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Gateway teammates Taylor, Richardson help big-school team to all-star victory

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Maria Taylor and Chelsea Richardson are set to play basketball and continue their educations at Clarion and Wheeling Jesuit universities, respectively.

But before they take that next step, the Gateway senior duo took the court together one more time.

Taylor and Richardson were part of the Class AAAA/AAA girls team at Saturday's 18th annual Hoops For A Cure all-star basketball event.

They helped their squad of all-stars defeat the AA/A team, 75-45.

“We shot the ball really well. It was a great performance from the 3-point line,” said Cornelius Nesbit, Gateway's head coach and the coach of the big-school team on Saturday.

“What made the game easy was that we had a lot of talented basketball players who were unselfish. Sometimes, in these types of games, players can get selfish. In this game, the girls were really unselfish, and they enjoyed playing with each other. It was an honor to coach all of this talent.”

Nesbit said it was extra special to be able to coach Richardson and Taylor one more time.

“It was great to see them showcase their talent,” Nesbit said.

“They made a statement that they deserved to be a part of this all-star game.”

Richardson had 13 points, while Hopewell senior Shatori Walker-Kimbrough led the big-school team with 15 points.

“Chelsea made three of four 3-pointers and was driving to the basket strong,” Nesbit said.

“It is what I had seen for the past three or four years.”

Nesbit said Taylor was a strong presence inside for the big-school team.

“In an all-star game, when you are a post player, it's hit or miss, because it depends on the guards you are playing with. Will they throw it into the post player and understand the post player's importance. She scored early, and the kids were looking for her. She played that typical Maria post defense. She had some great finishing moves.”

Richardson and Taylor came together with players from Bethel Park, Chartiers Valley, Upper St. Clair, Oakland Catholic and Mt. Lebanon, rivals they went head to head with during the regular season the past several years.

“It was fun to be on the same side and have to opportunity to coach the girls from Oakland Catholic, Upper St. Clair and Chartiers Valley instead of coaching against them,” Nesbit said.

The scoring was pretty well spread out on both sides. Jeannette star Ciara Gregory was the lone double-figure scorer for the AA/A team. She scored 10 points.

The event also featured a boys all-star game, and the Quad-A team beat a group of WPIAL all-stars, 109-105.

The night was capped with a game between teachers and coaches from both South Fayette and Chartiers Valley school districts.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Nathan S. Arenson Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

To date, the fund as raised more than $1.2 million.

For more information and how to donate, visit www.hoopsforacure.com.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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