Mirror Classic boys: Claar, Swaim lead the way | News, Sports, Jobs

Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski Huntingdon’s Alec Cooper of the Central PA team works against Blair’s Tyrell Rolle of Central.

CRESSON – After a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19, the Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic resumed with its 15th edition Friday night at the Mount Aloysius College Athletic and Convocation Center, and in the high-scoring, caution-to-the-wind boys all-star game, a good time was had by all.

The Central Pennsylvania team placed seven players in double figures – led by 22 points apiece from team Most Valuable Player Kaden Claar of Portage and Mercury Swaim of Bedford – and broke the game open in the second half to post a 136-97 victory over the Blair County team.

“It was a lot of fun to get out there,” Claar said. “There were a lot of great players and a lot of great scorers out there tonight, and I was playing with a lot of guys who I had played AAU basketball with in the past. It was a blast. ”

Swaim, who, like Claar, is a three-sport standout at his high school, agreed.

“The guys I was playing with did a good job of opening up lanes, and getting me passes,” Swaim said. “It was really fun playing with these guys, and it means a lot to win this game. ”

The Central PA team – which improved to 11-4 in the all-time Mirror Classic series – took control of the game with a nine-point run late in the second quarter to build a 61-49 halftime lead.

Central PA scored the first eight points in the third quarter, to balloon the lead to 20 points. Central PA carried the third quarter, 46-24, to take a 107-73 lead after three stops.

Central PA came within eight points of the boys team scoring record in the series – 144, which was established by the Central PA team in the 2013 Mirror Classic.

“That’s what an all-star game is all about,” said Portage coach Travis Kargo, who served as the head coach of the Central PA stars. “I thought our kids came out in that third quarter, played well and really bonded together. ”

Richland’s Trent Rozich scored 20 points, Central Cambria’s Daric Danchanko added 14, Huntingdon’s Alec Cooper scored 13, and Penn Cambria’s Mason McCarthy and Bernie Whiteford of Cambria Heights added 11 apiece for the Central PA team, which scored 11 3-point goals.

The Blair County stars – who were led by 15 points apiece from team MVP Ashton Bardell and Colin Lear, both of Altoona, and 11 points apiece from Hollidaysburg’s Jake McGinnis and Tyrone’s Landen DeHaas – converted 14 treys.

“This is an awesome event,” said Altoona coach Jarrod Klausman, who served as head coach of the Blair County team. “All these guys playing high school basketball one more time and having fun… that’s what it’s all about.

“It was great to see this event go on after there was no event the last two years because of COVID,” Klausman said. “This is a great event. ”

Bardell also enjoyed Friday’s experience.

“Honestly, it was great to be out there,” Bardell said. “I thank the Altoona Mirror for having me. Getting the team MVP trophy is icing on the cake for me, but I was just happy and thankful to be out there playing with a great group of guys. ”

CENTRAL PA (136): Swaim 10 0-0 22, Cooper 6 1-3 13, Rozich 9 1-2 20, Claar 9 0-0 22, McCarthy 5 1-2 11, Delo 3 0-0 7, B. Whiteford 5 1-3 11, C. Whiteford 2 0-0 6, Whysong 3 1-2 7, Byer 1 1-1 3, Danchanko 5 3-4 14. Totals – 58 9-17 136.

BLAIR COUNTY (97): Rolle 3 0-0 8, DeHaas 4 2-2 11, Muffie 3 0-0 6, Palmer 2 4-4 9, McGinnis 4 0-0 11, Hettinger 2 0-0 5, Buell 2 0-0 5, Lear 6 0-0 15, Mallon 3 0-0 6, Bardell 7 0-0 15, Rhoades 1 0-0 3, Gwinn 1 0-0 2. Totals -38 6-6 97.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Central PA 33 28 46 29–136

Blair County 29 20 24 24–97

3-point goals: Central PA 11 (Claar 4, Swaim 2, C. Whiteford 2, Rozich, Danchanko, Delo); Blair County 14 (McGinnis 3, Lear 3, Rolle 2, DeHaas, Palmer, Bardell, Rhoades, Hettinger, Buell)

Officials: Clark Adelman, Randy Burkett, Kevin Laird.

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