HUDSON -- If you love watching three-point bombs rain down while at a basketball game, then Hudson High School was your spot last weekend. Hudson's gym was packed with coaches, parents, and fans who came out to see the best players in Central Mass. duel it out one last time.
Representing North Middlesex Regional, and the Midland Wachusett A division were senior captain Francis Philips and junior guard Tyler Thomas.
Thomas dropped a team-high 10 points off the bench as the Mid-Wach A defeated Mid-Wach B 84-69. The officials for the All-Star game were volunteers, and the event had a very relaxed, fun atmosphere. During the season, Thomas averaged 10.2 points per game, and it was no surprise that he achieved his average Thursday night.
League enemies become friends and play together on the same team for one night. Smiles, laughs, and, yes, even alley-oops were dished out in the game. Fitchburg's Charlie Doss delighted the fans by laying down the hammer on a pair of dunks.
Groton-Dunstable freshman Corey Romich dropped eight points in his all-star debut with a pair of flush-down second-half three-point bombs.
Romich has a points-per-game average of just below 14, but the freshman was running the floor like a senior. Plenty more league all-star appearances are in Romich's future.
Thomas was one of three from three-point land, and he was humbled to be nominated on the team.
"We had Francis Philips, who had a good year for us this year, and I expected him to get it," said Thomas.
Philips narrowly missed the opportunity to play in the game, but he made his presence felt in the skills competitions. Philips swept both the three-point and free-throw competitions with style. Philips went 0-for-3 from the right corner, but after that he caught fire, finishing with 10 and clinching the contest. Fifty-three percent of Philips' 202 points this season came from behind the arc.
"I wanted to come out to support Tyler, and it's nice to represent NM," said Philips. "I love shooting threes. When coach asked me to do it, I said yeah. It feels good because threes are a big part of my game, and it feels good to be recognized for that."
Next up for Philips was the free-throw contest, and he made quick work of his adversaries, going 20-for-20 in the opening round, and 9-for-10 in the finals to take home the trophy. Philips beat his season total for made free-throws by one, with 29 in the shootout.
Ayer-Shirley standout senior Tyler Gaetz and junior Ryan Richard represented the Panthers in Friday's game against the Mid-Wach C. Also in the game for the Mid-Wach D was Bromfield's senior shooting guard Trevor Granville.