The crowd roared as the Stars defeated the Ambassadors in the 21st Battle of Worthington exhibition basketball game, an annual friendly competition designed to leave everyone in attendance with a "good feeling."

The final score, after two 21-minute halves, was 123-59.

"I like it," said Joseph Schroeder, a member of Stars. "I thought we played well."

The game was held March 3 at Worthington Kilbourne High School.

The Stars team is composed of the 35 members of the Worthington Special Olympics team, who rotated five players in and out so everybody had a chance to play, said Tammy Bailey, program coordinator for the Battle of Worthington.

The players' ages range from 10 to the mid-40s, and there is no limit for who can participate, Bailey said.

"What we hope is everybody leaves with a really good feeling," she said.

Two athletes apiece from the school district's four middle schools are on the Ambassadors team.

Bailey said the exhibition game raises money for Battle of Worthington T-shirts for both teams and food for the reception that followed.

The game was announced by Dimitrious Stanley, a former wide receiver for Ohio State University and a graduate of Thomas Worthington High School. The Ohio State School for the Blind marching band played during the game, and Ryan Trubee of the Stars sang the national anthem.

The Stars all have catchy nicknames, like Andy "The Heartbreak Kid" Lund and Maria "Pickle" Rudy, that were announced to the crowd. Fans held up signs and cheered them on.

Rules of the game were relaxed, and double-dribbles and traveling infractions were overlooked.

Kingston Johnson, an eighth-grade Ambassador from Worthingway Middle School, said he enjoyed the competition.

"I would do it again if I had the chance," he said.

Lily Cunningham, also an eighth-grade Ambassador from Worthingway, said she jumped at the chance to participate.

"It sounded really fun and a good opportunity," she said.

Stephen Johnson, a member of the Stars, had his own highlight.

"Me getting a layup," he said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary