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From Staff Reports
CLINTON â€“ Even in defeat, Starkville High boys basketball standouts Gavin Ware and Jacolby Mobley found ways to get noticed at the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star Game at Mississippi College in Clinton this weekend.
Playing for a North team that dropped a 103-92 decision to the South All-Stars, Ware still garnered honors as the game's Best Defensive Player Saturday, one day after Mobley won both the boys and overall 3-point shooting contests.
"The whole experience was good," said Mobley, a guard for SHS. "Gavin won his award and I won two awards...So it's good to bring a whole bunch of stuff back to Starkville."
The only downside of the weekend came during Saturday's game itself, as the South continued its dominance in the 57th annual all-star event to stretch its lead in the all-time series to 36-21.
That fact didn't disappoint Ware too much as the center, who gave his verbal commitment to the Mississippi State men's basketball program last month, said he had a blast representing the Yellowjackets on such a big stage.
"For the coaches to recognize me for my defense, it's just an honor and a privilege," said Ware. "It was all good and exciting. We got a lot accomplished individually and as a team. It was just a lot of fun."
For Mobley, the fun started early, outlasting all the competition on Friday to earn his 3-point shooting accolades.
"It felt good to win it," said Mobley. "I was hoping I'd win it when I got in it, so it's good to be the best 3-point shooter in the state right now."
To earn his hardware, Mobley said he simply used the demeanor that makes him successful during actual games.
"I just shot the same way I would have if someone had been in my face," said Mobley.
By doing so, Mobley set in motion a successful weekend for himself and fellow senior-to-be Ware, a pair of days that Ware says were extremely enjoyable despite the outcome of Saturday's game.
"There was no hatred in the air, no tension or nothing like that on our team or between us and the South," said Ware. "So this weekend was really just a lot about having fun."