SINCLAIRVILLE - Basketball fans packed into the Cassadaga Valley High School gym on Wednesday night to watch some of the county's most talented seniors display their basketball skills one last time during the Exceptional Seniors All-Star Game.
For those who could find a seat in the near-capacity crowd, the players did not disappoint.
In a game of momentum swings, it was the Green Team edging out the Blue Team 95-89 to secure the victory in all of the players' final high school basketball game.
OBSERVER?Photo by Lisa Monacelli
Westfield’s Jesse Rodriguez looks to set up the offense for the Blue Team during the boys Chautauqua County Senior All-Star game, which was held at Cassadaga Valley High School, on Wednesday.
Despite picking up the win, the Green Team struggled to find its bearings in the early going, as the Blue team stormed out to a commanding lead.
The Blue Team took a 13-3 lead in the opening minutes behind a seven-point performance from Jamestown's Quinn Lee Yaw.
After the first round of substitutions, the Blue Team continued to pour in the buckets to jump out to a 20-6 lead.
The momentum shifted when the Green Team's Dan Odell (Panama) weaved his way through traffic on two trips down the court for a pair of impressive layups.
The Blue Team continued to keep its distance, holding on to at least a 10-point lead throughout most of the first half. That was until the Green Team got a big boost off the bench from the hot-hand of Fredonia's Dylan Meyer.
At about the six minute mark, Meyer started raining three's, knocking down four in two minute span.
"It's always a pleasure to be a part of something like this," Green Team's coach Brady Deuink said. "This was a game of perseverance. We were down 20-6 in the first half and we come back to lead big in the second half. Dylan Meyer really shot the lights out to get us back into it. "
Meyer would eventually be named the game's MVP with a 22-point performance.
The 10-point deficit for the Green Team quickly turned into a 43-35 lead.
The Blue Team regained its composure to close in on its opponents and trailed 49-43 at halftime.
At the break, fans were entertained as some of the county's brightest shooters took the court for the 3-point shoot-out. The winner of the contest was Jack Payne from Panama.
The Green Team kept its opponents at bay for the rest of the second half, at one point holding a 16-point lead.
The Blue Team closed the gap down the stretch for an exciting finish.
"It's an honor to be coaching in this game," Blue Team's coach Tim Milliman said. "This is probably my seventh or eighth year doing this and it's always a good time. It's good to see the friendships that are made during this game and it's for a good cause with the money going to St. Jude's."
While all the players involved walked off the court for the final time during their high school careers, it was apparent that many new friends were made and everyone involved had a fun-filled evening.