Concord, NorthWood teammates experience something new at all-star game

Minutemen and Panther players ended up on opposite sides at Bethel College.

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 11:42 p.m.

MISHAWAKA — Ramon Johnson was hoping his Concord teammate, Filip Serwatka, would try to guard him at least one time.

"There was one possession there, but he switched off — he was scared," the 5-foot-9 Johnson explained with a grin of the 6-6 Serwatka.

Organizers of the third annual McDonald's Michiana All-Star boys basketball game hosted by Bethel College tried something new on Monday, March 31, putting usual teammates on opposite sides as they went about trying to divide the teams evenly.

That not only put Johnson and Serwatka on opposite teams, but also pitted NorthWood's Zach Zurcher and Will Stueve against their usual teammate, fellow senior Jonathan Wilkinson.

"It was kind of weird, but I was OK with it," said Serwatka, who matched Northridge's Nate Ritchie for game-high scoring honors with 29 points.

Despite his effort, which included 12-of-16 field goal shooting, Serwatka was on the losing Gray side, as the Red team prevailed 147-133 thanks to a 13-2 spree to end the game in front of a near-capacity crowd of about 2,300 at the Wiekamp Center.

Johnson, a senior, was instrumental in that closing surge, and Serwatka, a junior, wasn't surprised.

"I know what he does when it counts, so I was kind of expecting it," Serwatka said of Johnson. "He's good. He's quick. He can shoot. We do play one-on-one a lot, which helps me with my quickness."

A Johnson basket put the Red up 134-129 with 1:53 remaining. After the Gray answered, Johnson scored the next Red bucket as well, going coast-to-coast, to start that 13-2 string.

Johnson also grabbed a late steal to give him three overall, and finished with 16 points and three assists.

"I just wanted to get everybody involved and cherish the moment, because you don't get many opportunities like this," said Johnson, who was conversing with at least one college scout after the game and is still deciding whether and where he'll play collegiately.

"We definitely wanted to win," Johnson said. "Me and Nate were talking, saying we were going to go hard on defense at the end."

"We decided we were going to play some defense," echoed Zurcher, who poured in 22 points for the Red.

Zurcher finished 9-of-13 from the field, including 4-of-7 outside the arc.

Unlike Johnson and Serwatka, Zurcher and Wilkinson did match up a few times against each other.

"I've gone against him a lot, because we've always tried to make each other better, but it's a different experience trying to beat him in a game," Zurcher said of Wilkinson, who finished with 12 points. "We go head-to-head because like Coach (Aaron Wolfe of NorthWood) says, 'Iron sharpens iron.'"

It was the Panthers who had the most iron of anybody in terms of representation with their three all-stars in Zurcher, Wilkinson and Stueve, who tallied eight points for the Gray.

"That's impressive, to have three of your players here," said Wilkinson. "We can be proud of that."

RED 147, GRAY 133

Red — Tra’Veon Johnson 12-20 0-0 25, Trent Elliott 3-8 0-0 6, Mack Mercer 3-8 0-0 6, Billy Doslak 2-6 1-2 6, Mike Bush 4-11 0-0 10, Josh Fleming 3-8 0-0 6, Ramon Johnson 7-12 0-0 16, Zach Zurcher 9-13 0-0 22, Nate Ritchie 12-21 2-2 29, Ryan Kupferschmid 0-1 1-2 1, Ryan Wobbe 5-8 2-2 11, Will Stueve 3-4 1-2 8. Totals: 63-120 (.525) 6-10 (.600) 147.

Gray — Nick Jeffirs 5-6 0-0 10, Terry Davis 8-15 1-2 18, Gage Ott 5-8 0-0 10, Devin Cannady 6-17 0-0 11, Jordan Stookey 4-11 0-0 8, Blake Berger 2-9 0-0 2, Jordan Geist 5-12 0-0 13, Martavious Richmond 3-11 0-0 5, Jonathan Wilkinson 4-11 4-4 12, Filip Serwatka 12-16 3-4 29, Jamare Washington 3-4 0-0 6. Totals: 57-120 (.475) 9-10 (.900) 133.

Scoring By Quarters

Red 69 78 — 147

Gray — 58 75 — 133

3-point goals: Red (15-45) — Zurcher 4-7, Ritchie 3-7, R. Johnson 2-4, Bush 2-6, Stueve 1-1, T. Johnson 1-5, Doslak 1-4, Elliott 1-3; Gray (10-46) — Cannady 3-10, Geist 3-9, Davis Jr. 1-4, Berger 1-6, Richmond 1-5, Servatka 1-3.

Rebounds: Red (56) — Ritchie 8, T. Johnson 6, Elliot 6, Mercer 6; Gray (61) — Cannady 11, Davis 10, Geist 7.

Assists: Red (25) — Bush 6, Fleming 6; Gray (29) — Geist 10, Cannady 4, Richmond 4, Serwatka 4.

Steals: Red (11) — Bush 3, R. Johnson 3; Gray (4) — Geist, Cannady, Richmond, Serwatka.

Turnovers: Red 5, Gray 14.

Total fouls: Red 6, Gray 6.


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