VAN NUYS — A standing-room-only crowd packed the Valley College gym Saturday night hoping to get an answer to the perpetual question: Who's better in basketball, the Southern Section or the City Section?
The estimated crowd of 1,050 was treated to a barrage of flashy passes, outstanding shots and dunks. Though a disc jockey spinning hip-hop music throughout the game made it difficult to hear the cheers, at least the fans' question was answered by the Southern Section's 92-89 victory in the Battle of the Valley all-star game.
Antelope Valley High senior Le'Tre Kelly, who had 15 points and was named the game's most valuable player, made a 15-foot, turnaround jump shot with 25 second to play to give the Southern Section team a 91-89 lead.
Kelly was fouled so hard on the play that the 6-foot-6, 260-pound center crashed to the floor, but the shot still went in.
"Concentration," Kelly said. "I'm a clutch player."
After Ziare Williams, Kelly's Antelope Valley teammate, made a free throw to put the Southern Section ahead, 92-89, the City Section had a chance to tie but Kennedy's Mike Calloway missed a three-point shot as time expired.
"I'm glad it was close," Southern Section Coach Bob Chevalier of L.A. Baptist said. "That's what this is about, having fun and letting the players show what they can do."
But it wasn't close for the entire game.
The Southern Section, led by Kelly's nine points, took a 46-23 lead midway through the first half.
But the City Section fought back behind three-point baskets by Mike Calloway (12 points) of Kennedy and Carloes Harper (14 points) of Canoga Park and tenacious defense by Cleveland's Donald Holt (15 points), who had five blocked shots in the first half, four on the same possession.