The All-Star Classic was a family affair this year.
For the first time in a decade, the boys and girls games featured fraternal twins, as Bureau Valley’s Saige and Kale Barnett suited up. Saige’s Telegraph team was on the losing end, falling 46-41, but Kale was on the winning Telegraph team as they cruised to an 82-67 victory.
“It’s super fun,” Saige said. “The kids are always super nice no matter what game you’re playing in.”
Saige had eight points and four rebounds, and knocked down one of her team’s four 3-pointers. Kale had nine points, six rebounds and three assists for the Telegraph team.
Both of the Barnetts kept themselves busy during their high school careers. In the fall Saige was playing volleyball, helping the Storm to a regional title in 2018, while Kale was one of the top wide receivers in the area on the Bureau Valley football team. In the winter, both were playing basketball, with Kale getting the upper hand their senior year with the longer postseason run. In the spring, both were part of the Bureau Valley track & field team, with Kale qualifying for state in pole vault and Saige taking fourth at state in both the shot put and discus.
Even with those hectic schedules, the twins got plenty of chances to cheer each other on. Kale was at every Bureau Valley girls home game and also made many of the road trips, while Saige never missed her brother taking the court.
But the All-Star Classic was not a game his sister played in that Kale was able to see. Getting off work at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, he was almost to the gym at Sauk Valley Community College before realizing he had forgotten his shoes, causing him to turn around and go home to get them.
“I got here halfway through warm-ups,” he said. “I was mad I couldn’t get warmed up and dunk it with everyone, but it’s OK.”
But the two of them still got to go through the All-Star Classic experience together, just like so many other experiences in high school sports they shared.
“It means a lot,” Kale said. “We’ve shared a lot of all-star games together, the Iowa-Illinois, the IBCA one, almost every one we were together. I enjoy it.
“It was good. It was kind of a competition to see who would score more points, get more assists.”
For the record, Kale averaged 17.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals this past year leading the Storm to a sectional title. Saige averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.2 steals per game.
“It was a blast,” Saige said. “I made a bunch of friends from everywhere, not even my team. I just think the community that high school sports is is greater than the basketball game.”
At the end of the boys’ game, Kale still had some work to do. Former Bureau Valley teammate Tyler Gustafson rolled his ankle during the first half and could not finish the game, so Barnett lifted him up and carried him through the handshake line.