SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — When Webster County guard Dorian Groggs hit his first of nine 3-pointers Friday night at the South Charleston Community Center, the South held an early 7-2 lead over the North.
That was about all that went wrong for the North, which went on top for good within the next minute and cruised from there in a 171-141 victory over the South.
“We were not missing. Everything we put up seemed like it was going in,” said Fairmont Senior’s Zyon Dobbs, co-MVP of the North. “That was probably the most fast-paced game that I’ve been a part of.”
It was the 37th edition of the North-South All-Star Basketball Classic, but just the eighth win for the North and its second since 2011. The game shattered the previous record for points in any game in the series, which was 241 and occurred in 1984 and 1986. Neither team had ever scored as many points as the South had in its losing effort.
“A lot of offense and no defense is my type of game,” said Woodrow Wilson guard Bryce Radford of the South. “I enjoyed it.”
The Bears made 13 first-half 3-pointers and scored 10 more points on dunks to hold a commanding 88-60 lead at the break.
Dobbs led the North with 16 first-half points, while his FSHS teammate Jalen Bridges added 14 first-half points.
Bridges went on a personal 7-0 run in the opening half, which he punctuated with a dunk to give the Bears a 23-12 lead.
Notre Dame’s Gabe Zummo gave the North a big lift off the bench with three 3s in his first three minutes of action, the last of which upped his team’s lead to 41-23.
“It was crazy, because we looked up and thought, ‘Man we’ve scored like 30 points in two minutes,’” Dobbs recalled.
Groggs did what he could to try to keep the South in it, draining five 3s in the opening half en route to leading all players with 17 points at the break. He had the Cardinals to within 52-38 after a triple, but the Bears got an inside bucket from Trinity’s Daniel Woods and five straight points from Bridges to stretch the lead out to 21.
That advantage grew to 74-47 following a Dobbs trey, and Musselman’s Cameron Williams made two 3s late in the half to continue the Bears’ scoring barrage.
“We got in a flow and it’s an all-star game, so we had to get everybody involved,” Dobbs said. “I didn’t want to be selfish and shoot it every time, but they were leaving me open so I started hitting them, especially toward half. It was fun.”
A leaner from Dobbs in the paint pushed the North lead out to 106-76 in the second half, and after a pair of 3s from Tyler Consolidated’s Griffin Phillips, the advantage was up to 121-86.
Groggs and Williams traded off a pair of 3s, and after Tyler Consolidated’s Tyler West scored inside, the North lead was 135-99.
The scoring only continued at a rapid rate from there, with Groggs leading all players with 33 points in defeat to garner Most Valuable Player honors for the South.
Bridges and Dobbs split MVP honors for the North after leading the team with 23 and 22 points, respectively.
“It was cool, because it’s going to be the last time we play with each other,” Dobbs said.
Williams also scored 22 points, while Morgantown’s Cam Selders added 18 points in the win.
“I played against most of these guys like all my life,” Selders said of his North teammates. “I’ve always been against them, but now since we were on the same team, we kind of had chemistry. We know what we do because we’ve played against each other for so long.
“We just came out here and had real fun, but at the end of the day we were still trying to beat the other team. We all had that same mentality — that’s what was good about it.”
Radford finished with 25 points in the loss.
Prior to the game, Selders won the dunk contest during the skills competition, scoring a victory in the final over Greenbrier West 6-foot-8 big Collin O’Dell of the South.
“This is my third dunk contest and the first one I’ve actually won,” Selders said. “All these dudes are tall and they can all jump just like me, but for me to actually do it and win it is a pretty cool honor.”
Dobbs outlasted Radford to win the free throw competition, while Webster County guard Tyler Gray edged Bridges to claim the 3-point shootout.
“We got out of our comfort zones and hung out with kids we never get to hang out with,” Radford said. “It was a great time and I enjoyed it.”