An all-star game, particularly a high school basketball all-star game, is played on a different level from a regular season game. Not a higher or lower level, just different.
The Ventura County high school boys basketball all-star game was no exception. It showcased 20 of the best high school seniors in the Ventura area in a game at Ventura High.
But what makes this type of game so different is that these boys are playing basketball months after their seasons ended, weeks after some of their baseball seasons ended and a week after they have graduated. So, technically, they're not seniors, and, since they won't go back to school until September, they're not college freshman.
The South beat the North, 85-78, Friday night in the limbo all-star game. And, as it has for the past 10 years, the game featured outstanding talent. But unlike a regular season game, you had to look closely to see it.
The South team, for example, practiced only six times before the game. Even then, not all the players were able to make it to practice. South Coach Ed Chevalier thought his team was the underdog before the game. He was surprised to see that his squad had an 11-point lead after the first quarter and a 19-point lead at the half.
Although the "team" concept never really made it to the gym, the individual efforts, the very things that got the players into the game, were in evidence.
For the South, there was Calabasas' Jon Perlstein, who drove the lane and scored despite giving up two inches to both opposing centers. Perlstein, who plans to walk-on to the Nebraska football team next season, looked impressive--as a football player. He can also shoot a basketball--he averaged 18.6 points a game last season--which makes him especially impressive.
There was Mitch Parrott, Ventura County's player of the year, who drove the lane, threw up a prayer, scored and then ran the length of the court and block a shot.
There was Agoura's Donnie Rea, who only last week competed in the Bernie Milligan baseball all-star game. For Rea, unlike most of the members of the all-star teams, it was probably his last organized basketball game. He plans to play baseball at USC next season.
Parrott scored 15 points to lead the South and teammate Tom Neumayr, of Thousand Oaks, had 12. Perlstein had 10. For the North, Temple Christian's Mark Bauer had 15 points and Rio Mesa's Garett Worden had 12.
Rio Mesa's Jerry Dawson, a 6-8 center who averaged 13.8 points a game last season, led all scorers with 20 points.