N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Games:
Published: Jul 21, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Jul 20, 2012 04:57 PM
GREENSBORO - Denzel Ingram of Chapel Hill High School was the leading scorer in the N.C. Association East-West All-Star boys basketball game Monday night, but even his 23 points weren’t enough to lift the East to victory.
The West rode a 21-6 first half run to a big lead, and Ingram and the East were in position to try to battle back the rest of way. They made several runs but weren’t able to overcome a 22-point third-quarter deficit in a 107-97 setback at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Ingram, who was participating in his third all-star game since the end of his high school season, left a good impression.
“Just a pleasure to work with,” said East coach Mike Rotolo of Southern Vance. “I’ve watched him grow up as a basketball player the past three years. Everything I was expecting showed up.”
Ingram, who will play collegiately for the Charlotte 49ers, led the teams attempt to spearhead the East’s rally.
He shot 8-for-23 from the field, taking more than 20 percent of his team’s shots during his 24 minutes on the court.
Rotolo noted that Ingram was clearly frustrated by some late-game free-throw shooting woes. He ended up 5-of-9 from the line.
“He made a bunch of great plays,” Rotolo said. “I know he would like to have some of (those shots) back. I know he’s disappointed just like everyone else that we didn’t get the job done.”
The West led 54-38 at the half and opened that margin up to 65-43 in the third quarter on a three-pointer by Most Valuable Player Shawn Lester of Mooresville, who will join Ingram at Charlotte next season.
Led by Ingram, the East kept battling, reeling off a 23-3 run that closed the gap to just two points at 68-66.
Lester responded with a fast-break dunk and another three-pointer to give the West a bit of a cushion at 73-66. The East got back within a basket twice more during the fourth quarter and was still within four points at 95-91 with less than three minutes to play. But Ingram and crew could get no closer.
“It takes a while for teams to get going, especially when you’re substituting five guys at a time,” Ingram said. “Nobody here is used to coming off of the bench. We’re all used to playing, staying in the flow of the game.” D. Clay Best contributed to this story
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