Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
If you thought today would represent the last of the prep basketball season — and what a season it's been — fear not.
The fifth annual Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic is just around the corner.
The players have been selected and the Rogue and Siskiyou teams formulated for next Saturday's extravaganza at Kids Unlimited, 821 N. Riverside Ave. in Medford.
The girls game is at 5:15 p.m. and the boys game is at 7. Tickets, sold at the door and good for both contests, will be $8 for adults, $4 for students and kids 12-under will get in free.
The contest originated as a way to put the best players from Classes 6A to 1A on the court together, and that remains the priority.
As in the past, proceeds will go to Kids Unlimited, a youth enrichment center, and as in the past, fans will select starters through an online voting process at www.mailtribune.com/allstars. Stories from past years' games are also on the site.
Unlike in the past, one school team, the South Medford girls, will be represented by four players, and those players will be split up. The nationally ranked Panthers are bidding to complete an undefeated season and bring home the school's first title tonight in the Class 6A championship.
Another, less-apparent change, will be the uniform colors, green and white, a nod to the St. Patrick's Day game date.
With the bounty of local teams that have made it to their respective state tournaments, you can imagine the level of play that awaits.
Last week, both Cascade Christian's girls and boys made it to the 3A tournament, as did the 1A Rogue Valley Adventist boys. Four players from those teams will be in the all-star contest.
This week, Phoenix — trying to defend its 4A boys crown tonight — and North Valley, playing for fourth place today in the same tournament, will have a total of four all-stars.
Eagle Point, in the 5A tourney, will send over two players. And the North Medford and South Medford boys, in action this week in the 6A tourney in Portland, will have three players each.
The South girls will be Yaremi Mejia and Ashley Bolston on the Siskiyou team, and Kylie Towry and Luisa Tago on the Rogue team. Mejia was the most valuable player of last year's game as a sophomore, and Towry earned the honor the year before as a freshman.
Other girls back from last year are North Medford's McKensey Peters, Eagle Point's Casie Johnson and Rogue River's Alli Ehrhardt.
Tess Picknell of South and Crater's Kelly Ferris both played in last year's girls game but have conflicts this time around.
Boys all-star spots were tough to get, given the talent across the board. So tough, in fact, that several deserving all-conference players were left off.
Returners from last year are North Medford's Jordan Brown-Moore, Eagle Point's Tyrone Holmes, Ashland's Billy Hansen, Phoenix's Tyler Dungannon, Cascade Christian's Eric Morse and Rogue Valley Adventist's Caleb Allen.
Phoenix's Alex Young is back after missing last year's game.
In the 2011 girls game, Mejia scored 19 points, including a four-point play in the third quarter and two 3-pointers in the fourth of a 76-68 Rogues victory.
In the boys game, MVP Logan Winter of Eagle Point keyed the Siskiyous by making a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left, and Dungannon and Grants Pass' Taylor Griggs drained 6 of 6 free throws down the stretch to seal an 86-81 triumph.
MT All-Star Basketball Classic
To vote: www.mailtribune.com/allstars
Jack Delaney, South Medford
Matt Retzlaff, South Medford
Jack Singler, South Medford
Tony Scriven, Grants Pass
Alex Young, Phoenix
Tyler Dungannon, Phoenix
Jake Herklotz, North Valley
JJ Chirnside, North Valley
Trent Eccleston, St. Mary's
Ricardo Balero, Butte Falls
Chris Faust, North Medford
Derek Mautz, North Medford
Jordan Brown-Moore, North Medford
Justin Martin, Crater
Tyrone Holmes, Eagle Point
Jonathan Bolston, Eagle Point
Billy Hansen, Ashland
Eric Morse, Cascade Christian
Caleb Allen, Rogue Valley Adventist
Scotty Kennedy, Prospect
Kylie Towry, South Medford
Luisa Tago, South Medford
Kasidy Cobb, Crater
Brittaney Scott, Crater
Annie Edgar, Grants Pass