ST. IGNACE - Steve Angeli could not have drawn up a better scenario for his final high school basketball game.
The Sault Ste. Marie graduate was selected most valuable player Saturday after helping the North All-Stars drill the South 104-91 in the 27th Upper Peninsula All-Star Classic.
Angeli played with his twin brother Riley. Watching was their father, Jamie, an assistant women's basketball coach at City College of New York who was the speaker at the pregame breakfast.
Kenya Oas of Munising splits South defenders Jeff Gregory, left, of Kingsford and Jacob Kleiman of Bark River-Harris Saturday in the U.P. All-Star Classic in St. Ignace. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Dennis Grall)
It was only the second time Jamie Angeli, a basketball coaching nomad, saw his twin sons play a high school game. The first time more than two years ago, Steve failed to score.
"It's awesome. It means a lot," Steve Angeli said after receiving his trophy.
Jamie Angeli drove 13 hours and arrived Friday in time for a Star Lines boat trip under the Mackinac Bridge and an hour visit to Mackinac Island for players and family members.
"For him it was well worth the trip," said his son, who hit a pair of 3-point baskets in the game's opening 70 seconds to assure he would not suffer another goose egg.
He normally does not worry about scoring, instead setting up teammates by penetrating, dishing the ball and directing traffic.
"I still tried to do the same thing," he said, noting the talents of his teammates and opponents is higher in an all-star setting. "If you make a mistake, you pay for it."
The uptempo pace fit the skill set of Angeli and North teammate Kenya Oas of Munising, each of whom scored 18 points and made three steals. Angeli also had 10 assists and three rebounds while Oas had seven rebounds and six assists.
"This was a heckuva team. I'd like to coach them for real," North coach Dan Waterman of Munising said.
"Steve controlled everything on the floor. He sees the floor so well. Not only did he run the offense, but on the bench he would lead the cheers. He is the consummate leader."
Waterman also relished the opportunity to have Oas play for him again.
"He is a special player for me and our program," Waterman said. "He does score, he had a couple of nice passes. He does a little bit of everything."
With Angeli and Oas setting the tempo, the North reached the century mark for the fifth time in this series and took a 13-12 overall lead. Twice the boys teams were split into an East-West group.
Class D all-stater Jordan LaPlant of Ewen-Trout Creek, Michael Kuenzer of Brimley and Tyler Wilson of Rudyard added 13 points for North while Andy Steber of Calumet hit 11 points. Riley Angeli had eight points and five rebounds.
The South closed out the first quarter with a 17-2 flurry for a 26-20 lead before North used a 27-7 run to pull ahead late in the second quarter, with Oas getting six points. However, Kyle Tiglas of Manistique and Caleb Pellizer of West Iron County hit triples and Jacob Kleiman of Bark River-Harris hit a jumper in an 8-0 spurt over 52 seconds before North answered to lead 52-47 at the half.
North's upper hand continued into the third quarter as it pulled ahead 73-57 with seven players contributing points, and later in the fourth quarter the North had the game secured at 93-78.
Tiglas led all scorers with 19 points and Lucas Moreau of Carney-Nadeau added 16 points, while Cory Johnson of North Dickinson had nine rebounds and Ty Thomann of Iron Mountain had eight rebounds.
"I had a great time. This is the most fun I've had in a while," said Tiglas, who will join Johnson, Thomann and six other cagers in the All-Star Football Game at the Superior Dome in Marquette on Saturday afternoon.
In pregame competition, Bryce Bilski of North Central won the 3-point contest and LaPlant won the dunk event.