Hardin's Hot Hand Helps South Win Heart of Illinois Classic

WARRENSBURG -- The Heart of Illinois Classic once again brought out the stars from across Central Illinois - who didn't disappointment in what's become an annual display of light-hearted one-upmanship.

Thanks in part to a wild 3-point flurry late in the 1st quarter, the South beat the North 139-129, ending the North's three-game winning streak in the event.

During that stretch, MacArthur's Dallas McClain hit three-straight three-pointers. Then, following a substitution, Warrensburg-Latham's Austin Hardin dazzled the home crowd, hitting four straight in a three-minute stretch.  Hardin finished with 18 points, all from three-pointers.

Like in many all-star games, defense was optional -- and often not apparent at all -- in what for many is a final chance to hit their court as a high school basketball player.

Stanford-Olympia's Thomas Hallstein earned MVP honors in a losing effort for the North, finishing with 33 points.

The 29th edition of the all-star game boasted the 5th-highest combined scoring total in the matchup's history. The South team's 177-155 victory in 1993 stands as the highest total.