How sweep it is: Tribune boys and girls takes two from Star-News in 11th Tribune/Star-News Classic

Glendora's Thomas Rico (#5) with the Tribune All-Stars gets tied up by the Pasadena Star-News All-Stars in the Boys Basketball All-Star Classic at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday April 11, 2014. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Glendora’s Thomas Rico (#5) with the Tribune All-Stars gets tied up by the Pasadena Star-News All-Stars in the Boys Basketball All-Star Classic at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday April 11, 2014.
(Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
LA VERNE –
Which side of the San Gabriel Valley is the best basketball played?
For one night, it appears its the east side that reigns surpreme after sweeping the boys and girls games Friday night in the 11th Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic at Damien High School.
The Tribune All-Stars, getting 20 points from Walnut’s Rob Harrelson and 19 from Glendora’s Thomas Rico, rallied to beat their Star-News counterparts, 89-81.
In the girls game, Bonita’s Nikki Wheatley capped arguably one of the top area high school careers by scoring 18 points in leading the Tribune to a 85-60 victory.
Wheatley and Rico were their team’s game MVPs. The Star-News MVPs were Muir’s Dejon Williams, who had 12 points in the boys game, and the Mustangs’ Chy’annea Hodges, who had 11.
The Tribune now leads the boys’ series, 6-5, with the Tribune trimming the Star-News’ lead in the girls series to 6-5.
“This was great,” Rico said. “They were saying we’re undersized, so it’s great to come out and get the win.”
The Star-News, which rallied back from a 21-point deficit to tie the score at halftime, 44-44, looked like it might split the doubleheader when Alhambra’ Miles Ford (13 points) hit a 3-pointer and Keppel’s Adam Thompson converted a fast-break layup for a 70-66 lead. But then Rico, one of the area’s best 3-point shooters, got hot, scoring the next 12 points on three 3-pointers and a 3-point play for a 78-72 lead with 3:23 left.
The Star-News cut it to 87-81 with less than a minute left, but missed back-to-back 3-pointers with 30 seconds to play.
“I just wanted to make sure we got the win,” Rico said. “It got close, and I was able to take over and get us the win.”
The first half of the boys game was two halves in one before the teams settled for a 44-44 deadlock.
The Tribune, which got 13 first-half points from Harrelson, opened with a 34-13 blitz. Harrelson; Damien’s Cade Cunniff, who was a late replacement, and Glendora’s Thomas Rico each hit 3-pointers during the run.
But the Star-News team rallied back with runs of 11-0 and 20-8 to tie it at 44 at halftime.

Bonita's Nikki Wheatley (#10) with the Tribune All-Stars makes a shot as they play the Pasadena Star-News All-Stars in the Girls Basketball All-Star Classic at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday April 11, 2014. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Bonita’s Nikki Wheatley (#10) with the Tribune All-Stars makes a shot as they play the Pasadena Star-News All-Stars in the Girls Basketball All-Star Classic at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday April 11, 2014. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)


In the girls game, the Tribune All-Stars put it away early in the second half after opening with an 18-3 surge for a 56-30 lead with about 10 minutes to play. Wheatley, who also had six steals, scored 10 in the second half to put the finishing touches on her high school career, which includes being a four-time All-Area player.
“It feels good to finish with all these amazing girls,” Wheatley said. “It was really fun, and to play with these amazing players was a great way to end my high school career.”
Bishop Amat’s Paulina Santana and Dagmar Ramirez had 15 and nine points, respectively, for the Tribune

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  • MVL

    Who picks the teams?

  • FredJ

    Aram, Steve and I pick the teams with help from all-league and all-cif lists … a couple coaches offer their thoughts as well.

  • AMAT 73

    Huge congratulations to Eric Fonseca on being named to the All Star team . Go out with a bang and shoot lights out , Great job .

  • Frank Castro

    Yo Fred, When do the All Tribune Basket Ball Teams come out?

    • FredJ

      After the all-star game

  • FredJ

    NOTE TO ALL THE PLAYERS
    Boys practice: Tuesday, Wednesday at Damien High, 7 p.m.
    Girls Practice: Monday, Tuesday at Bonita High, 6 p.m.

  • MVL

    Hey Fred,

    Who do you think will be the starting 5 for the tribune teams next Friday?

  • Green IM

    Very sorry to see Nikki Wheatley go after terrorizing so many opponents for 4 years.

    • Frank Castro

      I sure opposing Coach would not agree with you!

      Bo Cat Fans, this will be your last chance to see the 3
      Amigos Nikki, Candice and Ari all together 1 more time, as they now move on to their college careers.

      It been a pleasure to watch and support them and the other Bo Cat Seniors for the last 4 years! Thank you all for all of your hard work!

      The Best of Luck to all the Seniors as they move on to the next level!

  • Frank Castro

    Fred, What day are the 2014 All Tribune Basketball Teams coming out on?