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Palomarez comes home for star wars

Lacey Palomarez is making the best of her summer vacation. Aftertraveling to the West Coast for a visit with relatives, shereturned to the Magnolia State for the Mississippi Association ofCoaches All-Star Girls Basketball Game.

Tipoff for the basketball classic is 6:30 Thursday night in A.E.Wood Coliseum, on the Mississippi College campus in Clinton. Theall-star boys game will follow at 8 p.m.

“My summer is going good,” said Palomarez. “I went to Washingtonto visit my dad. I had to come back early to preregister for classand play in the all-star game.”

The all-stars reported for practice Monday. They areheadquartered on the Hinds Community College campus in Raymond.Coaching the South girls are William Ingorsoll of Lake and CalvinBrown of East Marion.

Palomarez injured her shoulder during the slowpitch softballseason last fall. The lebrum cartilage ring in her right shoulderwas torn. She did it throwing a softball from the outfield. She hadsurgery March 26.

“They tacked my lebrum back down and my rotator cuff was alittle bit frayed so they shaved it off,” said Palomarez. “Thepictures (of surgery) looked kind of gross.”

She played the entire basketball season with the injury. Herright arm movement was limited but she still excelled, leading theLady Yellow Jackets to the Class 1A state playoffs. She wasselected The Daily Leader’s Miss Basketball and Most ValuablePlayer on the All-Lincoln County Team for the 2001-02 campaign.

As a senior, the 5-foot-9 Palomarez averaged 20.5 points, 8.3rebounds, 7.4 steals and 2.2 assists per game for Coach BillyVaughn’s team. She made 82.9 percent of her free throws and wassecond on the team in 3-point field goal shooting.

Asked about the twice-daily practice sessions, Palomarez said,”We’ve been doing a lot of running. They (teammates) are all a lotof fun to play with.”

The North girls won last year’s 37th annual game by a 64-57margin and lead the series 19-18. The South boys hold a 31-16advantage despite a 63-47 loss in the 47th annual contest.

“My doctor, Dr. Ramsey, didn’t really want me to play but hereleased me,” said Palomarez. “He told me not to practice hard butto play in the game. He said that as long as I would promise to becareful.”

Palomarez has two younger sisters in Ashley and Savannah whoplay sports at Enterprise and a younger brother, Reco, also anathlete. Their mother is Sudie Palomarez.

“Lacey is a special player,” said Vaughn. “They don’t come alonglike her very often. She’s a good athlete with a lot ofdetermination and desire. She knows the game of basketball and shehates to lose.”

An honor roll student, Palomarez has scored 23 on her ACT.

Palomarez said she has made a steady recovery from surgery. “Myshoulder is doing good. It gets tired easy. I’ve been doing someexercises to get back strong.”

John Tillary, sports medicine trainer for MC, has been workingwith Palomarez. “He has given me some exercises to do every day andbefore practice.”

“Lacey was a true leader for us,” said Coach Vaughn. “She playedhigh school ball from ninth grade on.”

A scholar/athlete she could play basketball and softball atMississippi College. Palomarez plans a career in physical therapy.”I’d like to come back and be a trainer for Coach Vaughn.”

All-Star notes: Two other players from this area are VictoriaRichardson of Hazlehurst and Monica Morris of South Pike, bothmembers of The Daily Leader’s All-Area Girls Basketball Team.