie, Away put the game away with a strong second quarter that included a 12-0 run, five 3-pointers and 10 players scoring baskets as they turned a tight 13-12 battle into a commanding nine-point, 44-35, lead at the half.
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"For an All-Star game, I thought they shared the ball really well," said Bay High coach Randy McCrory, who coached the Away team. "We had a big run in the second quarter and they got confidence. Those players are pretty talented. When shots start to fall, they play defense better and rebound better. They rode that momentum."
"I wanted to come out and have fun," Bowie said. "In addition to this being my last game, it's everybody else's last game. I wanted all the guys on the team to have fun and winning makes everything fun."
Bowie was one of four Away players in double figures. Harrison Central's Biscuit Floyd and D'Iberville's Zach Scales and D'Iberville's Evan Howard each scored 10 points. Pascagoula's Illyan Scott just missed double figures with nine points as a balanced Away team saw all but one player score.
Gulfport's Tyrell McArthur led the way for Home with 14 points, but scored only six points after the first quarter. Pass Christian's Jaylen Peters scored 13 points and St. Martin's Stacee St. Julian scored 10 points.
St. Martin coach Charlie Pavlus said the Showcase was a chance for players along the Gulf Coast to play one last time in their school uniforms.
"We are trying to allow the 24 teams that represent the Mississippi Gulf Coast to give these players an opportunity to showcase their talents," he said.
Pavlus said the senor games give players one more chance to catch the eye of a scout, adding there have been players signed due to their performance in the Showcase.
"There are college coaches who come here looking for that guy who slipped through the cracks," he said, adding that a number of coaches still have one or two positions to fill on their rosters for next year. "When a college coach is here, he is looking for someone. Hopefully, one of our players can get a free ride (to college) next year."
While the senior games give seniors one last chance to build high school memories, wear their uniforms one last time, and, if they don't have a scholarship in hand, get looked at by college coaches, the underclassmen games gives Coast fans an introduction to the players who will lead their teams next year.
"It's the main event," Pavlus said. "We are really excited about the games Friday. Once the seniors are gone, these players can start to create their own identities.
"These are the stars for tomorrow."