Jonathan Hull
Wichita Falls Times Record News
Published  June 15, 2018

Hirschi coach Donald Hedge admits he didn’t know anything about Electra’s Jonathan Barrera heading into Friday’s Oil Bowl boys basketball all-star game.

Hedge left the floor impressed and wishing he could coach Barrera a few more times.

Barrera led all scorers with 18 points, sparking the West All-Stars to a 65-57 victory over the East All-Stars at Rider Fieldhouse. The recent Electra graduate scored 15 points in the second half, allowing the West to overcome a nine-point halftime deficit.

“I knew nothing about that kid, but I would love to coach that kid some more,” Hedge said. “He was all over the floor. He shot the ball well, handled the ball well, defended the ball well. He was a tough guy and seemed to have a really good nose for the ball. It’s the first time I’ve really seen him play, but I really like that kid.”

Barrera’s only points in the first half come off a three-point play in the opening quarter. He went into the locker room at intermission unhappy with his performance.

“When I first came out, I knew I wasn’t doing too good and wasn’t starting off right,” said Barrera, who was MVP of an all-star game in Mineral Wells earlier this year. “I knew in the second half coming out I had to do something to get our team over the top. That when I started shooting and it started going in. That really got me going and I had the confidence to keep shooting.”

The East held a 34-25 lead at the half after jumping out to a 17-4 advantage in the first quarter. City View’s Austin Lucas and Seymour’s Aaron Ermis knocked down a pair of deep 3’s that paced the East early.

“I think a lot of people felt the West was the better team. I know our players felt that way,” East coach Carl Pennington said. “I told those guys if they would just come out and play hard then good things could happen. I think what hurt us is we didn’t use our size enough and we kept shooting too many 3’s. These guys’ legs got tired. I think some of them hadn’t played a game since February, but I’m proud of the way they fought.”

Unlike Hedge, Pennington is familiar with Barrera, coaching the Olney Cubs against him in District 9-2A.

“He was co-MVP of our district for a reason,” Pennington said. “He can play. He’s the piece that really made Electra go.”

Barrera and Hirschi’s Rashad Green combined to lead the East to a 30-13 advantage in the third quarter, giving it a 54-47 lead heading into the fourth. The lead got as big as 12 points with the West never getting closer than eight.

Green finished with 17 points. Burkburnett’s Jalen White led the West with 16 points as he proved to be a relentless force on the offensive boards.

SAYING GOODBYE: Hedge was fortunate enough to coach three of his players one final time in Friday’s game. Green was joined by classmates Javen Banks and Mark Harrell, who each scored eight points.

“These guys, I’m really close to these three,” Hedge said. “It was fun to try to get one more time on the floor with these guys. Now I get the chance to go watch these guys play in college.”

PACKED HOUSE: The return of basketball to the Oil Bowl was deemed a success. Originally just 500 tickets were printed for the game, but they ran out several minutes before the girls game tipped off. It’s estimated that more than 800 fans were in attendance for the first Oil Bowl basketball games since 2005.

Congrats to Noah and Matt for winning the Oil Bowl All-Star Game! They represented Holliday basketball very well!