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IVL to tangle with DVL tonight

May 30, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

For years Imperial Valley high school boys basketball players teamed to take on a team from the Coachella Valley in an annual north/south senior basketball game.

That tradition has died down in recent years as scheduling conflicts have forced the teams to put the game on a bit of a hiatus.

The two sides will renew the annual event at 6 tonight at Brawley Union High School, only this time with a bit of a twist. Yes, the teams will suit up in the north/south all-star game, but this time it will be the girls turn to represent their areas.

Players from Brawley Union, Calexico, Holtville, Imperial and Southwest high schools will team to battle an all-star squad with players from Coachella, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert and Palm Springs high schools. Admission to the game is free.

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Coaching the south/Imperial Valley squad will be Calexico High coach Jamie Chew, who led her team to a share of the Imperial Valley League championship this year.

"I think having this game gives these girls the opportunity to receive the recognition they deserve for the hard work they put in this year," said Chew. "For some of them, it might be their last opportunity to play in a basketball game like this."

The Imperial Valley players are Marquita Travis of Brawley, Mayra Carboni, Christina Ramirez and Melissa Williams of Calexico, Christina Ruiz of Holtville, Melissa Garcia of Imperial and Dora Nava-Esparza and Trisha Sanchez of Southwest.

"I'm really excited to get to play again. I haven't played basketball since the season ended so I'm really looking forward to this," said Sanchez. "It's really exciting to play with these girls who have always been your rivals but who are now your teammates."

Added Ramirez: "I think having this all-star game is a good idea. I mean, for some players it could be their last game. It also gives you a chance to play with different players and meet new people."

What may be working against the Imperial Valley is preparation time. The team has only practiced twice — Monday and Tuesday — and not all players have shown up to both practices. Those are concerns for Chew.

But knowing that some players were out of town for Memorial Day and some had spring sports banquets, Chew worked with what she had and thinks her team will be ready for the game.

"Yes, those things were a problem, but those are things we worked around. I mean, we had one girl who missed both days of practice, but she's still going to play in the game," said Chew. "But we're still going to go out and be competitive. Yes, this game is supposed to be for fun, but we're going to be competitive and try to win it."

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