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Bengals roar, lead Red team victory in City All-Star game

Posted by Zolan Kanno-Youngs  March 23, 2013 08:08 PM

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Brighton junior guard Malik James guards South Boston's Phil Lodge. James and the Red team won the Boston City League All-Star game on Saturday at Northeastern's Cabot Center. (Pavel Dzemianok / For the Boston Globe)

Among the city’s best players, the state champions still shined brightest in the Dr. Joseph Warren Boston City League All-Star game.

Brighton’s Malik James, Nate Simpson, Daivon Edwards and Prince Unaegbu combined for 41 points in the Red team’s 71-63 win over the Blue team.

“To be able to celebrate as the city and state champs and then come out here and say you know what? ‘We’re going to coach our guys for the last time in the All-Star game and to a win,” Red team coach Hugh Coleman said.

With just a 2-point lead at the end of the third quarter, the Red team needed a jumpstart to their offense in the closing minutes if they hoped to the get the prize of being recognized at halftime of the Celtics-Wizards game April 7.

“They add the Celtics tickets in there and just like the NBA All-Star game, fourth quarter, it’s time to win,” Coleman said.

After four minutes in the quarter had passed and Coleman found his team down 3, he went with the four players with the strongest chemistry on the squad.

The Red team’s last 13 points were scored by Bengals, earning the squad bragging rights for the coming months and a trip to the TD Garden.

“It feels good, to go back to the Garden especially. Last time we came out there victorious, now we’re going back,” Unaegbu said. “I was happy to be back on the floor with them, for the last time probably, because those are my brothers. I love them.”

The All-Star game capped off senior years for Edwards and Unaegbu. James also won’t be returning to Brighton, as he will be moving on to prep school.

It looked as if coach Jeremy Silva’s All-Star game would end up as a win after the first half. The Blue team led, 42-33, after the first half thanks to a big 7-point second quarter from Charlestown’s Taris Wilson.

“It was definitely fun. I still can’t beat Brighton, but it was fun,” Silva said.

Silva wouldn’t say that Brighton’s players having less rust as a result of the state tournament gave their team an advantage. However the South Boston coach did agree with Coleman in chemistry being a huge factor.

“All the kids know each other, but it helps when you play together a lot. I think they had that advantage there,” Silva said. “We just wanted to make sure we had as much playing time as possible for everybody, have as much fun as we could and I think we had as much fun as we could, so it’s a success in that respect.”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at kannoyoungs.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @KannoYoungs.

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.