When Bryan Camacho’s Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ basketball team
was eliminated from the state playoffs in March, the coach probably
figured he was done coaching for the season.
However, a few weeks ago, Camacho was contacted and asked if he
would like to coach one more contest.
Camacho jumped at the chance.
Saturday, Camacho will coach an East team that includes a group of
local seniors in the Battle of the Valley All-Star game at Cal State
Sponsored by the Valley Sports Foundation, a 5 p.m. girls’ game
will be followed by a boys’ contest at 7.
“This is just a great opportunity to coach some very talented
players,” said Camacho, who is also Bell-Jeff’s athletic director. “I
was so happy when they called me and asked me if I would be
interested in coaching.
“I know it’s also great for the girls and they appreciate the
chance to play against some great athletes.”
Camacho worked his coaching magic during the 2002-2003 season,
leading the Guards to the CIF Southern Section championship game for
the first time since 1997. In the Southern Section Division IVA title
game at the Long Beach Pyramid, Bell-Jeff fell to Westlake Village
Oaks Christian, 53-44.
Under Camacho, the Guards compiled a 23-6 record and finished
second in the Sunshine League behind champion L.A. Marlborough, which
won a Division IV title.
He will be leading his troops against a West team coached by West
Hills Chaminade’s Kelli DiMuro.
Joining Camacho on the East team will be Bell-Jeff ‘s Jennae
Peoples. Peoples -- the Sunshine League Player of the Year and
first-team all All-CIF honoree -- averaged 18.1 points, 9.3 rebounds,
7.2 assists and 4.1 steals a game.
Although no Bell-Jeff teammates will be joining Peoples in the
all-star game, she will get the opportunity to play alongside a good
Burbank’s Christine Kepenekian -- one of the state’s leading
scorers -- will get a chance to shine in her final high-school game.
Peoples and Kepenekian are not only close, but despite being from
different schools, they play a lot of basketball together.
“Yea, we’re pretty good friends,” Peoples said. “We play a lot of
pickup basketball games together at McCambridge Park.”
Said Camacho: “It will be nice to see the two of them on the same
Kepenekian was a dominant force for the Bulldgs this season. A
first-team All-Foothill League selection, Kepenekian averaged double
figures in points in all but one of Burbank’s 27 games. Along with
averaging 24.1 points and 13.5 rebounds, she also had five assists
and four steals a game, scored 64 three-pointers and had a scoring
high of 40 points against Van Nuys Montclair Prep.
The other local on the team is Burroughs’ Fabiola Zavala, a
The East team also features Leader All-Area first-team player Kim
Gilmour of La Canada.
In the boys’ game, the lone local representative is Peter St.
Hubert of Burroughs.
Along with averaging 19.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a
game, St. Hubert also shot 53.8% from the field. He helped Burroughs
to an amazing run in the Division IIA playoffs, eventually falling in
the quarterfinals to No. 2-seeded Lakewood Mayfair, 77-61.
St. Hubert will compete for an East squad coached by Terry Kelly
of North Hollywood Campbell Hall. The team also includes All-Area
first-team players Billy Hofman of La Canada and Crescenta Valley’s
The boys’ West team is coached by Reseda Cleveland’s Andre