Schuck's Clipboard

Classic puts sweet smelling cap on prep hoops

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 17, 2019 1:30 am

A malodorous start to the weekend doesn't mean it has to end in nose-pinching fashion.

Audrey Fohey can attest.

The Palmyra graduate was the first of the Missouri girls basketball all-stars to arrive Saturday morning for the McDonald's/Herald-Whig Classic shootaround. Her mom needed to drop her off in order to take Fohey's car to be detailed.

Fohey ran over a skunk Friday, and the lingering smell permeated just about ever part of her vehicle. In fact, as she pulled gear out of her bag to prep for the shootaround, she realized her wallet carried that awful scent.

"It smells really bad," Fohey said.

Her game smelled a whole lot sweeter.

The 6-foot-2 forward earned Missouri's Most Outstanding Player honors Saturday night as the Show-Me State swept the Classic games with the girls winning 70-52 and the boys trouncing Illinois 131-73. Fohey finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds and had college coaches inquiring about her future plans.

Basketball isn't it. She's headed to Northern Illinois University in the fall.

Fohey's performance was reminiscent of Molly Penn's effort from a year ago. The Quincy Notre Dame graduate earned Most Outstanding Player honors in Illinois' victory and had people asking if she could play for Quincy University, Culver-Stockton College or a myriad of other regional programs.

Penn had already decided to put basketball behind her and recently wrapped up her freshman year at Marquette.

That's part of the beauty of the Classic. It showcases the incredible high-level talent this area annually produces, but it also helps reveal how much depth of talent there truly is.

And that talent pool runs deep.

Central forward Lane Ippensen showcased a gritty game that should translate well at Carl Sandburg College. Quincy High School guard Jaeden Smith again showed he could be a sniper at the college level if he wasn't playing soccer at Maryville University.

And Palmyra guards Ragar McKinney and Bill Nunnelly had to leave their college coaches -- John Wood Community College's Brad Hoyt and Culver-Stockton College's Aaron Hill, respectively -- anticipating what they will bring to those programs in the fall. McKinney and Nunnelly quietly combined for 37 points.

How is that quiet, especially in an all-star game?

They were playing alongside two players who enjoyed two of the best performances in Classic history.

Hannibal guard Dezi Jones set the Classic record with 45 points and racked up incredible stats across the board with 12 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks. Monroe City guard C.E. Talton was nearly as dominant, scoring 35 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out four assists.

It was an example of the area's best at their best in front of the best crowd around.

That brought the prep basketball season to an end in the sweetest smelling way of all.