One of the swan songs of the summer tips off today across the Ohio River.

The 24th annual Battle of the Bridges All-Star Classic & Tournament begins Friday and continues through Sunday at the MidAmerica Sports Center in eastern Louisville.

“It’s that time of year again for pizza and strawberries and the Battle of the Bridges,” organizer Gary Darby said with a laugh.

The event attracts more than 2,000 players from 10 different states.

As always, the featured games will be Saturday night’s girls’ and boys’ All-Star Classic contests, which pit the top upperclassmen from Southern Indiana against those from the Louisville area. The All-Star girls’ game is scheduled to tip off at 6:30 p.m. Saturday evening with the boys’ game to follow at 8 p.m.

Both rosters are filled with players from Clark and Floyd counties, as well as other surrounding counties.

The Indiana Girls’ Stars Team ‘22 is slated to include eight seniors and two juniors from Southern Indiana.

Included on the roster are three from Charlestown — Laney Hawkins, Maddie Nipper and Tatum McFarland. McFarland, a senior 5-foot-7 guard, averaged a team-high 11.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game last season for the Pirates. Additionally Nipper, a junior 5-6 point guard, averaged 10.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, a team-best 4.3 assists and a team-high 2.6 steals per game. Hawkins, a 5-7 senior wing, put up 6.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, two assists and 1.9 steals per game. Fellow Charlestown standout Kennedy Coleman (11.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.1 spg) was invited, but will be unable to attend due to a prior commitment according to Darby.

Also scheduled to play for Indiana are New Albany senior Journey Howard, Jeffersonville senior Sophia Reese and Floyd Central junior Megan Czarnecki. Howard, a 5-9 forward, topped the Bulldogs in rebounding and was third in scoring this past season. Reese, a 5-7 guard, averaged a team-high 12.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and two steals a game for the Red Devils while Czarnecki got some experience last season for the Highlanders.

Paoli senior Jackie Crews, Brownsburg senior Kailyn Terrell, Columbus East 6-0 senior Leah Bachmann and Lawrenceburg senior Lizzie Redar are also expected to suit up for Indiana.

The roster of the Indiana Boys Stars Team ‘21 will be comprised of several from Clark and Floyd counties.

Among those invited to play from Clark County are New Washington senior Matthew Arthur, Rock Creek senior big man Marial Diper, Providence senior Casey Kaelin, Borden junior Kasym Nash, Silver Creek senior Kaden Oliver, Rock Creek senior Jaleb Treat and Rock Creek senior point guard Ladarius Wallace. 

Arthur, a 6-0 guard, led the Mustangs in scoring (20.8 points), rebounding (4.8 per game) and steals (2.5 per game) last season.

The 7-0 Diper averaged 10.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocked shots per game for the Lions.

Kaelin, a 6-3 wing, averaged 13 points and 4.5 a game for the Pioneers, who won their first-ever Class 2A state championship.

Nash, a 6-0 wing, averaged double digits in helping the Braves to their first sectional title in nine years.

Oliver averaged 21.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 12 games with Madison last season before transferring to Silver Creek. He scored a total of 28 points in two games with the Dragons after becoming eligible.

The 6-8 Treat averaged 10.2 points, seven rebounds and 1.3 assists last season while Wallace led the Lions in scoring (10.9 ppg) and assists (3.7 per game) while also grabbing 3.4 rebounds a game. 

Those invited from Floyd County include Floyd Central’s Caleb Washington and Tevi Ali, as well as New Albany’s Josten Carter and Tommy Devine.

Washington and Carter both earned All-State honorable mention last season while Ali and Devine were both also key contributors for their respective squads.

Those also invited include Jennings County senior Keegan Manowitz, Eastern senior big man Jacob Cherry and Southwestern senior guard Peyton Gwin. 

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