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By LARRY GOFFINET
NEW CASTLE—Perry Central’s Tanner Cassidy had 11 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots in 23 minutes to help the White team beat the Red team 85-79 in the Indiana Class Basketball All-Star Classic Class A-2A senior boys basketball game Saturday.
Cassidy hit 5 of 9 shots from the field and 1 of 4 free throws as he tied Jalen McCoy of Borden for third highest scorer on the White team.
Dess Fougerousse, Cassidy’s regional finals opponent from Linton-Stockton, led the White team with 18 points and eight rebounds. Tyler Smith Johnson of Anderson Prep added 17 points.
Each team usually substituted entire groups of five, and since Cassidy and Fougerousse were not in the same group to start the game they did not play together a lot.
But because there were only nine players on their team, they did see some action together. Cassidy made a steal and threw a nice pass ahead to Fougerousse for a layup to put the White team up 20-14 in the middle of the first half.
The 6-foot-2 Cassidy played mostly shooting guard in this game and said he enjoyed having the 6-5 Fougerousse as a teammate. “It was nice not having to guard him.”
Cassidy made another steal and took the ball in himself for a layup to increase White’s lead to 38-25 with 3:55 left in the first half.
He added a three-point play on a 5-foot shot and free throw to make the score 47-34 with 0:47 left in the half.
He started the second half and made a nice block and scored an inside basket in the first four minutes of the half.
A minute later he was fouled on a three-point shot from the corner. But uncharacteristically for someone who hit 77.0 percent of his free throws in the high school season, he missed all three attempts.
He said he prepared for this game by playing with his former Perry Central teammates in open gym “five or six times” in recent weeks. “But I didn’t practice free throws.
“They felt good, though,” he said of his misses. “I don’t know what happened.”
A few minutes later he made up for those misses with a strong second-effort basket. He grabbed an offensive rebound and missed a shot in traffic but grabbed the rebound again and put it in.
After Red cut White’s lead to 63-57, Cassidy made a nice pass into the lane for an assist to Johnson.
Cassidy hit a layup to again increase White’s lead to eight points with 7:35 left.
His White team outscored the Red team 49-39 while he was in the game but got outscored 36-40 when he was on the bench.
“I thought I did pretty good,” he said when asked to rate his performance overall.
Besides Fougerousse, he said he was familiar with two other teammates, Borden’s Billy Kirchgessner and Jalen McCoy. “They were teammates of mine for a whole week at a Blue Chip camp,” he said.
Other than possible intramural games at Indiana University, this will probably be Cassidy’s last competitive basketball game.
“I believe so,” he said. “It capped off a good year.”