GREENSBORO — For Malaya Johnson, it was the perfect ending to a sparkling high school basketball career.
The North Surry center didn’t miss from the floor and scored 12 points on Monday night in the N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game on Monday night at Greensboro Coliseum.
The West defeated the East 82-68.
It didn’t take long for the recent graduate to get in the scorebook. Johnson scored four of the first six points for the West All-Stars and would finish 6 of 6 from the floor for the game.
“It was really good. I had good time, we played well together, and it was really fun,” Johnson said. “I felt good at the beginning, Shay (Shaylen Burnette) was finding me, it was good.”
Johnson also had eight rebounds for the West, which trailed by a point after the first quarter before outscoring the East 24-15 in the second period. The West went on a 19-11 run in the third quarter and led by as many as 20 late in the game.
The 6-foot-2 center got the start for the West and played 19 minutes in front of a large crowd at the Coliseum that came to watch some of the best prep basketball players in the state.
“It was exciting,” Johnson said. “My sophomore year when I heard about it, I said ‘I want to play in that.’”
Johnson was familiar with several players in the West lineup — including Burnett (AAU teammate), Rachel Camp (AAU), and Cameron Nieters (Bishop McGuinness).
Johnson was a part of four conference championship basketball teams at North, which earned a share of the league title this season. Johnson helped the Lady Greyhounds to a regional final appearance in 2011 and sectional final games in 2010 and 2013. The Greyhounds’ center was a four-time all-conference pick and this year’s Western Piedmont Conference player of the year in girls basketball.
In volleyball, Johnson was the championship MVP as the Greyhounds captured the state crown in 2012.
Johnson, selected to the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association all-state team this season, finished her Greyhound career with 1,156 points and 1,007 rebounds. She set the school record for blocked shots with 356; she had 13 in the Western Piedmont Conference Tournament semifinals against West Stokes.
This past season, Johnson averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds per game, shooting more than 50 percent from the floor and 73 percent at the foul line.
After the game, Johnson, who has committed to Elon, reflected on her high school career.
“It’s sad like it’s over but I know I’m moving on,” she said. “It will be fun because it will be a higher level. I think it’s going to be great.
“I’m excited about Elon. We’ve been working out for a couple weeks. It’s a whole lot harder that high school, but I’m looking forward to great things. As long as I work hard, feel like I can help the team.”
North posted a 19-7 record in 2013-14 — at one point winning 10 straight contests. The Hounds were 95-17 during Johnson’s four-year career.
“She’s a complete player on both ends of the floor,” North Surry basketball coach Shane Slate said earlier this year. “I think her best basketball is ahead of her. As good as she’s been for us, she’s going to find that niche at Elon, and make a dynamic impact for them. She can help a team in so many ways, and that will give her an opportunity.”
Elon joined the Colonial Athletic Association July 1 after more than a decade in the Southern Conference. The CAA includes 10 all-sport members: College of Charleston, University of Delaware, Drexel University, Hofstra University, James Madison University, UNC Wilmington, Northeastern University, Towson University, and the College of William & Mary.
The Phoenix went 15-16 last season.
“Malaya has a smooth and efficient game,” Elon head women’s basketball coach Charlotte Smith said in a university press release after Johnson committed with the Phoenix. “She’s a skilled forward/center and is a terrific passer out of the post. She’s a proven winner and has been such a consistent force throughout her high school career. Her volleyball background has helped her with her footwork and timing. Malaya will come in and give us another strong presence in the paint.”
Burnette finished with 16 points to lead the West and earned MVP honors. Nieters and Saadia Timpton each had 13. Sheridan Pressley added 10.
For the East, Jamie Cherry scored a game-high 24. Alecia Hardy chipped in with 13.
Notes: Rising Wake Forest sophomore and 2013 East Surry graduate Keri Fulp played for the West team in last year’s All-Star Game … she scored six points and added six rebounds and two steals in 20 minutes … Surry County had two players (Mount Airy’s Jordan Hiatt and North Surry’s Morgan Midkiff) on the West team in the 2012 game … Hiatt scored 10 points and chipped in with four rebounds in 21 minutes and Midkiff finished with eight points and five rebounds in 20 minutes … Burnette (Southern Alamance High School) was named the MVP of Monday’s All-Star Game the first East-West All-Star Game was played in 1949 at Guilford College’s Alumni Gym … the first women’s East-West All-Star Game was in 1975