North, Emmert win in basketball All-Stars series

The North, including Drew Emmert of Sweet Home, won both games of the annual Oregon Athletic Coaches Association 4A Basketball All-Stars Series Friday and Saturday at Northwest Christian University and Clackamas Community College.

The North defeated the south 91-62 the first night, said Sweet Home Coach Kostanty Knurowski, who coached the team with Chris Hunt of Astoria.

“We played relatively well,” Knurowski said. Playing at shooting guard and some at point guard, Emmert scored seven on a short jumper, a layin and a three. He notched a blocked shot, a couple of steals and a couple of boards.

The North defeated the South 88-80 Saturday night, Knurowski said. “Drew played probably a little bit better in that game.”

Emmert shot 4-6, including a three and scoring nine points, Knurowski said. He had three or four boards, and “he played probably a little more efficiently that night.

“It was a lot of fun to be able to coach him a couple of more times.”

It was an honor to coach the All-Stars Series, Knurowski said, and it was a prestigious opportunity for Emmert.

Emmert represented himself and the community well, Knurowski said.

“It was a great experience,” Emmert said. “It was weird playing with a lot of people that were better than me.”

In that environment everyone can shoot and score, he said, where on his own team, he was used to taking most of the shots.

“It was weird being shorter than a lot of the kids,” Emmert said. In one lineup, he was shortest or second shortest.

Playing on the same team as his high school rivals was interesting too, he said, especially Jesse Pratt of Central.

“You always don’t really like them when you play against them,” Emmert said. “When they’re on your team, it’s different.

Everyone seems really cool.”

“It was a lot nicer having him (Pratt) on my team than trying to figure out ways to stop him,” Knurowski said. Pratt is probably the player the Huskies saw the most last season. They were joined by players from La Grande, Kevin Atilla and Ryan Took, who played off with the Huskies last year, and Tyrell Williams of Cascade.

The team also included Kelly Christensen of North Marion, Cory Hendrix of Scappoose, Bren Bletscher of Seaside, Max Johnson of Astoria, Josh Rodrigues of Tillamook, Derek Blankenship of Baker and Grant Hedrick of Central.

“It was nice having a few of them on our side of the floor,” Knurowski said. “It was a lot of fun, and the kids worked really hard. I wish we always had that kind of talent in the gym.”

The team worked out in Sweet Home last week and scrimmaged against returning Huskies.

“They didn’t do half bad,” Knurowski said. Obviously, the All-Stars team was more talented and older, but it gave them a chance to test themselves and find weaknesses.

The All-Stars were great, Knurowski said. They played hard against the Huskies while encouraging them along the way.

Emmert will play at Hesston College in Kansas next year. That’s where Knurowski played. During the summer he will play AAU basketball in Las Vegas and Seattle as he has done for the past three year.s

Emmert started playing ball in the first grade through the Boys and Girls Club. He joined his first traveling team in the third grade, and he hasn’t stopped.

“It’s just my passion,” Emmert said. “The most exciting thing is when you’re playing a big game in front of people.”

Outside of basketball, he enjoys hunting and fishing. He also played football his freshman year.

He plans to major in education and become a high school teacher and coach.