ELIDA – For most of Monday’s participants of the District 8 All-Star girls basketball game, it was possibly the final opportunity to play competitively.
However, for some, it was a nice way to close out the high school chapter of their careers and get ready to play at the next level.
Lima Senior standout Indiya Benjamin was one of many players who showcased their skills at the Elida Fieldhouse on Monday night.
Benjamin, the Player of the Year in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference, scored 12 points to help lead the East to a 79-56 victory over the West in the Division I-II-III game.
The 5-foot-6 Benjamin will be playing at Binghamton University next school year. This past season Benjamin averaged 20.4 points per game to lead the Spartans to a 20-5 season.
However, Monday’s game had a little different feel to it.
“It was amazing playing with these girls,” Benjamin said. “They’re all all-stars. Some of them I played against (during high school), so it was an awesome experience.”
Benjamin will quickly turn her focus to playing collegiately.
“I’m very excited to play college basketball,” Benjamin said. “I know it’s going to be a different ball game for me, but I’m ready. I’m going to put a lot of hard work in during the summertime, and work hard at practice when I get there.”
Bath senior Danielle VanDyne and Liberty-Benton’s Rachel Myers also scored 12 points each for the victorious East squad. Lima Central Catholic’s Meredith Shepherd added nine points, on 3-of-4 shooting behind the 3-point line.
VanDyne isn’t sure where she will be playing college hoops at next year, but she feels confident that she will be contributing somewhere next season.
“I played with Indiya in fifth and sixth grade, so it was great to get back out on the court against her,” VanDyne said. “It was great playing against these other girls, because I know a lot of them want to go off to college too. So, it was a great time.”
For the West, Ottawa-Glandorf’s Kristin Miller led the way with 22 points. Shawnee’s Claire Dahlke added nine points for the West.
Van Wert coach Lance Moonshower guided the West squad, while Liberty-Benton’s Nate Irwin coached the East.
In the nightcap, it was a nip-and-tuck game, as the West squad slipped out with a 60-56 win over the East in the Division IV matchup.
Three players scored in double figures for the West. New Knoxville’s Haley Horstman led the West with 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Continental’s Paige Ordway scored 12, while Marion Local’s Brooke Winner added 10 for the West.
Horstman, the player of the year in the Midwest Athletic Conference, will be playing at the University of Findlay next year. This past season, Horstman averaged 15.5 points per contest and helped lead the Rangers to a 21-4 record.
“I’m looking forward to it, but I’m a little nervous,” Horstman said about heading to Findlay. “I’m just trying to get into the gym everyday and work hard, so I can go there and do something.”
For the East, McComb’s Emily Clymer and Arcadia’s Courtney Cramer each scored 10 points.
In the Division IV contest, Leipsic’s Gary Krienbrink and Hardin Northern’s Brady Mast, co-coached the East.
The West was coached by Crestview’s Greg Rickard and New Knoxville’s Tim Hegemeier.