Note: The Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic is set for Friday, April 21 at Damien High School. On Tuesday (April 11) afternoon, I’ll post the 15 seniors selected for the Tribune boys and girls teams that will take on the Star-News for the 14th annual clash. So, be checking my blog and twitter for tomorrow to see who’s on the team.
ALL-AREA TEAMS: The Tribune boys all-area basketball team will publish on Thursday, April 13, and the girls all-area team on Friday, April 15.
By Aram Tolegian
The series records in the Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic for local high school basketball seniors could not be any closer. That means something has to give later this month.
Game organizers announced Friday that this year’s game will be played on April 21 at Damien High. The girls game tips off at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys game at 7:30 p.m.
The Tribune holds a 7-6 lead in the boys series while the Star-News leads the girls series 7-6. Pasadena High boys coach Tony Brooks is excited for his opportunity to try and even the series for the Star-News side.
“There is a rivalry going on between the Tribune and the Star-News, the east and the west,” Brooks said. “Anytime that you put teams together and the kids don’t necessarily have a history together, it’s nice to add to it with a little bit of a rivalry. A little bit of a “us against them” home cooking to add to the flavor.
“I think (Tribune staffer) Fred Robledo has done a nice job of adding to this rivalry and keeping track of the wins and losses and talking a little madness. But Fred used to be over here (at the Star-News), so he knows how good the players are in Pasadena.”
The Star-News boys team figures to offer Brooks plenty to work with. The La Canada tandem of Justin Kouyoumdjian and Sean Estes present problems for all opponents. Maranatha big man Jesse Elrod and guard Sean Espinosa also figure to make a big impact.
The Tribune has not yet decided on a coach, but whomever it is will have considerable talent at his disposable. Damien forward Justin Hemsley figures to put on quite a show in his home gym. Prolific scorer Nick Hart of West Covina should thrive in an all-star setting.
The girls game also looks like a toss-up. Glendora coach Adam Nunemaker gets the pleasure of working with Rowland standout Tianna Eaton. Los Altos sharpshooter Jezteni Espinoza could be quite the entrant in the 3-point shooting contest that will take place at halftime of the game.
The Star-News team will be coached by Keppel’s Jose Herrera. The presence of La Canada post player Zoe Williams should give the Star-News team a nice head start toward adding to its series lead.
The Star-News team also figures to be loaded at guard where La Canada’s Lexi Nazarian, South Pasadena’s Juliana Tom, Keppel’s Alyssa Lee and Flintridge Prep’s Taylor Yoshida figure to put on quite a show.