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Zott, Johnson and Saunders teamup for West in All-Star hoop game


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Neal Zott, of Almont, drives to the hoop under pressure from a Marysville defender during the Blue Water All-Star Basketball Game this past week. photo by Kevin Kissane.

June 17, 2009
TRI-CITY AREA — Almont's Neal Zott, Capac's Joe Johnson and Imlay City's Darren Saunders suited up for the West squad in an 83-71 setback to the East team in the Blue Water All-Star Basketball Game last Thursday.

Richmond High School is where the action unfolded.

In Thursday's confrontation, the East team jumped out to a 7-4 advantage with 4:26 elapsed.

Not content with that cushion, the East squad followed it up with a 36-34 run over the next 15 minutes-plus.

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That made it 43-38, East, at the halftime break.

When the action resumed, the West bounced back with a 17-12 run encompassing a 6:59 span.

That squared the scoreboard count at 55 points apiece with 13:01 to play.

The East team then outscored the West squad 28-16 the rest of the way, assuring themselves of an 83-71 victory when the final second ticked off the clock.

Port Huron Northern's Lance Cusac proved the East's top offensive threat. He finished with 14 points.

For his performance, Cusac earned the distinction of the game's Most Valuable player.

The East team had 15 other players connect. Their ranks consisted of St. Clair's A.J. Magee (10 points), Peck's Zac Overstreet (nine), Anchor Bay's Jason Marshall and Deckerville's Eythan Kramer (seven each), Carsonville-Port Sanilac's James Lusher (six), Marysville's Jevon Glassner (five), Cros-Lex's Josh Kowal and Marysville's Kyle Brown (four apiece), Marine City's Rob Salisbury, Peck's Billy Burns, Memphis' Lee Davenport and Marysville's Trey Curley (three each), Cros-Lex's Kevin Esselink and New Haven's Bryan Lawton (two apiece) along with Marine City Cardinal Mooney's Justin Distelrath (one).

Neal Zott, of Almont, paced the West team with 10 points. He was backed by Armada's Damon Szafranski (nine points), Armada's Jared Wozniak and Algonac's Ben Wyant (eight each), Port Huron High's Mike Johnson (seven), Richmond's Jesse DePauw (seven), Richmond's Matt Pozolo and Jesse DePauw (five apiece), Marlette's Andrew Huffman (four), Brown City's A.J. Burton, Richmond's Josh Queen and Brown City's Jack McPhail (three each) plus Capac's Joe Johnson, Imlay City's Darren Saunders and Kingston's Jordan Pennington (two apiece).

Sandusky's Tyler Loding and Yale's Anthony Shoof also competed for the West team but did not score.

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