Basketball

Lux leads McLegends' stars to romp of high school stars

2014-05-03T17:00:00Z 2014-05-03T20:55:11Z Lux leads McLegends' stars to romp of high school starsSteve Hanlon steve.hanlon@nwi.com, (219) 933-4198 nwitimes.com

HIGHLAND | Bret Barclay drove to the basket Saturday afternoon at Highland High School. The Crown Point senior made contact with T.J. Lux and dropped in the bucket.

The whistle blew and he completed the "Model T 3" by making the free throw. That's when Barclay started to trash talk.

"You better go to the weight room," Barclay said.

Both chuckled as the McLegends XII took place, where former standout athletes took on some of the best high school seniors in the area.

Consequently, Lux, the boys basketball coach at Merrillville, went to the "Great Room," playing against players he'd game-planned for all winter.

The leading scorer in Northern Illinois history had 29 points at halftime and finished with a game-high 35 points as the McLegends won 161-124.

And for those keeping score at home, Barclay had a team-high 23.

"Bret started talking and that got me engaged," Lux said. "I got it going. It was fun."

Lowell's Zach VanHook added 19 points and he was having fun with Lux, too.

"He got up and got a dunk, too, I couldn't believe it," VanHook said. "But he should've got a tech for slapping the backboard."

The event that has been held in the Chicagoland area the previous 11 years had a different flavor, a more Hoosier-like feel. Instead of a ton of rim-rattling dunks, there was a lot more 3-point shooting.

The McLegends hit 20 3-pointers, and the high school stars hit 14.

"I was the offensive coach," High School All-Star coach Eddie Fierek said. "I had nothing to do with our defense. We gave up 161."

The prep players were in awe when the McLegends were introduced. E.C. Central's Kawann Short (12 points and 15 rebounds) won a state crown at E.C. and is now a budding star with the Carolina Panthers.

And Marion Catholic's Dennis Kelly is the same with the Philadelphia Eagles.

"Those guys were huge," Barclay said. "But it was fun going up against those pro athletes and play the game they play. We're not as big as those guys. So we stepped back and shot a little more."

The McLegends had eight players in double-figure scoring. After Lux was New Buffalo's Dan Palombizio (17 points), Portage's Albert Evans (15), Rich Central and Valparaiso University product Howard Little (15) and Thornton's Robert Bush (15).

The high school leaders after Barclay and VanHook were Michigan City's Keenan Simmons (17), East Chicago's Jeremiah Ochoa (13) and Valparaiso's Justin Osburn (11).

Also, Ronald McDonald got in and went 1-for-3 from the free-throw line.

It was Lux, though, who was the mega star. When he warmed up before the game he did not have the lax all-star game approach. There was a steely glare in his eyes 20 minutes before tipoff.

"When I compete, I play to win," Lux said. "That's my approach and it's always been that way."

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