tampabay.com

Draft produces even All-Star matchup

By CHRIS GIRANDOLA
Published March 20, 2005


ST. PETERSBURG - The No. 1 pick in the 10th annual Pinellas County All-Star game went to Indian Rocks coach Phil Farver, who promptly selected his center, Gabby Gattuso.

Then Boca Ciega coach William White wasted no time in picking Clearwater forward Danielle Kostacky. The choices were prophetic, as Gattuso, who is headed to Eckerd College, led all scorers and the Blue team with 23 points. Kostacky, who signed with Texas-Pan American, garnered MVP honors with her 14-point, eight-rebound performance for the White team, which won 77-65.

In the past, the All-Star game consisted of a North vs. South division, but to create a more competitive balance, the Pinellas coaches created a draft of the top twenty 20 players invited to the event.

Clearwater standout guard Rachel Hammond had been selected to play in the Florida All-Stars game in Daytona Beach, so Gattuso and Kostacky were the next obvious choices.

The game got off to a sloppy start as unfamiliar players got used to playing with each other and, oddly enough, against their teammates. Because of the format, there were players from a particular school on both squads.

But Gattuso and Kostacky settled in, with the Indian Rocks center scoring eight in the first four minutes while the Clearwater forward paced her team with 10 first-half points. The teams were tied at the half at 34.

"It's very special to coach in a game like this with high-caliber players from around the county," White said. "Of course the game is going to be a fun event, but once the ball goes up, everyone's competition level is raised."

In the second half, the White team picked up the intensity, with Kostacky getting help from Seminole guard Ali Fogle, who scored 11 of her 13 points in the half.