Ray Bethea Jr. was a prolific scorer against a challenging schedule, so there was no reason for him to stop against some of the best seniors in South Jersey.
The 6-foot-5 Atlantic City swingman scored a game-high 32 points to lead the Blue team to a 152-146 victory over the White in the Sunday's Albert J. Carino Basketball Club of South Jersey all-star game before a big crowd at Rutgers-Camden.
The White team was also known as the West while the Blue squad was the East.
"I was out there playing hard," said Bethea, an Inquirer first-team all-South Jersey selection who has earned a scholarship to Howard University. "I wanted to perform well against the best out there."
As the score suggests, defense was an afterthought in this game, although the teams did play 12-minute quarters, four minutes longer than usual for high school games.
Bethea scored his team's final five points to finally allow the Blue to break away.
"I know this was an all-star game, but when the game is on the line you want to come through," said Bethea, who averaged 25 points a game this season.
While Bethea was the easy choice for the Blue team MVP, Camden's 6-6 forward Myles Thompson was the White team MVP with 23 points. An Inquirer third-team all-South Jersey selection, Thompson will take his talents to St. Francis (Pa.).
"We wanted to win, but this was a great way to end my high school career," Thompson said.
Timber Creek's 6-5 Maurice Murray won the dunk competition before the game, and Bishop Eustace's Peyton Vostenak captured the third-point contest at halftime. Murray had 10 points in the game for the White, and Timber Creek teammate Isaiah Sanders scored 13 for the Blue. They were split up to balance the rosters.
In the earlier Tim Lenahan Memorial eighth grade all-star game, the White scored a 77-75 win over the Blue.
Elmarko Jackson, a 6-1 multi-positional player from Marlton Middle School who will attend St. Augustine, scored a game-high 18 points for the winners.
White 33 43 38 32 – 146
Blue 39 44 38 31 – 152
White: Jared Latane 10, Jesse Barbera 5, Jacquey Mendez 10, Kadian Dawkins 6, Chris Roe 14, Tory Edwards 8, Corey Greer 19, Jabril Enmond 6, Peyton Vostenak 13, Andrew Sims 4, D'Andre Thurmond 4, Maurice Murray 10, Jalen Collins 7, Myles Thompson 23, Tymere Bennett 7.