BE’s Troutman and Barr to be part of Saturday’s Kentucky/Ohio contest

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By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON – The 22nd annual Boys’ Ohio-Kentucky Basketball All-Star Game will have a distinct Bullitt East flavor when it is contested on Saturday.

The Kentucky boys’ team will include Bullitt East standout Rusty Troutman, who is one of 16 players on the Kentucky roster. In addition, Bullitt East head coach Troy Barr will be the head coach for the Kentucky squad.

Saturday’s boys’ contest will start at 7:30 p.m. on the campus of Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. There will also be a girls’ game that night starting at 5:30 p.m.

Troutman, who has signed to played at Bellarmine University, is coming off a senior season at Bullitt East in which he averaged 17.2 points a contest for a team that posted a 29-5 record.

Troutman was a four-year starter at Bullitt East and played in all but one game over those four years. The Chargers won 108 games over that span.

One of five finalists for Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball award, Troutman was recently named to the Kentucky All-Star squad that will compete against Indiana this summer in the annual two-game series. The Kentucky All-Stars for this game on Saturday does include 2013 Kentucky Mr. Basketball Dominique Hawkins of Madison Central.

In fact, nine of the 12 players selected for the Kentucky All-Stars in the games against Indiana are involved in this earlier single game against Ohio.

(Bullitt East senior Derek Willis was invited to play in this game, but opted not to play as he wanted to attend the school’s prom that night.)

For Barr, this will be the first of two straight weeks in which he will coach All-Star teams. The long-time Bullitt East coach will lead this Kentucky All-Star team on Saturday before turning around and coaching in the Derby Festival Basketball Classic next Friday in Freedom Hall, a game in which Willis will play and Troutman is an alternate.

This week, Barr will be assisted by Shawn Purlee of Butler High School, who recently announced his retirement from the job with the Bears. Bart Williams, the head coach at Pikeville High School, will also assist Barr.

Besides Troutman and Hawkins, the other players in the game this week who are also part of the summer Kentucky All-Star team includes Ken-Jah Bosley (Madison Central), Devonte Grundy (Bardstown), Darryl Hicks (Trinity), Tyler Jones (Montgomery County), Ray Kasongo (Pikeville), Jordan Majors (Hopkinsville) and Omar Prewitt (Montgomery County).

Also playing for Kentucky in the Ohio-Kentucky game will be Antonio Campbell (Holy Cross), Brock Kiesler (St. Xavier), Dez Marshall (Martha Layne Collins), MiKyle McIntosh, Demetrius McReynolds (Butler), Larry Morton (Bryan Station) and Logan O’Bryan (Daviess County).

Troutman and company will face a strong Ohio squad that includes three players who have signed with major basketball squads. That group includes 6-8 Vitto Brown who is headed to Wisconsin, 6-9 Mark Donnal who has signed with Michigan and Kevin Johnson who will be playing for Cincinnati next season.

Ohio won the boys’ contest last season 116-103 and now has an overall 14-7 lead in the series. Kentucky does hold a 13-7 advantage on the girls’ side after winning 71-67 last season.

The girls’ game does not include any Bullitt County players but does include Miss Basketball Makayla Epps of Marion County, who is headed to the University of Kentucky. Epps’ high school coach, Trent Milby, will be in charge of the Kentucky squad.