Girls hoops: Dixon, Bell excel at Pinellas All-Star Game

The visiting team uses a 15-2 second-half run to beat the home team 94-85.

By CHRIS GIRANDOLA, Times Correspondent
Published March 2, 2008

ST. PETERSBURG - Clearwater guard Keona Dixon scored 20 points and Largo guard Courtney Bell added 16 as the visiting team beat the home team 94-85 in the 13th annual Pinellas County Girls All-Star Game.

Dixon, who also had eight assists, was elected the player of the game, and Bell received the hustle award.

"It was just a lot of fun to come out here and be on the court with the best of the best," Dixon said. "We've all played together before growing up, but it was a good way to finish our high school careers in a game like this."

Dixon was honored with the award after she sparked a rally in the second half to help the visiting team overcome a 54-45 halftime deficit. Palm Harbor University forward Sameerah Jones chipped in with 12 points for the visiting team.

Lakewood guard Kerah Nelson of the home team led all scorers with 26 points. Largo guard Egypt Thomas and St. Petersburg forward Sharlese Hughes both finished with 11 points each.

Nelson helped the home team jump out to an early lead as it cruised into halftime with a nine-point advantage. But the visiting team used a 15-2 run midway through the second half to pul ahead for the win.

Following the game, Dixon, Bell, Nelson, Thomas and Hughes all were named to the Pinellas County All-Star team that will face Hillsborough County next week. Jones was named as an alternate.

St. Petersburg Catholic center Sasha Chaplin, who did not play in Saturday's all-star game because she will also play in the state all-star contest, was in attendance as a fan and was also named as a player for the Pinellas County team.

The other players named to the team include Northside Christian guard Morgan Jackson, Keswick Christian guard Kate Carl, Dunedin forward Kelli Van Patten, St. Petersburg Catholic guard Holly Janicki and Dixie Hollins guard Tori Robison. St. Petersburg forward Latoya Davis is the other alternate.

In the Senior Classic Game held before the All-Star Game, Clearwater Central Catholic forward Mary Jane Jachens scored 28 points and earned player of the game honors.