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Forte represents Lakers in Fallon Optimist Classic

Steve Ranson/Sun News ServiceNorth Tahoe High senior Michael Forte battles with Fallon's Charlie Lockwood during the Fallon Optimist All-Star Basketball Classic on Tuesday.
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FALLON ” Dazzling the crowd is what an all-star basketball game should be about.

Just ask North Valley’s Archie Kovich, who was robbed after hitting an awkward half-court shot just after the third period horn sounded.

“It was definitely fun having athletes with the same talent as you,” Kovich said. “It just felt good. The crowd got into it, and it sparked our team.”



Kovich’s uncounted 3-pointer energized his teammates to a 31-22 fourth quarter run as the Blue team came back to nip the Silver, 84-81, Tuesday night in the seventh annual Fallon Optimist All-Star Basketball Classic at Churchill County High School’s Elmo Dericco Gym.

North Tahoe High senior Michael Forte, a 6-foot-3-inch post player who plans to walk on at Sonoma State in the fall, was the only player from the Tahoe area. Forte chipped in seven points for the Silver squad in a game that featured mostly Northern 4A all-stars.



Representing the Northern 3A were Dayton’s Travis Wood, Jacob Jones and Erik Hopper, Spring Creek’s Mikey Adams and Tony Gill and Yerington’s Garey Smith, all of whom played for the Blue team.

“It’s fun for the kids and hopefully fun for the fans. That’s what it’s all about,” Blue coach Rob Streeter (Douglas) said of the game. “I love this. This is why I do what I do. It’s great for the kids to be recognized for their hard work for four years of high school.”

Streeter, who coached the all-star game for the second time, was pleased to get back onto the court, especially with a talented group of athletes.

“You let the kids be kids. It’s fun to work with a great group of kids,” he said.

Hug’s Armon Johnson led both teams with a dazzling 32 points and will play for the Nevada Wolf Pack next fall. Reed’s Alex McKenzie led the Blue with 18 points, including four 3-pointers.

“It was fun to see everybody. There was a lot of talent out here,” Johnson said. “I’m excited about UNR and talking to the coach (Mark Fox) about it.”

Johnson’s high school coach, Brian Voyles, guided the Silver team and said the game was a good opportunity for the seniors to don their uniforms one final time.

“This is a good group of kids. It was a nice, close game for an all-star game,” Voyles said. “It was nice to see all my kids one more time. All the kids looked good.”

McKenzie’s block with 57 seconds left in the game prevented the Silver from tying the game with the Blue ahead, 77-75. McKenzie, though, nailed his fourth 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to put his team up by five.

“He totally stepped up. He put a dagger in that team,” Kovich said of McKenzie. “He single-handedly did that. It takes a lot of guts to pull through.”

Larry Smith scored 13 points for the Silver, James Blackford had 11 and Dominic Anxo added nine. Smith and Blackford played for Hug, while Anxo played for Manogue.

Mike Gransberry (Douglas) finished with 12 points, Kovich added 11 and Craig Davidson (North Valleys) had nine.

“It felt good. I enjoy basketball a lot,” said Fallon’s Charlie Lockwood, who scored four points. “They (teammates) were really cool. I was really excited to play, but I wish I could have gone out better.”

Silver: Coach Brian Voyles, Hug; Michael Forte, North Tahoe; Larry Smith, James Blackford, Armon Johnson and Anthony Smith, Hug; Dominic Anxo and Chris Gurries, Manogue; Jordan Sutherland, McQueen; Darion Andrews, Wooster; Kyle Hernandez, Spanish Springs.

Blue: Coach Rob Streeter, Douglas; Craig Davidson, Archie Kovich and Jason Lons, North Valleys; Travis Wood, Jacob Jones and Erik Hopper, Dayton; Erick Geddes, Silver Stage; Alex McKenzie, Reed; Mikey Adams and Tony Gill, Spring Creek; Garey Smith, Yerington; Mike Gransberry and Joe Nady, Douglas; Charlie Lockwood, Fallon.


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