The opportunity to play center for the South in the Ventura County girls' all-star basketball game is more than just an honor for Barbara Tanner of Thousand Oaks High. It is a chance to erase an old debt.
Tanner and her Lancer teammates lost to Buena, 44-30, in the Southern Section 4-A Division quarterfinals last season. Thousand Oaks was 12 for 51 from the field and Tanner scored just nine points. The loss ended the Lancers' 18-game winning streak.
Buena's Mary Klemm, Stephanie Rainwater, Gia Giordano and Jennifer Baldwin will play for the North. Rainwater scored 17 points against Thousand Oaks.
"I want to kill the North team," Tanner said, only half in jest.
Asked if she wasn't supposed to have just a little fun, Tanner responded, "Yeah, I guess that's what it's all about."
Still, Tanner and teammates Cindy Wiley and Lina Mascarenas, who also will play for the South, can't help but think back to the Buena beating.
"We had the best defense we played all year," Tanner said, "but our offense just didn't come together.
"That's the way we feel. We all want to play the best we can."
Cain can't: Hueneme forward Simone Cain was going to play in the all-star game but backed out because of a busy track and field schedule.
Cain, who said she would sign a letter of intent with UNLV this week, placed second in the 200-meter and third in the 100-meter dashes at the state track meet three weeks ago at Cerritos College. She has qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 200. The trials are scheduled for July 15-23 at Indianapolis.
She will compete this weekend in The Athletics Congress Junior National track championships in Tallahassee, Fla.
The top two finishers in each event qualify for the World Junior track championships in Sudbury, Canada, on July 26-31.
"I really wanted to play," Cain said of the all-star game, "but my dad was afraid I'd sprain an ankle or something.
"I want to go to the Olympics, so basketball is out for now."
No time: A harried schedule that includes the L. A. Games and a summer basketball camp has led to many long days for Buena's Joe Vaughan, coach of the North team.
For his all-stars, Vaughan has scheduled several practices to run from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Lonely on the bench: Only five girls from the South and six from the North have attended their respective practices this week, sending their coaches scrambling for players.
The South is trying to persuade Newbury Park player Kristi Gellenbeck, who averaged 12.2 points a game, to put off vacation plans in order to join the team.
Vaughan already has added Rio Mesa's Mary Bittner to a roster that in addition to Klemm, Rainwater and Baldwin includes St. Bonaventure's Colleen Babby, Ventura's Michelle DiGuilio, Nordhoff's Lisa Turner and Hueneme's Nikki Brooks.
South boys: Don MacLean and Butch Hawking, who played for Simi Valley's Southern Section 4-A championship team, headline the South roster in the boys' game.
MacLean, the Pioneers' 6-10 All-American center, averaged 31.5 points and 12.3 rebounds a game, both tops in the county.
Hawking was second in the county in assists with 8.5 a game and averaged 12.4 points. Hawking, who is headed for the Air Force Academy, made 83 three-point shots.
Also on the South, which is coached by Agoura's Kevin Pasky, are Thousand Oaks' Kevin Martin (20.7 ppg), Calabasas' Jon Drezner (24.3 ppg, 10 rpg), Mike Armstrong (9.8 ppg) and Dave Corridori (15.3 ppg, 9 rpg) of Agoura and Kevin Logan (16.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg), Bill Fassl (11.9 ppg, 6.3 ppg) and Nathan Heyman (3 ppg) of Westlake.