By Aram Tolegian Staff Writer
Organizers have settled on April 26 as the date in which local hoops fans will find out exactly which side of the Valley plays the best high school basketball when the 10th Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic is played at Damien High.
The girls game will take place at 6 p.m. and the boys game will be played at 8 p.m. There will be a 3-point shooting contest at halftime of each game.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase the fine athletes we have in our Valley from the Pasadena area all the way out to La Verne and Claremont,” game organizer Gordon Hamlow said. “It’s an opportunity for our seniors in the Valley to get one more chance to compete in front of their fans. For some, it will be their last competitive game and for others who are going on to college, it’s a neat opportunity to give people a taste of what to expect in the future.”
So far, the Star-News holds a slight edge in both series. The Star-News girls have a 6-3 series lead while the boys have a 5-4 series advantage.
The game is contested between the top seniors in the area. Any senior player who made the first- or second-team All-Area team for the Star-News or Tribune are automatically qualified to play in the game. The rest of the roster, up to 15 players, will be rounded out by the coaches and game organizers.
For the Star-News, that means both boys Player of the Year Andre Spight of Pasdena and girls Player of the Year Alyson Lock of Keppel will be the headliners of their respective teams.
For the Tribune team, both area Players of the Year are underclassmen, but there’s plenty of other talent to choose from. The Tribune boys team will be coached by Damien’s Matt Dunn, who led the Spartans to a CIF-Southern Section championship this season. The Tribune girls are coached by Bishop Amat’s Richard Wiard, who has won five CIF championships and two state titles in his career.
The Star-News boys team is coached by Flintridge Prep’s Garrett Ohara, who led the Rebels to a sweep of the Prep League and a trip to the Southern Section playoffs semifinals. The Star-News girls team are coached by Joe Kikuchi, who led the Aztecs to the Almont League championship and the semifinals of the playoffs.
Kikuchi will not only have Lock, who will play at Loyola Marymount next year on his roster, but fellow Aztecs Samantha Lee and Leslie Tan as well.