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HARRISBURG — Music blared, referees laughed, dunks were slammed and the first annual More Than a Game Charity All-Star Game went off without a hitch.

Diamond Bragg’s inaugural charity basketball event exceeded her $50,000 goal; she announced the total was $50,500 at the end of the night Thursday at Harrisburg Area Community College’s Evans PE Center.

It featured four local seniors, out of 40 mostly from around District 3, and Bragg’s high school coach, Camp Hill’s Mark Clarke.

In the end, Bragg’s Team UTZ beat Cedar Cliff’s Rachael Reilly’s Team Aetna 51-45, and the boys game went to Carlisle’s Gavyn Barnes’s Team Crabtree-Rohrbaugh 136-118 over Team Giant with Boiling Springs’ Dylan LaNoue. But the scores didn’t matter in this one.

“I think we’ve done our job in a sense, where we’ve united people for a greater cause,” Bragg said after the girls game; the games featured Camp Curtin’s cheerleaders and dance team, plus a youth basketball game at halftime of the girls game.

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“I’m taking it seriously, but it also has that fun aspect to raise money,” Reilly said.

The girls game was a bit more competitive and featured more defense, not that there weren’t a few no-look passes and attempts at crafty plays. The boys, however… well, they just wanted to show off.

Harrisburg’s Tony James turned what had been a traditional basketball game into a dunk and 3-point shooting contest midway through the first quarter. Milton Hershey’s Don’yae Baylor-Carroll got in on the fun with a few NBA-range triples. And LaNoue flushed a baseline slam — one of the more blasé dunks by his own admission on a night featuring attempted 360s, bounce-pass alley-oops and more — in the second half (he missed an alley-oop attempt but nobody’s counting).

“Everybody wanted to show off,” said a smiling Barnes, who had seven points, two rebounds and two assists.

“Tony started it off pretty cool,” said LaNoue, who finished with 10 points and two boards. “He swung a little bit. Don’yae, he had a bunch of deep 3s.”

LaNoue, who said he’s going to try to walk on at Mount St. Mary’s this fall, said he was initially “star struck” when he got the invite for Bragg’s all-star game. He and Barnes enjoyed getting to rub shoulders and trade shots with some of District 3’s best. (Barnes was particularly impressed by all the “6-10 kids.”)

Olivia Matto (Manheim Twp.) and Kyra Hartman (Governor Mifflin) were named the girls MVPs by fan vote, while Antonio Rizzuto (Northeastern) and Ryan McNulty (State College) took home the hardware for the boys.

Reilly finished with two points, two boards and an assist, while Bragg had nine points, three assists and two rebounds.

“I think the best part might’ve been just getting here and going over everything, getting our uniforms, everyone was so excited, and meeting both teams,” Reilly said of the run-up to the game.

“It’s been a lot of work, it’s like having another job,” Bragg said. “It’s fun, but it’s paid off.”

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Email Jake Adams at jadams@cumberlink.com or follow him on Twitter @jakeadams520

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Sports Editor

Sports editor at The Sentinel.