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By DYLAN MALONE
FOUNTAIN CITY— The Stars traveled to Northeastern High School Tuesday night to face the Knights on the hardwood, but fell short in the contest 62-53.
Coach Andy Brown, whose team falls to 3-5 in his first season, shortened his bench playing only seven Starfires in the game and ran into some foul trouble down the stretch as both senior center Matt Alig and senior guard Dustin Wanner fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter.
The Stars stayed tight with the Northeastern squad trailing by just three at the half, 23-20, but the Knights turned on their offense in the third quarter, matching their first half total of 23 to blast ahead going into the fourth, 46-34. The Starfires would put up 19 in the fourth but it would not be enough to overcome the deficit as South Adams could not seem to get enough scoring from their role players.
Wanner seemed to be the only answer for South Adams in terms of scoring the ball. He finished his balanced night with a game-high 24 points on an efficient eight of 12 shooting including a pair of three-pointers and six for nine from the charity stripe. He also had managed eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals before his early exit with five fouls.
Junior Chase Mosser, who finished with nine points off of a trio of triples, was the only other Star close to double figures. Mark Smith, SA's "dirty-worker" down low, finished with a respectable seven points and a game-high 10 rebounds (five of them offensive).
Scott Hoeppner, Wanner's usual partner in crime in the scoring department, had one of those nights where the basket seemed a little bit farther away than usual. He struggled from behind the arc, the only shots he took the entire night, shooting one for 10 and finishing with just three points.
The Knights by contrast, were supported by a balanced attack that included Stephen Reed with 13, Andy Scripture with 12 (before fouling out in the fourth quarter), and Mason Slinker with 11. Northeastern moves to 6-3 on the year.
The Berne boys will travel to Bellmont for part two of the boys basketball county rivalry next Tuesday, January 3 at the Teepee. The JV contest will start at 6 p.m.