For Keith Donahue of Moorpark High, the Ventura County Coaches' Assn. North-South all-star boys' basketball game tonight is a second chance at a happy ending to his high school career.
"I'm extremely excited to play this game," Donahue said. "Our season ended on kind of a bitter note, and I'm glad to have a chance to play another high school game."
His last one has been reduced to a bad memory, one Donahue would like to erase.
With Moorpark trailing by a basket in a Southern Section Division II-A second-round playoff game in February, Donahue missed two free throws with one second to play and the Musketeers fell, 69-67.
Donahue is looking for a fun time tonight.
"I expect it to be a true all-star game, real wide open," Donahue said.
Donahue, a 6-foot-2 point guard who averaged 18.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists, will be joined on the South squad by Moorpark teammates Kevin Lawrence and Byron Burnett, and Coach Tim Bednar.
Besides the chance for redemption, Donahue relishes the opportunity to team again with friend Lawrence, who averaged 23.5 points and 12.6 rebounds.
"I loved playing with Kevin," Donahue said. "We had a lot of practices and games together, and after our sophomore season, we really started blending together."
Said Lawrence, a 6-5 forward: "We've always kind of hung out together, and just from all the games in the park and at school, we got to know each other like nobody else.
"It was always Kevin and Keith, Keith and Kevin. I can't tell you how many times I've been called Keith and he's been called Kevin."
Donahue plans to walk on next season at Division II Cal State Chico.