But coming off the bench in that gym Saturday afternoon might have been a new experience for Battle, a reserve for a team of Virginia public school all-stars in the first of two Capital Classic girls’ basketball games at T.C. In a 74-49 win over a team of Maryland public school all-stars, the Georgetown signee was named most valuable player after collecting 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
“Sitting on the bench starting out gives me a chance to see how the other team plays and get a feel for what I’m supposed to do when I get out there,” Battle said.
Even though they practiced only once together, she and her teammates consistently found each other for high-percentage baskets and developed a rhythm not always seen in all-star exhibitions.
In the second girls’ game, a team of private school players, mostly from the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, beat a team of D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association players, 76-67. H.D. Woodson’s Janae Blount scored 25 points and collected 10 rebounds in being named MVP of that game.
“It’s basically family,” Blount said of playing with girls from the DCIAA schools, including three others from her City Title-winning Woodson squad. “Everybody on the team I’ve known for about six, seven years. We grew up together.”
It’s been a while since 6-foot-8 center Kevin Larsen was his team’s focal point for nearly an entire game. After moving to Rockville from his native Denmark two years ago, Larsen joined Montrose Christian’s nationally renowned boys’ basketball program and spent the past few seasons standing outside the spotlights cast on forwards Justin Anderson and Michael Carrera.
But on Saturday, playing for the District All-Stars in the first of two boys’ games in the Capital Classic, Larsen temporarily had the spotlight all to himself. Larsen tallied a game-high 22 points and claimed MVP honors while leading a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback attempt.
“It was very nice, a good little moment for me,” Larsen said.
Despite trailing by double digits most of the fourth quarter, the District cut its deficit to six with one minute to play. But the Suburban All-Stars, led by Wise guard Keith Shivers (17 points) and Langley guard Daniel Dixon (16 points), held on for a 109-100 victory.