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Valley Area City Section Boys All-Stars
Beat Southern Section All-Stars--(April 18,1998)

Is that an oxymoron or what? "Valley Area City Section"? Is it the Valley, or is it the City? As Vinnie Barbarino used to say on Welcome Back, Kotter, "I'm sooooo confused".

Last night it was only the Valley. Really. The City actually had nothing to do with this event, which was the Second Annual Los Angeles Times "Battle of the Valley All-Star Basketball Classic". Hardly a "classic", but it was a pretty good game anyway. The games, both boys and girls, featured the LA Unified School District teams (aka "City Section") against the boys and girls from the private schools (aka "Southern Section").

Only in Los Angeles. Everywhere else, Southern Section is both public and private schools. But not in LA; here, only the private schools are in Southern Section.

The house wasn't exactly packed at Cal State Northridge, but they got a pretty good crowd anyway, about 1,200 in all. There was a halftime slam dunk contest for the boys (so no one really went to the locker room for the strategy session), which was won by Harold Shevlin (6'-4" Sr. G) from Taft, who beat out Moorpark's Kevin Lawrence in the finals.

The games marked the second year the Valley Sports Foundation and The Times' Valley edition sponsored boys' and girls' all-star games.

The boys from the City Section won, 105-101.

The game was a scoring festival. At the half, both teams combined for 117 points, and the City led 46-43. Keron Wilkerson of North Hollywood, hit two free throws with only 38 seconds remaining and the score 101-100, with the City trailing. Those two shots gave the City the lead at 102-101, and the City section then scored the next three points of the game. In all, the Southern Section didn't score in the last minute of the game. Wilkerson was selcted as the City's MVP.

Wilkerson, who shared MVP honors with Scott Long, finished with 24 points. Other City Section scoring was done by Montae McFarland of Chatsworth who had 16 points, Harold Shevlin of Taft, who scored 13 and Amir Bar-Netzer of Taft and Tyrone Purnell of San Fernando who each added 10 points.

For the Southern Section, Scott Long of Chaminade scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half. Long will attend the Naval Academy, having signed his National Letter of Intent last fall. Long's Chaminade teammate Justin Beach scored 13 points; another Chaminade teammate, Justin Stewart had 12. Matt Moore of La Canada scored 11 points and Jerrohn Jordan of Valencia added 10.

The win for the boys from the City Section avenged a 92-89 loss in last year's inaugural game. The City was coached by Al Bennet from Birmingham, while the Southern Section team was coached by Jeff Young from Chaminade.

In the girls game, the Southern Section team won, 67-62, in what was a very exciting game.

The game had eight lead changes and five ties before the Southern Section went on a 13-3 run to turn a 51-50 lead into a 64-53 advantage with about 3 minutes to play. And while the City section girls scored nine points to the SS's three in the final three minutes, the City was unable to close the gap. The final minute saw Alemany's Kelli Kobayashi, who had six points for the night, score on a driving layup and Harvard-Westlake's Corrie Roberts, who scored eight points, hit an inside jump shot and a free-throw to give the Southern Section the game.

For the Southern Section, Melissa Harrison of Hart scored 12 points, while Kameelah Purdom of Highland added another 10. Stacy Cobb of Bell-Jeff and Alicia Weber of Royal each had nine points. Harrison, two-time Foothill League player of the year who will walk on at UC Santa Barbara, was named the Southern Section's most valuable player.

City Section scoring was predominantly by four players from the Mid-Valley League's rivals, Grant and North Hollywood: Angela Terry and Nakeisha Perkins of Grant each scored 14 points, while North Hollywood's Lindsay Sotero-Higa had 10 points and teammate Claudia Villa scored seven.

The Swish Award
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