Most Viewed Stories
Our own March Madness
Coach: Bob Jensen, Lindhurst
Anthony Boykin, River Valley
Manik Thiara, River Valley
Jarrade Davis, Lindhurst
James Trujillo, Lindhurst
Nick Brown, Yuba City
Gagan Purewal, Yuba City
Blake Lavin, Faith Christian
Kevin Mattos, Gridley
Shaye Milner, Wheatland
Riley Shill, East Nicolaus
Coach: Brian Davis, Yuba City
Matt Hayes, Yuba City
Miguel French, Lindhurst
Erick Tallman, Lindhurst
Jake Phillips, River Valley
Gurkaran Singh, River Valley
Quincy Clavelle, Marysville
Angel Rodriguez, Marysville
Elijah Smith, Sutter
Mike Fenn, Gridley
Cyrus Yerxa, Colusa
Jasnit Mahal, Live Oak
Instead of feeling the pressure and calling plays from the sideline, Yuba City High boys basketball coach Brian Davis wants to sit back and be a fan tonight at Falcon Gymnasium.
The Honkers' head man isn't concerned about the final score of tonight's Yuba-Sutter Senior Showcase presented by Mechanical Solutions, he just wants the 21 athletes participating in tonight's festivities at River Valley High to have a good time.
Davis will coach the "East" squad and Lindhurst coach Bob Jensen will guide the "West" All-Stars in tonight's third annual installment of this senior all-star game, which features the best talent in the Mid-Valley area.
"I just want to let them have fun and show off their talent," Davis said. "I'll let them run the plays they want to run and just unleash them. It will be something for all of us to enjoy."
The two squads' "East" and "West" labels are merely team names. The rosters consist of a mixture of players from several local prep programs, not divided by geographical location.
On Davis' "East" squad are his MVP Matt Hayes and Lindhurst's All-Golden Empire League forward Miguel French. Lindhurst sharpshooter Erick Tallman is also on the roster, along with Marysville's Angel Rodriguez and Quincy Clavelle.
River Valley's 3-point specialist Jake Phillips is also on the "East" squad, along with fellow Falcon Gurkaran Singh. From the Butte View League are Sutter's Elijah Smith and Gridley's Mike Fenn.
A couple of Sacramento Valley League players were selected to the squad as well with Colusa's Cyrus Yerxa and Live Oak's Jasnit Mahal, the only junior in tonight's game out of 21 participants.
To fill out the rosters for tonight's game, the top three teams in the area (Lindhurst, Yuba City and River Valley) were each awarded four spots. The other roster spots were filled through nominations by local coaches.
This is the first time in the all-star game's three-year existence where the game will feature only Mid-Valley area talent.
River Valley assistant coach Mamo Rafiq, who was head coach of the Afghanistan National Team, is putting on tonight's festivities.
Rafiq, the A-D's All-Area Player of the Year in 1999-2000 at Yuba City High, said he hopes this is a tradition that continues for years to come.
"It will be nice just seeing these kids put on the jersey one more time," Rafiq said. "They've been reading each other's names in the paper all year and now they get to play alongside and compete against each other."
On the "West" roster are River Valley's All-Tri-County Conference selections Manik Thiara and Anthony Boykin. Lindhurst's James Trujillo and Jarrade Davis will also join their head coach.
Other players include Kevin Mattos (Gridley), Blake Lavin (Faith Christian), Nick Brown (Yuba City), Gagan Purewal (Yuba City), Shaye Milner (Wheatland) and Riley Shill (East Nicolaus).
Rafiq said the talent level in tonight's game is a big reason why he was able to keep it a Mid-Valley-only contest. He also wanted to split the players up so they wouldn't be playing with their high school teammates.
"We didn't want to designate kids," Rafiq said. "What people will see is a real basketball game played on both sides."
Jensen coached in the Sacramento Optimist All-Star Game when he was at Mesa Verde and said he had a few practices to work with the players before the game.
He won't have that luxury tonight as he will be meeting most of his team for the first time at the team's shootaround.
That, coupled with two of his players being on the other side, make this game interesting for the veteran coach.
"It's going to be a little different that's for sure," Jensen said. "It also makes it a little more fun."
Preceding the all-star game, which begins at 7 p.m., is a 3-point shootout.
The shootout will feature 12 of the Mid-Valley's top shooters from various programs. The players are split into a bracket where they will face off for a chance at the title.
Last year's winner, R.V.'s Phillips, is the No. 1 overall seed. Hayes, who led the Sac-Joaquin Section with 95 3-pointers, is the No. 2 seed, followed by Thiara at 3 and Lavin at 4.
The five through 12 seeds are Mahal, Yuba City's Gurpreet Singh, Tallman, Mattos, Lindhurst's Devin Ward, Purewal, Faith Christian's Micah Atkins and Lindhurst's Cedrick Thomas.
An AAU game featuring St. Isidore Catholic School against the Yuba City Roadrunners kicks off the festivities at 5:30 p.m.
CONTACT Jimmy Graben at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4791. Find him on Facebook at advarsitysports or on Twitter at @ADjgraben