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City, Southern Section Teams Have Rival Ideas


NORTHRIDGE — Which is better, City Section or Southern Section basketball?

That question will be answered tonight at Cal State Northridge, when boys' and girls' teams representing the region's best of both sections meet in the Battle of the Valley high school all-star games.

The event, sponsored by the Valley Sports Foundation and The Times, has not yet developed into the high school version of the Lakers against the Celtics, but it's off to a good start.

"I don't feel [the rivalry] just yet," said Southern Section boys' Coach Jeff Young of Chaminade High. "But only because this game isn't old enough to have developed a rivalry yet."

The Valley Sports Foundation established the event last season, filling a void in a region that had all-star games for baseball, softball and football, but nothing for basketball.

"This sort of game is great for the area," said City boys' Coach Al Bennett of Birmingham. "We never had a game like this when I was coming up."

The City figures to be an underdog in both the 6 p.m. girls' game and the 8 p.m. boys' contest.

But that was also the case last season.

The Southern Section girls had to hold on for a 68-65 victory, while the Southern Section boys won, 92-89.

Both games feature intriguing subplots.

Southern Section girls' Coach Brian Taylor of Harvard-Westlake could start a backcourt of Alemany's Kelli Kobayashi and Corrie Roberts, who played for Taylor's Wolverines.

Last month, the Mission League rivals met in the Division III regional final, won by Kobayashi and Alemany.

"After four years, we're finally playing on the same team," said Roberts, who led her team to the section Division III-A title. "This is kind of cool to end it this way."

City girls' Coach Steve Brumwell of Grant will have a frontcourt that includes rivals Claudia Villa of North Hollywood and Nakeisha Perkins of Grant. North Hollywood's 51-game Valley Pac-8 Conference winning streak was ended earlier this year by Perkins and Grant.

On the City boys' team, Bennett will be reunited with former player Ellis Richardson.

Richardson transferred from Birmingham to Poly before his senior season and earned All-City honors.

He joins Fahim Hassankhail, Stanley Fletcher and Emmanuel Evans of Birmingham on the City roster.

Likewise, San Fernando's Tyrone Purnell, a transfer from Taft, will be reunited with former teammates Harold Shevlin, Amir Bar-Netzer and Brandyn Fisher.


Battle of the Valley

* What: Battle of the Valley High School All-Star Basketball Game.

* Where: Cal State Northridge, gymnasium.

* When: Tonight. Girls' game at 6 p.m., Boys' game at 8 p.m.

* Tickets: Adults $5; Children $2.

* Fast fact: This is the event's second year. Last year, the Southern Section boys defeated the City Section, 92-89, and the Southern Section girls defeated the City, 68-65.

Tonight's Rosters


Southern Section--Justin Beach (Chaminade) G; Rocky Steryo (Montclair Prep) F; Joey Cuppari (Westlake) G; Luther Staine (Newbury Park) G; Joey Riccio (Santa Paula) G; Marcus Helfman (Agoura) F; Jerrohn Jordan (Valencia) F; Scott Long (Chaminade) F; Kevin Lawrence (Moorpark) F; Bas Van Rhee (Thousand Oaks) F; Mike West (Bell-Jeff) F; Justin Stewart (Chaminade) F; Matt Moore (La Canada) C.

Coach: Jeff Young (Chaminade); Assistant: Bryan Cantwell (Chaminade)

City Section--Harold Shevlin (Taft) G; Fahim Hassankhail (Birmingham) G; Montae McFarland (Chatsworth) G; Stanley Fletcher (Birmingham) G; Keron Wilkerson (North Hollywood) F; Simmagin Smith (Cleveland) F; Amir Bar-Netzer (Taft) F; Mike Page (San Fernando) G-F; Emmanuel Evans (Birmingham) F; Brandyn Fisher (Taft) F; Ellis Richardson (Poly) F; Tyrone Purnell (San Fernando) C.

Coach: Al Bennett (Birmingham); Assistant: Rick Pirzant (Birmingham)


Southern Section--Kari Crawley (Louisville) G; Corrie Roberts (Harvard-Westlake) G; Kelli Kobayashi (Alemany) G; Jessica Sanders (Royal) G-F; Alicia Weber (Royal) G; Melissa Harrison (Hart) F; Stacy Cobb (Bell-Jeff) F-C; Kelly Warden (Valencia) G; Kameelah Purdom (Highland) F; Carissa Abbott (Harvard-Westlake) F-C; JoAnna Garrick (Burroughs) C.

Coach: Brian Taylor (Harvard-Westlake); Assistant: Michael Flot (Harvard-Westlake)

City Section--Amanda Lencioni (Fairfax) G; Lindsay Sotero-Higa (North Hollywood) G; Lanika Manning (Taft) G; Tanya Silva (Birmingham) G; Anica Arriola (San Fernando) G; Lindy Gayton (Granada Hills) G-F; Giselle Jimenez (Sylmar) F; Angela Terry (Grant) F; Jillian Lang (Granada Hills) F; Tynisha Howze (Taft) C; Claudia Villa (North Hollywood) F; Nakeisha Perkins (Grant) F.

Coach: Steve Brumwell (Grant); Assistant: Ken Mui (Grant)

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