You thought the high school basketball season was over, did you?
Tell that to sixty of the top boys and girls basketball players along the Interstate 82 corridor who will do battle in Sundays annual Media Classic at Yakima Valley College.
The girls game will be played at 2 p.m., followed by the boys game at 4 p.m. Admission to the event is $5, and children 5 and under are free.
The games will feature eight league MVPs and 18 first-team all-league selections, including Nathan Streufert of Richland and Nikhil Lizotte of Davis, both of whom have taken the floor in the Class 4A state championship game.
Streufert averaged 18.3 points, 13.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists a game as the Mid-Columbia Conference MVP this season in leading Richland to a 25-1 record their only loss coming to Garfield in the Class 4A state championship.
Lizotte, the only freshman starter on Davis Class 4A state championship team two years ago, led the Pirates to the CBBN championship this season on the way to earning CBBN player of the year honors.
Delaney Hodgins, the MCC girls MVP, led Chiawana to its fifth consecutive district title and Brady Widner, the SCAC West MVP, led the Zillah boys to the first state championship in program history.
All will be on hand in the 21st edition of the Media Classic, which began back in 1994 as the brainchild of then-Yakima Herald sports editor Jim Scoggins and his Tri-City Herald counterpart Jim Riley.
Both Tri-Cities teams won their games that first year.
From 2000-03, the series was expanded with a small-school game and a big-school game. And for the last 10 years, it's back to one boys and one girls game.
Columbia Basin College coaches Rolando Garcia and Cheryl Holden will lead the Tri-City teams, while Yakima Valley coaches Ray Funk (men) and Greg Oldham (women) will guide the Yakima teams.
Its an honor they dont take lightly.
I like the fact that we have this all-star game to have the local players from Tri-Cities compete against the student athletes from Yakima, said Garcia, who led CBC to its first NWAACC tournament appearance since 2007 this season. The only problem is figuring out how Im going to juggle 15 guys and try to get them equal playing time.
Holden led the Hawks to their fourth NWAACC womens title since 2005. Shes done it in large part with stiff defense, but she doesnt expect to see much of that Sunday.
Usually, no ones too shy about shooting. It just depends on who has the hot hand, Holden said. Its fun to just see them play and see their skill level year-to-year. Even the repeats, to see how much theyve improved.
The Yakima boys lead the overall series 19-5. The Tri-City girls lead the overall series 16-8, including a six-game winning streak.
Steven Beo, Richland; Terran Brown, River View; Jacob Devries, Richland; Daniel Getchell, Southridge; Wesley Henderson, Chiawana; Eric Klicker, Walla Walla; Victor Koval, Chiawana; Ross Lake, Walla Walla; Mitchel Mueller, Kennewick; Gabe Porter, Walla Walla; Payton Radliff, Richland; Chris Ryckman, Columbia-Burbank; Nathan Streufert, Richland; Kendall Watson, Hanford; Aaric Wren, Chiawana.
Austin Backes, Eisenhower; Gus Bonny, La Salle ; Justin Dunsmore, Zillah; Isaiah Gonzales, Grandview; Isaiah Harris, East Valley; Randy Isadore, Toppenish; Max Jones, Davis; Junior Ledgard, Ellensburg; Nikhil Lizotte, Davis; Nick Navarro, Davis sophomore; Isaiah Ruiz, Grandview; Jace Van De Brake, West Valley; Christian Vela, Wapato; Cameron Walker, Naches Valley; Brady Widner, Zillah.
Bailey Cartwright, Chiawana; Kennedy Corrigan, Richland; Madi Doepker, Walla Walla; Holly Ellison, Kamiakin; Colette Gall, Hanford; Braydey Hodgins, Chiawana; Delaney Hodgins, Chiawana; Kate Ferenz, Walla Walla; Mikayla Ferenz, Walla Walla; Julie Mosqueda, Columbia-Burbank; Sierra Perez, Pasco; Shyler Sullivan, Southridge; Sira Toure, Kamiakin; Hailey Turner, Richland; Kendra Winchester, Chiawana
Vanessa Alvarez, Sunnyside; Deanna Avalos, La Salle; Tara Bremer, Toppenish; Marissa Caballero, Grandview; Lexi Carpenter, East Valley; Alexis Gratton, Davis; Ashley Gray, West Valley; Gese Gruber, Ellensburg; Cayla Jones, White Swan; Alyssa Nash, Mabton; Alexa Orcutt, Ellensburg; Alexis Perez, Davis; Jordan Rodriguez, Sunnyside; Zara Rodriguez, Eisenhower; Monica Villegas, Zillah.