There's still one more high school basketball game to be played in Northern Nevada. It won't count on anybody's record and it won't win anybody a championship. And that's the point.
"It should be a good time," said Douglas coach Werner Christen, who will coach the East team in the 2nd annual Optimist Northern Nevada girls all-star basketball game today at 5 p.m. at Churchill County High in Fallon. "But my players are dropping like flies."
The East team has only eight players but Christen can only play five at one time. And he shouldn't have any trouble finding five good ones. Andrea Honer, who is going to Texas Christian University as an invited walk-on, and Amber Gwinn, who will play for Lassen Community College, will be Douglas' two representatives. Both players played vital roles in the Tigers' state title run, which ended with a double overtime loss to undefeated Centennial of Las Vegas in the championship game.
Carson High's Erin Stieber, a first-team all league selection, would've also played, but she tore her anterior cruciate ligament during the Comstock Shootout soccer tournament in April. Stieber, who led the Senators' basketball team to the state semifinals, was also one of the Northern 4A's best soccer players.
Other players on the East squad are two all High Desert League performers in Elko's Stephanie Herr and Sparks' Cat Corl. Wooster's Cindy Elkins is the other Northern 4A player. Yerington's Brandee Smith, a first-team all state selection and one of the region's best players regardless of classification, will lead three Northern 3A players. Lowry's Miranda Hislop, who helped the Buckaroos win the 3A state championship, and Spring Creek's Cassie Wyllie are the other two.
The boys game starts at 7 with Carson High's Bruce Barnes, who led the Senators to the Sierra League championship, as coach of the East team. Hug's Brian Voyles, who led the Hawks to the Northern 4A championship, will coach the West team.
On paper, the East team should have the upper hand. Carson's senior trio of Vince Inglima, Ryan Buttner and Adam McKenzie will play and so will Douglas' Will Thomas and Erik Olson. The East team also has two dominant inside players in Elko's Matt Alleman and Wooster's J.J. Milan, who will play for the University of Nevada football team. Sparks' Brian Traversie can light it up from outside and Lowry's Nate Green, who helped the Buckaroos to the 3A State Championship, gives Barnes another quality player.
The West team is led by McQueen's J.J. Myatt and Jeff Rowe. The Hawks' Martin Trovela, pound-for-pound probably the best player in the Northern 4A the past two seasons, and Galena's Joe Heaton provide a formidable backcourt. Reno High sharpshooter Mike Holmes, the Huskies' lone senior this past season, will also play.
In last year's inaugural game, the West boys won 81-66 and the West girls won 64-50.