Richardson named West’s top camper

CONWAY — The Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star girls basketball game put some of the top senior talent around Arkansas in the Farris Center on Thursday.

Pine Bluff point guard Ajia Richardson won a starting job during practice and said she was humbled by the experience.

“It was a good experience playing in the all-star game,” Richardson said. “I didn’t play my best, but you just got to move on.”

Richardson had a tough night shooting from the floor as she officially went 0 for 6 for the West in an 80-58 loss to the East, but she contributed elsewhere adding one point, three rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 12 minutes.

“I did OK,” Richardson said of her play overall. “I didn’t play my best because my shots weren’t falling and my layups rolled out.”

Asked if nerves were a part of the tough night from the floor, Richardson agreed partially.

“With a big game like that, I was kind of nervous,” she said. “It just wasn’t a great night for me.”

Before the game, Richardson was presented with the West’s Most Outstanding Camper award as voted on by her teammates. The award went to the player who showed the best attitude and worked

ethic in practice.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Richardson said with a laugh. “I’m glad my teammates saw the hard work I put in. We bonded over the short week we were together and got to know each other. I

was excited about that.”

The game that featured runs, momentum swings and some dazzling moves. It was played a little differently as three periods featured an appearance from every all-star, while the last two featured a simulated game with constant substitutions.

The East squad, coached by Conway’s head coach Ashley Nance, jumped out to a 17-13 first-quarter lead. The West, coached by Farmington’s Brad Johnson, responded to get within one point at 31-30.

The fourth and fifth periods proved to be the difference, however, as the East outscored the West 41-18 to win going away.

Richardson wanted to thank everybody who came out to support the Jefferson County players.

“I would like to thank everybody for coming out,” Richardson said. “I want to thank people for supporting me, Tevin Brown, Roosevelt Murray and Kabion Ento. It was a great experience.”