Jasmine Hampton just couldn’t help herself – even in an exhibition game, she showed her trademark, stone-faced intensity.
The Modesto Christian senior, who helped her team to the Division III Sac-Joaquin Section and state championships this past season, continued her gritty play Friday night at the 19th Annual 6 County Senior All-Star Basketball Game.
Hampton flared her elbows a bit on rebounds, set teeth-rattling screens, heck, she even knocked teammate and Stanislaus District Player of the Year Lexi Tubbs to the floor as Tubbs (assigned to the other squad) tried to enter the lane.
“Was that her?” asked Tubbs, who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after scoring 15 points to lead the Blue Team to a 65-54 victory over the Red Team. “That sounds like her.
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“She probably didn’t even realize she was doing it. It’s just what she does.”
It was that type of intensity that was so important to the Crusaders down the stretch in their championship run. Hampton missed much of the season with an ankle injury. Her return gave MC a toughness so desperately needed in the postseason.
“She’s beyond intense,” said Modesto Christian coach Robb Spencer, who serves as the coordinator for the girls all-star game. “She never, ever relents. Ever. No matter what.
“She’ll love you to death off the court, but when you’re between the lines, if you’re on the other side, you’re in trouble.”
Hampton, for the most part, is well aware she has a reputation of being the Crusaders’ enforcer.
“People tell me about my intensity, but I guess I don’t fully comprehend it,” said Hampton, who scored six points in her last performance in a Modesto Christian uniform.
“I just get into game mode and there’s no other mode.
“I knew this game was for fun, but I also knew that the switch would be turned on at some point, especially when we started losing.”
The teams went back and forth for most of the contest – the Red led 14-13 after one quarter, the Blue led 26-23 at the half and 44-42 after the third – and only pulled away when Tubbs heated up in the fourth quarter. She scored seven of her 15 in the final 10 minutes (the game featured 10-minute quarters instead of the standard eight).
Buhach Colony’s Allison Wisdom, the Central California Conference MVP, finished with nine points for the Blue Team, while Gregori’s Emilee VanDyke totaled eight.
The boys Blue Team made it a sweep as it defeated the Red Team 98-86 in a game that started about 20 minutes late.
Things fell behind schedule due to some brief ceremonies held on the court. Just before the third quarter of the girls game, Modesto Christian’s state championship was honored. And before the start of the boys game, a slam dunk competition was held.
Central Catholic’s Jonathan Boddie emerged as the winner.
Then, during a break in the boys game, honorary coaches Gary Porter (Red) of Modesto Christian and Livingston High’s Angelo Naldi (Red) were honored during the boys game. Porter, who won 16 Sac-Joaquin Section titles in 18 season, and Naldi, the dean of district coaches with 33 years served, announced their retirements at the end of the recent season.
St. Mary’s guard Gabe Vincent (27 points) was named the MVP of the boys game.
Riverbank’s Rolaun Dunham, The Bee’s reigning Player of the Year, scored 15 points to lead the Red Team, while Boddie added 12.
Boddie and Central Catholic teammate Donovin Townsend, the MVP of the Western Athletic Conference, were assigned to the Red Team, while CC’s Joe Hamilton was placed on the Blue.
“When the stands are full, you don’t want your buddy to beat you,” said Townsend. “We’re going to hear about this from Joe.”
Hamilton confirmed that he won’t let his teammates forget who came out on top.
“We’re all friends afterward, but when we’re between the lines, we’re playing to win,” said Hamilton. “I’ll make sure to remind both of them who won.”