GODFREY — A month after their high school basketball careers came to an end, Alton seniors Carlos Anderson and Darrius Edwards and Civic Memorial senior Jakob Lowrance got to play another game on Saturday.
Anderson, Edwards and Lowrance played in the Illinois-Missouri High School All-Star Basketball Game at Alton High. A total of 27 of the top senior high school players from the Metro-East, St. Louis and Southern Illinois areas participated.
"It felt good putting back on that jersey," Edwards said.
All three players turned in successful efforts in the all-star game. Lowrance earned Most Valuable Player honors for the Illinois All-Stars, Anderson was the Illinois All-Stars' top scorer with 16 points and Edwards finished with 11 points and won the slam dunk competition.
"It was really fun," Lowrance said. "I played on one last weekend (at St. Louis University High) and it wasn't nearly as fun as this one. This one was well-organized. It was a fun time coming out here and playing with some friends and getting a little running in."
But the efforts didn't help the Illinois All-Stars pull off the win as the Missouri All-Stars came back from a 13-point deficit in the second half to win 111-103.
The last time Anderson and Edwards played a game at Alton High was on Feb. 27, when the Redbirds beat O'Fallon 71-52. Anderson said he was thrilled that he and Edwards got to play in the all-star game at home.
"It was fun just coming back and playing in your hometown in front of a crowd," Anderson said. "It's a good experience playing against tough competition all over the state. It was nice."
Lowrance scored nine of his 15 points in the second half and hit a pair of 3-pointers.
With the Illinois All-Stars down 68-65 midway in the second half, Lowrance hit a 3-pointer to begin a 16-0 run.
"I just got a little hot," the 6-foot-8 Lowrance said. "I made a couple of 3s, got a couple of layups and made all of my free throws. I was playing really well and I was happy to get MVP."
Lowrance turned in a solid senior basketball season, averaging 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds and helping Civic Memorial win 19 games and their first regional championship in 22 years.
Lowrance said he was happy to be back at the basketball court for the first time in a month.
"I haven't been staying in shape as well as I should," Lowrance said. "I haven't been working out as much as I should, but it's still fun to come out here and compete."
Now, Lowrance will be preparing for his freshman season at the University of Central Missouri. He'll be looking to help the Mules win their second national championship in three years.
"I'm looking forward to it a lot," Lowrance said. "They have a hungry coaching staff and young coaching staff. We have a chance to do big things. We have five freshmen coming in. I'm about to chase a ring. I'll be a ring chaser trying to get a championship."
Anderson and Edwards helped Alton win 27 games and a regional championship and earned all-Southwestern Conference honors.
"It was a blessing just to experience something like that and go all the way that far," Anderson said. "We're extremely blessed to have a team like that and the fans that we had and the support and the coaching staff and great relationships like me and Darrius."
Anderson and Edwards will continue their basketball careers at SIUE and Southwestern Illinois College, respectively.
"It will be good," Anderson said. "It's a new start and a new experience. So we're starting a new chapter with our lives. We're both fortunate enough to play at the next level."