Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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June 8, 2012

Star-studded Indiana All-Stars ready for Kentucky

Pendleton — It’s time to beat Kentucky.

The Indiana Senior All-Stars will battle their Bluegrass counterparts in girls and boys basketball games tonight at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., and Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Kokomo High School’s D.J. Balentine is a member of the boys team. He is fired up for the task at hand.

“I think we can get them. If we play together like we usually do, I think we’ll be fine. Plus, it will be nice to play in Freedom Hall,” Balentine said Wednesday night after a scrimmage at Pendleton Heights High School.

The Indiana All-Stars will head to Louisville with some momentum after going 2-0 in scrimmages against the Junior All-Stars this week. The seniors beat the juniors 104-97 Monday at Seymour and 121-96 Wednesday at Pendleton.

Kokomo’s Charlie Hall, who is the Indiana All-Star Games director, liked what he saw at Pendleton.

“Give the kids and coaching staff a lot of credit. This was a lot better than Monday night and if they build on this [in tonight’s game], I’ll really feel good,” Hall said. “There was a lot more focus [Wednesday]. They shared the ball, made the extra pass, and defensively we were just a lot better. They also rebounded better.”

Hall thinks Indiana will match up well with Kentucky.

“Kentucky has a lot of athletes, they always do, but so do we. And what I really like about this group of kids is their skill level. These guys would be good players even if they weren’t good athletes.”

The Indiana squad is loaded with talent. Nine of the 13 players scored 18 points per game or better for their respective high school squads in the 2011-12 season.

In Wednesday’s scrimmage, everybody scored at least four points and six scored 10-14.

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