South Tahoe, Whittell players showcase talent at Local Sports Program Senior All-Star boys b-ball game
RENO, Nev. — South Shore basketball had a strong presence on the hardwood at the Local Sports Program Senior All-Star boys basketball game last Thursday, May 26. The White team rolled to a 124-102 win over the Blue team in the exhibition at Wooster High that featured top players from Northern Nevada.
“That was the most fun I’ve had in a long time,” said Whittell senior Palmer Chaplin, who finished with 12 points for the Blue team. “When we all get to play against one another, it just shows how much basketball is growing in Northern Nevada.”
Five South Shore players appeared in the contest — South Tahoe’s Denzel Perez and Blake Blocker along with Whittell’s Chaplin, Colin Buchholz and Quinn Kixmiller. And on the sidelines, Vikings head coach Joby Cefalu coached the White team while Warriors head coach Phil Bryant headed up the Blue team.
“It’s cool being out there one last time and representing a little bit,” said Blocker, who finished with 14 points for the White team. “It was a blast.”
Support Local Journalism
Plenty of talent was on display at Wooster, but the biggest attraction was big man Octavian Corley from McQueen (Reno). The 6-foot-10-inch Corley scored a game-high 25 points to lead the White team to victory, including an array of dunks, drives and outside shots.
“It’s always a pleasure getting to play with these guys — whether it’s AAU or just getting together for something like this,” Corley said. “All these guys are great guys.”
Corley will play at Casper College next season, a junior college in Casper, Wyoming. He starred for the Lancers as a senior after transferring from North Valleys (Reno, Nev.), and displayed a combination of size and agility in the all-star game.
“It’s nice getting some fast breaks — guys don’t really want to stop your runs,” Corley said. “That’s where it gets fun, showing off a little bit of what you can do and seeing what other guys do.”
Thursday’s game got off to a back-and-forth start, and Chaplin hit a 3-pointer followed by a fast break layup for the Blue team to make it 41-41 with 6:31 left in the first half. The White team answered with seven straight points — including five from Corley — to take a lead it wouldn’t surrender.
“We were definitely here to win and say we got these guys,” Corley said.
The White team closed the first half on a 10-2 run to take a 65-53 lead into halftime. Corley then scored three baskets in the first 1:09 of the second half — including a pair of alley-oop dunks — to give the White squad a commanding advantage.
“Getting inside was key and we were shooting a high percentage,” said Perez, who scored nine points for the White team.
The Blue team couldn’t get closer than 18 points for the rest of the second half, which included a stretch where Perez and Blocker combined for three 3-pointers as part of an 11-4 run for the White team. In the closing seconds, Blue team’s Cameron Criss of Damonte Ranch (Reno) punctuated the contest with a dunk.
“The talent out here is underrated,” said Chaplin, who will play at Cal Lutheran next season. “There are a lot of players that are going to play somewhere and a lot of players that were all-league.”
Chaplin’s 14 points led the Warriors’ all-star contingent Thursday. Buchholz scored six and Kixmiller added two — on a transition layup under an outstretched Corley.
“To come out and show them that just because we come from a small school doesn’t mean we’re small players — to do big things on the court — was really awesome,” Chaplin said.
For the White team, Reno’s Karn Goraya scored 20 points — including five 3-pointers — and teammate Mike Heydon added 14 to finish in double figures along with Corley. Zach Williams of Galena (Reno) led the Blue team with 20 points, Brett Cooper from Damonte Ranch had 13 and Sam Hammond of Yerington (Nev.) added 11.
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.