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Accent Should Be on Scoring in All-Star Basketball Games


Who's better, City or Southern Section?

Once again, the intensity level should be sky high for the Battle of the Valley All-Star basketball games tonight at Cal State Northridge.

In the 5:30 girls' game, Pepperdine-bound Damaris Hinojosa of Moorpark High and Fresno State-bound Omelogo Udeze of Harvard-Westlake will lead the Southern Section against the guard-strong City Section, headed by Cara Blumfield of El Camino Real and Tashean Thomas of North Hollywood.

In the 7:30 boys' game, West Virginia-bound Kent Dennis of Cleveland is among a group of quick, athletic City Section players who will challenge the Southern Section, led by guard Devin Montgomery of Alemany and 6-foot-9 center Chris Williams of Notre Dame, who's headed to Missouri-Kansas City.

George Wrighster of Sylmar isn't shy about predicting victory for the City Section.

"We should win the game," he said. "Devin has been talking about what [the Southern Section] is going to do, but I don't think Devin will score more than 15 points."

Said Montgomery: "I don't have a response. I'll let my play speak for itself."

Several Southern Section boys' players, notably Montgomery and Bryson Atkins of Alemany, formerly played at City Section schools, adding to the game's intensity.

Last year's game was a shootout won by the City Section, 105-101, and there could be more running and gunning tonight. The Southern Section is loaded at point guard with Cayce Cook of Chaminade, Michael Goldman of Calabasas and Glenn Jones of Paraclete.

"I think it's going to be an up-tempo game, and I don't think there will be much defense until the last 10 minutes," said Southern Section Coach Dick Dornan of Crespi.

The City Section, coached by Adam Levitt and James Morris of Cleveland, has some powerful rebounders in Jeremiah Turner and Wrighster of Sylmar, Nana Gbewonyo of Kennedy and Richard Harrison of Chatsworth.

A halftime dunk competition will feature Goldman and Williams of the Southern Section against Turner and Eric Bush of Cleveland from the City.

The Southern Section girls' team is one of the strongest in the three-year history of the game. Hinojosa was The Times' Ventura County player of the year after averaging 26 points. Udeze was The Times' Valley player of the year and helped Harvard-Westlake reach the state Division III championship game. Coach Dave Munroe of Hart is directing the Southern Section.

The City Section girls, coached by Lori Chandler of El Camino Real, will try to use their speed and shooting skills to pull an upset.

Admission is $8 for stadium seats, $7 for bleacher seats and $4 for children. The Los Angeles Times Valley/Ventura County edition is co-sponsoring the event with the Valley Sports Foundation.

The games will be televised next week on local cable stations. The girls' game will be shown on TCI (Channel 15) and Time-Warner (Channel 6) Monday from 7 to 9 p.m., with the boys' game aired Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. Century (Channel 10) will air the games the same day from 5 to 7 p.m.


What: Battle of the Valley All-Star Basketball Games

Where: Cal State Northridge

When: Tonight at 5:30 for girls' game, 7:30 for boys' game

Admission: $8 for stadium seating, $7 for bleacher seating, $4 for children

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