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Orange County All-Star high school basketball games canceled due to coronavirus

Fountain Valley’s Kat Luu, right, dribbles the ball against Edison’s Noelle Duffey in a Sunset Conference crossover game.
Fountain Valley’s Kat Luu, right, dribbles the ball up the court against Edison’s Noelle Duffey in a Sunset Conference crossover game on Jan. 2.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The Orange County North-South All-Star high school basketball games will not happen this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, event organizer Jesse James said.

James said that the decision was made last week amid renewed restrictions from the state that have followed a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

“There’s just no way that it looked from here that the governor is going to allow a large group of people to be in one place at one time,” James said. “We’ve waited all this time in hopes that [the games could be played], but … things have deteriorated as opposed to have gotten better for our state.”

The games were originally scheduled to be played on May 9 at Cypress College.

Rosters for the showcase, sponsored by the Orange Coast Optimist Club, were released just ahead of a total sports shutdown in March. Local representatives in the boys’ game included Ethan Barnella (Marina), Judah Brown (Pacifica Christian), Jake Covey (Estancia), Brian Pacheco (Los Amigos) and Jack Stone (Corona del Mar).

James said that the players who were picked to compete as All-Stars would all be mailed medals in recognition of their accomplishment, and the coaches who were to lead the All-Star teams this year will have the honor of doing so next year.

Estancia coach Xavier Castellano was picked to head the South roster. Yorba Linda coach Jason Pietsch will be his counterpart for the North roster in the boys’ game.

In the girls’ senior showcase game, the locals selected to compete for the South roster were Taylor Fullbright (Edison), Greta Graeler (Marina), Kat Luu (Fountain Valley) and Marisa Tanga (Huntington Beach).

Coaches for the girls’ game were Anaheim’s Vince Gomez for the North and San Clemente’s Kerri Husbands for the South.

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