MISHAWAKA — MISHAWAKA — Aimee Swihart and Savannah Bley have competed against each other for the past several years at the high school girls basketball level.
On Monday night, Swihart (Goshen) and Bley (NorthWood) were teammates on the Red Team that dropped a 76-66 decision to the Gray Team in the McDonald’s All-Star Game at Bethel College in Mishawaka before a crowd of 1,612 fans.
“For me it was easy to be on the same team with players I have competed against in high school,” Swihart said. “I don’t hold grudges. When I’m on the floor whoever is on my team are my teammates.”
“It was great to meet new people and to be on the same team with girls I have been playing against in high school,” Bley said.
Swihart’s layup with 4:49 left to play pulled her team to within one point (62-61). Gray kept the lead and were up by four points (69-65) with 2:12 to go following a basket after an offensive rebound by Keshyana Copper of Michigan City. Cam Tyler of Lakeshore (Michigan) made it 69-66 with a free throw at 1:38 but that was as close as Red could get. Gray closed it out with a 7-0 run as Jennifer Walker-Crawford of Warsaw scored six of the final points.
This was the first year for the girls game that was put on by the McDonald’s of Northern Indiana (Dave and Kathleen Sparks owners) and Bethel men’s basketball coach Mike Lightfoot and his coaching staff.
Both the Red and the Gary rosters included all high school seniors.
Since many of them will be going on to play in college the game was officiated under collegiate rules, including two 20-minute halves and a 30-second shot clock.
The game gave Swihart the opportunity to play in the gym she will compete in the next four years as she has signed to play for Jody Martinez and the Bethel Pilots.