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The stars come out in Chico
CHICO - College rules were in effect and there was no shot clock ticking, but with the running and gunning that took place in each of the two games, even a 10-second shot clock would have been out of business.
Sunday saw the playing of the 17th annual Double Pump Northern Section All-Star Game at Pleasant Valley High in Chico, and all the graduating seniors - many suiting up for competitive basketball for the last time - made sure they went out with a bang. In the matinee match-up, it was the girls from the South team, including Hamilton's Aubrey Bekendam, Orland's Laeyla Ealy, Colleen Tade from Willows and Katie Mobley from Colusa, which outlasted the North 78-55.
As competitive as these games weren't, the thrill of getting to play just one more time was more than enough to drive the players on the court.
Ealy and Mobley each helped out the South with 11 points, with Ealy also grabbing eight boards and Mobley, seven.
Ealy, who arrived late for the shoot around, was all smiles afterward. "It was fun to find out I was going to play with them. I knew most of the girls and it was fun to get to play with them this time than against them."
Mobley was able to use her size to score from close-up, and to capitalize on second-chance put-backs. "It was one of my goals at the beginning of the season to get to play in this game. It was great to have a group of girls going against a another group of girls that was so talented. This was a great experience."
Bekendam poured in seven points, which included a three-pointer, and Tade scored four.
"I just love basketball," beamed Tade after the game. "It was fun to get out there with all those talented players and to wear the uniform one last time."
The chance to play also proved lucrative for Bekendam, who was one of the recipients of a $250 scholarship.
There were quite a few dunks thrown down when the boys took the floor for warm-ups, but the game went the route of the long ball, as the North canned 19 three-pointers in their 130-101 win.
Central Valley's Carlos Mansacola was responsible for seven of them, one of which came from just outside the Durham city limits, and he finished with 26 points.
Orland's Andrew Hutchens led the tri-county contingent in scoring with 11 points, including a trey. Willows' Ryan Welsh added eight, which also included a three-ball, and Corning's Ryan Holland and Los Molinos' Sean Conrad each scored two points for the South.
The 130 points scored by the North also established a new high score for the contest.
Conrad, who also received one of the scholarships, was just happy to be there at all. "This was a huge honor, I'm the first kid from Los Molinos to play in the game for quite a few years. It was great getting to see all the talent on the floor."
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.