’Tis the season for high school all-star games and the Lions of District 26-M6 hold their annual girls and boys all-star games Saturday night at Neosho High School.

’Tis the season for high school all-star games and the Lions of District 26-M6 hold their annual girls and boys all-star games Saturday night at Neosho High School.
The girls contest starts at 6:30 p.m., followed by the boys. This is the 38th rendition of the Lions All-Star Twin Classic.
Proceeds from the event benefit three Lions’ projects — Leader Dogs for the Blind; World Services for the Blind; and Mid-South Sight and Hearing Services.
Several players from the Daily News coverage area will participate in each game.

The Players
On the girls side, Neosho’s Sydney Linny, McDonald County’s Tricia Wattman and East Newton’s Kanah Burkey join forces on Verona head coach Brenton Hyde’s team.
Other players on the Hyde team are Pierce City’s Kayla Portillo and Verona’s Nicole Stephenson.
Opposing them will be a team coached by Golden City’s Brandon Moore and featuring Carl Junction’s Alex Vogt, Diamond’s Kelsi Eden, Jasper’s Rylee Ervin, Sarcoxie’s Carson Chandler, and Stockton’s Annie Besch.
Linny, a Central Ozark Conference Large honorable mention selection, averaged 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game her senior season and her breakout season on the floor afforded Linny the opportunity to sign to play basketball at Crowder.
Linny might guard fellow Crowder recruit Vogt, who helped lead the Lady Bulldogs of Carl Junction to a 27-4 overall record and a fourth place finish at the Class 4 state tournament. Vogt averaged 13.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists during her senior campaign.
Burkey, who especially took on a bigger role in the absence of Koty Cooper from the lineup, averaged 17 points and six rebounds for the Lady Patriots.
Wattman averaged 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds for the Lady Mustangs, and she inked with the Lady Panthers of Neosho County (Kansas) to further her academic and athletic career.
Portillo, a 5-foot-1 guard (smallest player in the game Saturday), averaged 5.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals for the Lady Eagles.
Stephenson averaged 13.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists for Verona.
Eden averaged 13.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists for the Lady Wildcats of Diamond and surpassed 1,000 career points during her senior season.
Ervin averaged 8.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists for Jasper.
Chandler, who had the highest scoring average of any player in either game, averaged 18.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists for Sarcoxie.
Besch averaged a double-double of 13.5 points and 10.2 rebounds for Stockton, and added three assists per game.
On the boys side, one team features no head coach yet (by the release of the media release) and the other features the Big 8 Conference player of the year and a point guard who averaged more assists than any other player in the area.
Seneca’s Spencer Brattin and Cameron Nesvold, as well as former East Newton and Carl Junction player Keynan Wade, are three of the seven players on the team without a head coach.
Other players are Monett’s Alex Turner, Purdy’s Matt Wilson, and Joplin’s duo of Nate Cox and Tory Lewis, the former 5-9 and the latter 6-5 but each player possesses explosive leaping ability.
Nevada head coach Shaun Gray coaches a squad featuring Lamar’s Sam Timmons (Big 8 player of the year) and Trey Mooney, Nevada’s trio of Matthew Sommer, Myles McNeley and Patrick Ferry, and El Dorado Springs’ Shane Townbridge.
Brattin, who came on strong late during his senior campaign, averaged 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists for the Indians. Nesvold averaged 3.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists coming off the bench.
Wade, one of the elder statesmen on a Carl Junction squad featuring mostly underclassmen, averaged 11.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists.
Turner, a Pittsburg State recruit for football who recently participated in the Grin Iron Classic in Springfield, averaged 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists on the interior for the Cubs.
Cox averaged 7.0 points and a pair of rebounds and assists for the Eagles, while Lewis averaged 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Joplin’s 12 wins this past season doubled their wins from the previous two seasons combined.
Wilson averaged 12.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists for Purdy.
Timmons, a 6-5 forward known for playing above the rim, averaged 16 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists for the district champion Tigers.
Mooney, a three-sport standout (football, basketball and track) for the Tigers who signed with NAIA Evangel in football, averaged 15 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists during his senior season.
Sommer averaged 14 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists for the 24-3 Nevada Tigers, while McNeley led the Tigers in 3-point shooting and Ferry proved a versatile threat.
Townbridge averaged 11.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists for El Dorado Springs.

Last Year
Former Monett standout and Ozark Christian recruit Logan Coones scored a game-high 37 points to lead the Blue past the White in a wild 113-101 win.
Former Monett players Coones and Kobe Besch, as well as former McDonald County players Max Dill and Drew Harmon, combined for 88 points.
Former East Newton stalwart Ethan Heilig led the White with 27 points.
The Gold defeated the Purple 66-60 in the girls contest.
Former East Newton sharpshooter Kortney Cambers scored 18 points to lead the Purple.