The premier attraction is missing, but the 20th edition of the Orange County All-Star basketball game at 8 tonight in Orange Coast College's Peterson Gym figures to be a very close game.
Mater Dei center Tom Lewis, The Times' Player of the Year for the past two years, will not play after injuring his ankle in a pickup game a month ago. Lewis scored 2,456 points in the last three seasons during which the Monarchs posted an 86-5 record.
But Mater Dei Coach Gary McKnight, who will coach the North, will still be able to count on two standouts from his Southern Section 5-A division championship team that went 29-0 in 1984-85. Mike Mitchell (6-6) and Mike Kelly (6-5) will start at forward for the North, which has been established as a two-point favorite by area sportswriters.
"We're missing a player that averaged 32 points a game, but it also gives a chance for some other players to shine," McKnight said.
The South squad, which leads the series, 12-7, will counter with a three-guard offense. The South will be coached by Newport Harbor's Jerry DeBusk, who was selected as The Times' Coach of the Year after leading the Sailors to a 24-4 record.
DeBusk has been juggling his lineup for two weeks after Westminster's Eric Schurman (ankle), Costa Mesa's Matt Judd (back) and Newport Harbor's Alan Fraser (groin) suffered injuries.
"We haven't been able to practice with 10 guys yet," DeBusk said. "We lost two players (Mike Labat of Ocean View and Scott Shockey of El Toro) right off the bat. I still don't know if Alan Fraser will be able to play. We're hurting."
The South has a quicker team but the North will have a decided height advantage and is more physical inside.
Both boys and girls all-star games will feature 20-minute halves with a 30-second shot clock.
All-Star Lineup North
POS. NAME SCHOOL HT. AVG. F Mike Mitchell Mater Dei 6-6 14.6 F Mike Kelly Mater Dei 6-5 6.0 C Matt Honikel Servite 6-4 19.7 G Jim Mansfield El Dorado 6-1 13.6 G Tim Pittman Savanna 6-0 20.9
POS. NAME SCHOOL HT. AVG. F B. McSweeney Dana Hills 6-7 20.8 F Adam Lockwood Estancia 6-0 13.5 C Brent Martin Fnt. Valley 6-7 13.5 G Chuck McGavran Newport 6-1 16.2 G Tom Desiano M.V. 6-0 11.0