Cleveland Close friends and future Purdue teammates, Katie Gearlds and Erin Lawless led the charge as the West beat the East, 92-72, Wednesday at the McDonald's All-American High School girls basketball game.
"We were really clicking there," said Gearlds, awarded the game's MVP trophy by former UCLA coach John Wooden. "I can really read her well. I feel I know what she's going to do, and she knows what I'm going to do. We'll see if we can keep that up for four years."
Gearlds, a 6-foot-1 guard out of Indianapolis, scored 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting. She hit three off four three-pointers and added three rebounds and four assists.
"It's going to be a fun time," Gearlds said of her upcoming college career with Lawless. "We have great camaraderie. We've been good friends for the last year and a half. I'm really looking forward to a great four years."
Kansas University signee Lauren Ervin, from Inglewood, Calif., had eight points on 3-of-12 shooting for the West team.
Lawless, a 6-2 forward from Berwyn, Ill., who also signed to play for coach Kristy Curry, had 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. She made half of her 14 shots from the field, including two of three three-point attempts.
Lawless scored on a breakaway layup early in the second half, taking a long assist pass from Gearlds for the easy basket. They acknowledged each other with a smile -- foreshadowing many more baskets to come in their college careers -- as they ran back down the floor on defense.
West coach James Anderson, from Harbor City, Calif., said one of the biggest reasons his team played well was that the players meshed together and didn't play selfishly.