High School Basketball

Ky. All-Star boys counting on team chemistry

Covington Catholic Coach Mike Listerman loved the way Shelby Valley played team basketball in winning the Sweet Sixteen title last month.

As coach of the Kentucky All-Stars, Listerman thinks he has players willing to embrace that same "all-for-one and one-for-all" philosophy.

"It's a group that showed us in tryouts over the weekend that they can play together, that they can have great team chemistry," Listerman said of his roster, which was announced Wednesday.

Listerman said Shelby Valley point guard Elisha Justice, Mr. Basketball, "will be our leader and coach on the floor."

Kentucky's other guards include Ricardo Johnson of Holmes, Thomas Jackson of Jeffersontown and Vance Hall of Franklin County, all of whom can also run the point.

Aaron Watts of McCreary Central, Keisten Jones of Ballard and Taylor Epley of Trinity are good three-point shooters.

For size, Kentucky has Tanner Peurach of Lexington Catholic, Elijah Pittman of Holmes, Colt Barnhill of East Carter and Will Evans of Lexington Christian and Ashley Hatfield of Shelby Valley, all of whom are at least 6-foot-6.

Josh Sewell of Trinity was given a spot on the team even though he did not try out.

Sewell is recovering from surgery on his thumb, but Listerman said the Shamrocks' 6-4 star's accomplishments — MVP of the King of the Bluegrass, Republic Bank Holiday Classic and Louisville Invitational Tournament — merited his selection.

"He would have been at the tryouts if he could," Listerman said.

Among the invited players who did not attend the tryouts were Scott County All-State players Chad Jackson, Ge-Lawn Guyn and Dakotah Euton, as well as Tate Cox of Knott County Central, Isaac Wilson of Corbin and Shaquille Wilson of Christian County.

Listerman said he and assistant coach Glen Drury of Anderson County made it clear in the tryouts what they were looking for.

"We shared with the players that one of the quickest ways not to make the team was to be selfish," Listerman said. "We have to play as a team. We can't just run up and down the floor and beat Indiana. I thought the kids' focus was outstanding the entire weekend."

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