Laguna duo reunites for All-Star basketball game

Jake Dalke and Cole Kesler will step onto the court one final time Saturday as high school teammates.

The two seniors, key players in the Laguna Beach boys' basketball program, are among 15 players who make up the South roster for the 2013 Orange Coast Optimist Orange County North/South High School Basketball Games.

The All-Star games, for senior players, will be played for the 48th time. The girls' game starts at 5 p.m., followed by the boys' game at 7 p.m., both at Concordia University in Irvine.

"I think it's really well-deserving for both of them to have the honor of playing in this game," Laguna Beach boys' basketball Coach Bret Fleming said. "Both Jake and Cole had great, four-year careers at Laguna and this is a great way for both of them to cap their careers."

Dalke averaged 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and four assists per game, and was named to the first team on the 2013 All-Orange Coast League team. He was the league's Co-MVP a year ago with Kesler, and has been an all-league first-team pick each year in his four-year varsity career.

Kesler was this year's league MVP. He averaged 13.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, four assists and two steals per game, and made 52 three-point shots. A three-year all-league player, last month he was named to the 2013 All CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA Basketball Team.

Kesler this year led Laguna in scoring, assists and steals, and he and Dalke helped lead the Breakers to another undefeated league championship, a trip to the second round of the Division 4AA playoffs, and an overall record of 22-7.

Dalke and Kesler, along with their families, and Fleming, attended the All-Star banquet Wednesday in Westminster. Tustin's Ringo Bossenmeyer (boys), and Westminster's Dick Katz (girls), were named Orange County Coaches of the Year.

"I think Jake is kind of multi-dimensional and brings a lot to the [South] team," Fleming said. "He's athletic, mixes its up on the boards and likes to pass and get other people involved on offense. Cole is solid, and can run the point real well. I think both are great fits for the South."

Rich Boyce, who completed his 13th year as head coach at Edison in February, leads the South.

Boyce took a young Edison team to the CIF Southern Section Division 1A playoffs this year. The Chargers tied for second place in the Sunset League, were ranked No. 13 heading into postseason play, and won a first-round playoff game before being eliminated in the second round by fourth-ranked Crescenta Valley.

"It is quite an honor, considering all the great coaching talent in Orange County," Boyce said of his selection as head coach of the South.

His North counterpart is Nate Harrison of Canyon/Anaheim. Among the key players on the North team is Deondre Bryant and Nick Hornsby, who helped lead Tustin to the CIF Southern Section Division 3AAA championship. The two went on to be named the division's players of the year.

"They are quick and very well-coached," Boyce said of the North. "Should be a fun game."

Boyce's talented squad, which held its final practice on Thursday, boasts 11 All-CIF players.

"We have lots of height and good shooting, so we will shoot and go get it, and shoot again," he said. "They are all very nice kids and great players. Their high school coaches did a great job with them both as players and people."

Kesler is nursing a swollen ankle but says he'll be ready to play. He said he sprained his ankle during a pick-up basketball game at Main Beach two weeks ago.

He did participate at both South practices this week.

"I won't be 100%, but I will be able to be wrapped up, move around, and play," he said. "I'm really looking forward to playing in this game. It will be good to see the moves these guys have, to learn some things, and to play with and against some of the best players in the county."

During the 2012-13 season, Dalke, Kesler and the Breakers took on teams that included South players Cory Blau (Dana Hills), Blake Grable (Corona del Mar) and Tanner Lancona (Tesoro), and North player Keith Davis (Savanna). Laguna won three of those four games.

Boyce has a big force in the middle in 7-foot-5 center Mamadou Ndiaye of Brethren Christian. The UC Irvine-bound center was MVP of the Academy League and, along with Tyler Coppin-Carter of Buckley, took player of the year honors in CIF Southern Section Division 5AA.

"It's great to have Mamadou on the team," Kesler said. "I'm not sure how they can defend him — we haven't been able to."

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

Boys' All-Star Game

South Roster

Head Coach: Rich Boyce (Edison)

Players: Jake Dalke, Laguna Beach (6-3, G); Cole Kesler, Laguna Beach (6-2, G); Josh Armstrong, Fountain Valley (6-3, G); Jackson Gatlin, Fountain Valley (6-7, C); Harley Ruder, Huntington Beach (6-5, C/F); Mamadou Ndiaye, Brethren Christian (7-5, C); Myron Aiava, Westminster (6-5, C/F); Cory Blau, Dana Hills (6-4, G/F); Blake Grable, Corona del Mar (6-3, G/SF); Tanner Lacona, Tesoro (6-9, G/F); Scott Lynds, Aliso Niguel (5-11, PG); Craig Magyar, Trabuco Hills (6-5, SF/F); Paul Pena, Westminster (6-2, G/) Nick Worrell, Saddleback Valley Christian (6-4, F/C); Evan Zeller, Mission Viejo (6-3, PG/G).

North Roster

Head Coach: Nate Harrison (Canyon/Anaheim)

Players: JoJo Ballestero, Canyon/Anaheim (5-10, PG/G); Payton Banks, Orange Lutheran (6-6, SF/G); Deondre Bryant, Tustin (6-6, C/F); Cory Bush, Anaheim (6-3, F/C); Justin Davis, Foothill (5-11, PG); Keith Davis, Savanna (6-2, PG/G); Jimmy Golden, Sonora (6-5, G/F); Jalen Hall, Cypress (6-1, PG); Nick Hornsby, Tustin (6-6, PG/G/SF); Devin Manning, Troy (6-2, PG/G): Raymond Rembert, Los Amigos (6-1, SF); Alex Robertson, Santiago (6-0, PG/G); Travis Ryal, Sonora (6-3, F/C); Eric Torres, Servite (5-10, PG/G); Adam Tafoya, Katella.

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