By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Archbishop Hanna’s Armani Perry drained a 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining to lift the East squad over the West, 83-82, in the third annual Redwood Empire All-Star game on Saturday night at Rincon Valley Christian High School.
Those playing in the game were seniors from area small schools.
Perry, the Empire’s small schools Player of the Year, dribbled down the court and made the game-winning shot from the left wing.
The West had a chance to take the lead in the final seconds but turned the ball over before getting a shot.
RVC’s Joe Lin had put the West up 82-80 when he knocked down a lay-up with 53 seconds remaining.
The East began the game by scoring the first 18 points and then increased the advantage to 25-2.
Hanna’s Jhe’nearo Hemmingway, the East’s leading scorer with 23 points, tallied 15 in the first half.
“Before the game we talked out about coming out strong and then holding the lead,” he said. “Credit to the East players for making such a good comeback. Thankfully, we came back to win.”
The West trailed 45-36 at halftime and then went in front, 58-56.
Hemmingway was joined on the East squad by Hanna teammates Perry (20 points) and Larry Michel (8).
“It felt great to get on the court again and wearing my school jersey for the last time,” Hemmingway said. “I’d been shooting around since the season ended, so I wasn’t totally rusty.
“The game was a good experience and even better because we won.”
The East wound up with four double-digit scorers. In addition to Hemmingway and Perry, St. Helena’s Chris Saladin had 15 and Middletown’s Cody Chorjel finished with 13.
The West also had four players in double figures. Lin and Cloverdale’s John McMillan led the way with 19 apiece. Included in McMillan’s total were a couple of dunks.
Kelseyville’s Brandon Huber scored 12 and RVC’s Daniel Maples finished with 10.
Lin said the evening felt like a playoff game.
“Both teams played with a lot of energy,” he said. “Right off the bat, the East hit a few 3-point shots and got that big lead. Then we got refocused on defense and our shots began to fall. We almost pulled it off.
“The night was a great way to end my senior year.”