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Miss Basketball Ali Patberg plays last game at her school

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Kyle Neddenriep

kyle.neddenriep@indystar.com

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COLUMBUS, Ind. – Ali Patberg didn’t expect her final game at Columbus North to be so emotional. But the 2015 IndyStar Miss Basketball couldn’t keep from shedding a few tears after the Indiana All-Stars held off the Junior All-Stars 86-83 on Wednesday night.

“This place has been so good to me,” said Patberg, still struggling with her emotions several minutes after the game. “I think I’ll always have this community behind me no matter where I end up. I’m just so thankful. It’s hard to leave it. But I think I’m also ready for the next part of my life.”

After this week, the next part of her life is at Notre Dame. One of Patberg’s future Notre Dame teammates, Princeton junior Jackie Young, helped spark a furious rally on Wednesday night. A lineup of Young, Ae’Rianna Harris (Lawrence North), Tyasha Harris (Heritage Christian), Kristen Spolyar (Lebanon) and Tyana Robinson (Pike) led the Juniors back from a 19-point second-half deficit to cut it to 82-81 with 16.9 seconds left.

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Patberg and Fort Wayne Canterbury’s Darby Maggard hit four free throws down the stretch to allow the All-Stars to put it away. Patberg, who finished with 23 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals, said the zone pressure of the Juniors caused some issues.

” Coach (Mark Holt of Barr-Reeve) said they might to 1-3-1 and try to pressure us because Jackie is long and they are so athletic,” Patberg said. “When they went 1-3-1 we turned it over and we didn’t do a very good job of stopping penetration. But I think it was good for us to experience that. We stayed poised and finished strong.”

It must be fun for Notre Dame fans to imagine Patberg and Young playing in the same backcourt together. The 6-foot Young led Princeton to the Class 3A state title as a junior, setting a state scoring record for a single season and becoming the first girl to score more than 1,000 points in a season.

Young said the plan was to give the All-Stars some different looks to help it prepare for Friday’s game against the Kentucky All-Stars in Lexington, Ky. Then again, the plan was also to win.

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“I came out there wanting to win,” Young said. “I don’t know everybody else, but anytime I play I want to win.”

Young finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Pike’s Robinson added 20 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the 3-point line and Heritage Christian’s Harris also had 20 points. Pike’s Brittany Ward and Maggard had 13 points apiece for the All-Stars and Bedford North Lawrence’s Jenna Allen added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

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Patberg played her first and only game on the new hardwood court at Columbus North. She took a piece of the old court for the memories.

“The people in my life here have made me who I am,” Patberg said. “I think that’s why I get so emotional. I’m so appreciative of the people here and the memories. It means a lot to play one more game here.”

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