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One final shot: Showcase lets seniors suit up one last time
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday March 30
Where: Falcon Gym, River Valley High
Cost: $5 adults, $3 students, kids under 7 free
Coach: Nathan Link, Gridley
Kyle Filter, PG, Yuba City
Justin Au, SF, Yuba City
Tim Claydon, F, Yuba City
Bryce Peterson, C, Yuba City
Junior Martinez, PG, River Valley
Jessep MacFarlane, F, Gridley
Aaron Turner, PG, Woodland
Darien McLaurin, F, Consumnes Oaks
Kyle Polaris, SG, Consumnes Oaks
Coach: Mark Wright, Marysville
Terry Prince, G, Marysville
Cameron Lowe, G, Marysville
Alex Weber, C, East Nicolaus
Zack Saylors, G, Paradise
Kevin Sigrist, F, Lincoln
Colin Lee, G, Nevada Union
Blake Fisher, G, Mesa Verde
Alex Rossi, F, Mesa Verde
Tyler Long, G, Mesa Verde
Junior 3-point shooting contestants
(Starts at 6:25 p.m., finals at halftime)
Matt Hayes, Yuba City
Manik Thiara, River Valley
Jake Phillips, River Valley
Josh Samaniego-Evans, River Valley
Erick Tallman, Lindhurst
Ryker Canada, Gridley
Nathan Link will experience a rarity Tuesday night: He'll get a good night's sleep before a game.
The Gridley High boys basketball coach won't overanalyze. He won't think about implications and past results. Questions of preparedness won't fuel any pregame insomnia.
On the evening before he coaches the "home" team at the second annual Yuba-Sutter All-Star Boys Basketball Senior Showcase, he'll simply relax and rest.
"It'll be the most sleep and least stress I've had before a game," he said.
Link and his counterpart, Marysville High coach Mark Wright, will lead dueling squads on Wednesday in the showcase, which gives area seniors one last time to play in high school uniforms. Starting at 7 p.m. inside Falcon Gymnasium, the event features standouts from the Mid-Valley and regions just beyond.
The rosters are divided into "home" and "away" squads with both featuring area players. Wright will coach a pair of players (Cameron Lowe, Terry Prince) from his first season with the Indians and Link will have Bulldogs standout Jessep MacFarlane in addition to a quartet from Yuba City.
The showcase was created last year by River Valley High coach Terry Evans, whose aim was to create a game similar to the Sacramento Optimist All-Star Game, but stocked with players from this region. The coach felt that players in this area are sometimes overlooked. In addition for 2011, he's reached out and players from Elk Grove-based Cosumnes Oaks, Lincoln, Mesa Verde (Citrus Heights), Nevada Union and Paradise will be represented.
A game like this, aside from giving them a hurrah-filled sendoff, is also designed to showoff the players' skills to possible junior colleges.
"We were looking for quality players and kids who have the capability to play at the next level," Evans said.
Last year, the game was billed as a much-anticipated matchup between the Honkers' Zach Nelson and Sutter's Isaiah Bohmann, two 6-foot-7 standouts. But in addition, Pioneer's James Tillman took over the game with 27 points in a MVP-worthy, 100-81 win for the "away" team.
"I think last year was a lot of fun and a great success," Evans said. "I hope we can build on it and make it better and better."
One aspect of improving the quality of the event is the addition of a 3-point shooting competition for area junior standouts. Slated to appear is Appeal-Democrat All-Area MVP Matt Hayes (Yuba City) in addition to River Valley's Manik Thiara and Lindhurst's Erick Tallman among others.
"That's going to be a twist this year and they're plenty of great 3-point shooters in (our area)," Evans said.