INDIANAPOLIS -- Bailey Farley didn't light up the Heritage Christian scoreboard. Did she care? Not even close.
The Canterbury standout brought a big-picture perspective to this Indiana Junior All-Star basketball experience. She's dealt with plenty of pressure during a high school state title winning run and dominating play that earned her a Loyola of Chicago scholarship.
This All-Star weekend was different.
“I've worked hard all season and basically all my life,” she said. “This is more of a reward and an enjoyment thing. It was like, 'Good job, Bailey. All your hard work has paid off.'
“I'm not trying to prove anything. I deserve to be here and I'm having fun.”
Fun produced three points in Friday night's 101-98 victory over the Kentucky All-Stars, well below last year's 18.7 high school average, but that wasn't the point.
“I played against a lot of these girls in the AAU season, and to be able to play with them is a fun and new experience,” Farley said. “It's fun getting to know them and their personalities instead of them being enemies all the time.”
Playing with the enemies had a Fort Wayne flavor. South Side's Ariana Simmons had four points and three rebounds for the Indiana squad. Snider's Meredith Shipman also played, although she didn't score. Hamilton Southeastern's Taya Reimer, who is headed to Notre Dame, led with 28 points.
In the boys game, Indiana rallied from an early double-digit deficit to beat Kentucky 126-103. Indianapolis Warren Central's Devin Davis, who is committed to IU, had 24 points and 15 rebounds. New Haven's V.J. Beachem had 12 points.
Farley has a hectic summer planned. After tonight's final All-Star game at Kentucky's North Oldham High School, there's league play with her Canterbury teammates, and more (“We go to some different colleges for shootouts and things,” she said), then the July evaluation period with travel-ball events all over the country.
“That's when it really gets crazy,” she said. “I'm gone all of July.”
With her Loyola decision (she can't officially sign until November), Farley won't have the pressure of trying to impress college coaches in July.
“It feels like a weight is lifted off my shoulders,” she said. “Now I'm focused on getting the other girls on my (Canterbury) team committed (to a college) and making them look good.
“Basketball is still my passion. I'm going to have a lot of fun in July.”
Fun comes with one major glitch. Farley and the rest of the Cavaliers are still adjusting to the news Scott Kreiger is no longer their coach. He took the Canterbury boys job last week.
“He's been with me all three years,” Farley said. “It was kind of a shock, but I totally understand. He wants to coach his two sons.
“It will be different. I got to know him and his family. A lot of people will want to coach our team. We'll get somebody good.”
Canterbury has won four state titles since 2008 and figures to be a contender next season.
“That's the ultimate goal,” Farley said about another state championship. “It's definitely possible, but we're trying to focus on our coach, bring the freshmen up, work on things.”
As far as Friday night's victory, Indiana surged to a double-digit lead early in the second half, then survived Kentucky's furious full-court pressure.
“(The press) was hard,” Farley said. “It caught us off guard. Coach (Norwell's Eric Thornton) told us to slow down a little bit instead of pushing and pushing. Once we did that, it worked well for us.”
The All-Stars' win came without much practice. They had one workout before the first exhibition against the Indiana All-Stars. They had a brief walk-through Friday afternoon. That was it.
“It wasn't a lot of preparation,” Farley said. “We just had time to put in a couple of plays.”
As for South Side's Simmons, who is committed to IPFW, the All-Star experience means another chance to improve.
“I get to play with people as talented as I am,” she said. “I can become a better player by practicing against them. Playing against the best people in Kentucky is awesome. It's great competition.”
The 5-11 Simmons has no thoughts of taking a break. She said she works out each morning, with the focus on improving her vertical jump as well as ballhandling and shooting. Like Farley, Simmons also has a hectic summer of travel ball and high school league play.
“I like it that way. It makes me get up and not be lazy.”
Laziness isn't a problem. Simmons also plays a mean game of soccer.
“I like soccer,” she said, “but I love basketball. This gives me tips on how to play well.”