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Talent to turn out for Classic

February 16, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE

They came from states as if they were ready to convene at a convention.

But this meeting Sunday at Hagerstown Community College was for media day for the fourth annual Roundball Classic, slated for March 22 at the school's athletic complex. This year's basketball marathon has plenty to offer.

"It will be a basketball junkie's heaven," said event director Dave Foltz, who spent the day welcoming nearly 150 boys and girls who will play in five all-star events.

The Roundball Classic begins at noon with the boys Shooting Stars, followed by the girls Four-State Elite at 1:30 and the boys Four-State Elite at 3.

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After an intermission for 3-point shooting and slam dunk contests, the girls Mid-Atlantic Premier game will tip off at 5:30, followed by the boys Premier game around 7:30.

The last two games will feature players who will be carrying impressive credentials to the college in the fall.

"We've got boys that are going to Oklahoma and Kansas and girls that are going to Maryland and North Carolina," Foltz said. "I don't think you can get more prestigious than this."

For one player, the Roundball Classic will be the debut of a senior season that never started.

Jermaine Marshall, a 6-foot-4 guard from Red Land in Pennsylvania's Mid-Penn Conference, suffered a season-ending knee injury during a pickup game in September. Fortunately, it was after he committed to play at Penn State next season.

"Penn State stayed after me my entire time in high school and I felt so welcomed on my visits there," said Marshall. "They recruited me as a 2-guard and I'll have an opportunity to play as a freshman."

Five players from Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) will be playing in the Classic, including three girls from its No. 10 nationally ranked team by USA Today.

Ashleigh Fossett could have been a fourth member from the Riverdale Baptist team, but left the school and transferred to Urbana to be near her mother during an illness.

Fossett, who is averaging 16 points per game for the unbeaten Hawks, will play in the Premiere game.

"We knew we would be good (at Urbana)," said Fossett, who has yet to select a college. "It's going to be really nice playing in this game. I know so many of the girls from AAU ball."

Fossett, a member of the Premier National team, will once again play opposite of North Hagerstown's Kirksten Mitchell, a member of the Premier American team. The two squared off last week during Urbana' 60-58 victory.

"I got an adrenaline rush playing that game," said Fossett. "We knew that was a game we could have been beat."

For many of the athletes who have yet to decide on their futures, the Roundball Classic could be a recruiting showcase.

"We haven't had a good year, so this is an opportunity to showcase yourself," said Boonsboro senior Shane Zbir.

Tri-State area players in the Roundball Classic include:

Premier Boys: J.R. Mayles, Hedgesville; Isaac Thornton, Martinsburg.

Premier Girls: Kirksten Mitchell, North Hagerstown.

Elite Boys: Tim Null, Waynesboro; Brent Bell, North Hagerstown; Mike Russ, St. James; Stephon Berry, St. Maria Goretti.

Elite Girls: Brittany Boarman, Hedgesville; Morgan McIntire, Heritage Academy; Nicole Stephenson, Musselman; Brittany Marsh, Musselman; Kisha Jackson, North Hagerstown; LaRae Allen, North Hagerstown; Kelly Beard, Williamsport; Brynn Arnone, Boonsboro; Emma Dalton, Boonsboro; Angie Nevarez, St. Maria Goretti; Meghin Palmer, Greencastle; Dakeea Marshall, Jefferson; Marissa Luipersbeck, Smithsburg; Mallory Wishard, Waynesboro.

Shooting Stars Boys: Armando Miller, Broadfording; Jordan Lavender, Clear Spring; Alan Reed, Smithsburg; Colby McCauley, Williamsport; Michael Warrenfeltz, Williamsport; Shane Zbir, Boonsboro; Adam Ritchey, Greencastle; Shane Santell, South Hagerstown; Allen Sandberg, North Hagerstown; Spencer Draper, St. James; Kegan Crider, Waynesboro.

"There are 160 kids from 95 schools and they're the best," said Foltz.

Players spent time on Sunday shooting at a portable basket with children with congenital heart disease. The Roundball Classic will again benefit the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Foundation. In addition, it will benefit the Katie Stains Fund for the Williamsport High School cheerleader who is fighting cancer.

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