Kids Unlimited has a spacious, sparkly new gym, and what better way to christen it than with the annual Mail Tribune All-Star Basketball Classic?
Players have been chosen for the 11th edition of the boys and girls games, which bring together the top players from 16 high schools in Southern Oregon to showcase their abilities.
The games are March 16, with the girls starting at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for students, and kids 12-and-under get in free.
Proceeds go to Kids Unlimited.
Among those slated to participate are several players of the year in their respective conferences: North Medford’s Kaison Faust (Southwest Conference) and Crater’s Kiefer Edwards (Midwestern League) for the boys, and North Medford’s Megan Fossen (co-SWC) and South Medford’s Ula Chamberlin (co-SWC) for the girls.
They’ll be joined by an array of all-league players from classes 6A to 1A.
Fans vote on the starters. The ballot can be found at mailtribune.com/sports, and there is no limit to the number of votes that can be cast for each player. Last year, there were nearly 13,000 votes.
Live video of the games will be streamed on www.tablerocksports.net.
The teams are coached by the men’s and women’s staffs of the Southern Oregon University and Oregon Institute of Technology teams.
Until last year, the previous nine All-Star games had been at Kids Unlimited. The 2017 game was moved to Central Medford High (also the site of the inaugural contest) because of construction at Kids Unlimited.
That construction, part of a major expansion, led to the new gym, plus 10 classrooms, a soccer field, a commercial kitchen and more. The centerpiece is a two-story, 30,000-square-foot, prefabricated building.
The All-Star games will be the public’s first opportunity to experience the impressive new gym and its advanced sound and lighting systems.
In last year’s boys game, the Siskiyous team trailed by 14 points entering the fourth quarter, but rallied for a 95-90 victory over the Rogues — the first overtime game in the history of the event.
Eagle Point’s Mario Quintero was selected most valuable player. His steal and layup with less than 8 seconds left in regulation tied it at 81-81 and forced the extra session. He then scored 10 of his team-high 21 points in overtime.
Faust, one of five Siskiyous players in double figures, had 18 points, 10 rebounds and two assists.
The Rogues got 21 points from South Medford’s Kaleb Franklin, 20 from Edwards and 17 from North Medford’s Brad Allen. Edwards, ever the highlight machine, had five dunks, including a two-handed, backward jam after Allen bounced a pass off the backboard.
The girls game didn’t feature any dunks, but there was plenty of action.
South Medford’s Hannah Washington, the MVP, joined forces with Chamberlin to form a dynamic duo in the Rogues’ 62-54 win over the Siskiyous.
Washington scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Chamberlin added 11 points. Eagle Point’s Carlene Hart scored 12.
Fossen led the Siskiyous with 16 points, and Grants Pass’ Jordan Kujawski had nine.
Returning players in the girls game are Fossen, Chamberlin, Hart, North Medford’s Rylee Karrick, Ashland’s Mya Elder-Hammond, Hidden Valley’s Kaylee Krusemark, St. Mary’s Emma Bennion and Rogue River’s Jesse Langfield.
In the boys game, returners are Faust, Edwards, Crater’s Mason Vranes and Cascade Christian’s Joel McLemore.
Here are this year’s teams:
ROGUE BOYS: Kaison Faust, North Medford; Jesse Higgins, South Medford; Sherman Hunter, South Medford; Mason Vranes, Crater; KJ Pippa, Ashland; Zakk Scott, Eagle Point; Tyler Cochran, Cascade Christian; Diego Agosto, Rogue River; Caleb Hess, Illinois Valley; Brendan Raines, Prospect.
SISKIYOU BOYS: Oscar Banuelos, North Medford; Quinton Rumrey, North Medford; Taylor Anderson, Grants Pass; Kiefer Edwards, Crater; Nate Bittle, Crater; Javan Gail, Phoenix; Colton Lauby, North Valley; Joel McLemore, Cascade Christian; Jakab Bowling, St. Mary's; Dalton Lester, Butte Falls.
ROGUE GIRLS: Megan Fossen, North Medford; Rylee Karrick, North Medford; Bella Pedrojetti, South Medford; Maya Van Hook, Crater; Mya Elder-Hammond, Ashland; Taylor DeVry, Phoenix; Kaylee Krusemark, Hidden Valley; Aarika Brooks, Illinois Valley; Jesse Langfield, Rogue River; Alivia Fulton, Prospect.
SISKIYOU GIRLS: Jane Ersepke, North Medford; Ula Chamberlin, South Medford; Ahdra Klingler, Grants Pass; Alexus Woodard, Crater; Carlene Hart, Eagle Point; Haley Kersten, North Valley; Sophie Ferreira, Cascade Christian; Emma Bennion, St. Mary's; T'neal Myers, Butte Falls; Savanah Zamora, Rogue Valley Adventist.
— Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email firstname.lastname@example.org