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School's over, but hoops aren't

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For three years, they have been fierce rivals on basketball courts inSouthern Oregon.

At one point, the animosity they felt for each other boiled over ontothe court during a summer league game.

North Medford's Dan Carter and Eagle Point's AJ Campanelli were excusedfrom that heated game after their pushing and shoving led to an exchangeof elbows.

We were nose to nose and ready to fight, says Carter. Butthe officials broke it up before we actually did. All I know is he didn'tlike me and I didn't like him.

Suddenly, things are different. They are now friends. And teammates.

Carter and Campanelli, two 6-foot-6 high school post players, will playfor Lane Community College next season. They will get comfortable playingwith each other next weekend when they play in the State-Metro all-starhigh school series at Western Oregon University on Friday night and at ChemeketaCommunity College on Saturday.

Campanelli and Carter have signed letters of intent to play for Lanehead coach Jim Boutin.

I feel really confident playing for a coach like him (Boutin),says Carter. He's had success just about everywhere he's been, includingthe (NCAA) Division I level. Plus, he has a lot of connections with coaches,and I'm going to need that.

Carter, the Southern Oregon Conference Player of the Year who averaged19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, will play Sunday in the NorthwestShootout boys game at Portland State University.

Game time is 7:30 p.m. Carter is one of 10 players on the Oregon team.

Looking at the talent we have (on the Oregon team), I don't knowhow much I'll see the ball, says Carter. I guess I'll play defenseand be a rebounder. When they do get me the ball, I'll try to score, ifI can.

Carter, a second-team all-state selection, says he's primed and in shapeto play in three all-star games during the next two weekends.

I've been running and lifting (weights) to be in good shape andcoach (Terry) Gregg has been on me to be in good basketball shape,says Carter. I feel I'm in pretty good shape. I've lost a few poundssince the season.

Campanelli says the many hours he has spent in the Eagle Point gym inrecent years have paid off in helping him develop his game.

I didn't even start for our freshman team, but I've continued toimprove, he says. The coaches had a hard time keeping some ofus out of the gym. All of that helped me improve.

I need to get on the weights and get bigger, he says. Ineed to improve my ball-handling and passing to be a college player.

Boutin says Carter has unlimited potential as a player.

If he grows any more, he could be a real force as an inside player,says Boutin. He competes hard, and he's strong at the post.

He had one of the great state playoff games of all time last yearwhen he shot 14 for 14 (against Gresham), says Boutin. He'sthe kind of player who can establish position down low and go up strongand score.

When he gets out of Lane, I think he will have a chance to playat a high level for a four-year college team, says Boutin. He'sfrom good stock. He was coached well in high school by Terry Gregg, andit shows.

Dan Carter of North will play in all-star contests the next two weeks.