Travis Souza and Brandi Henton provided plenty of thrills this past basketball season; Souza leading Turlock High to its first-ever Northern California playoff berth and Henton carrying Modesto Christian to its second consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section title.
The guards were selected The Bee's best in the Stanislaus District, and they'll display their skills as high school players for the final team tonight in the Six-County All-Star Games at Modesto Christian.
The girls tip off at 6 p.m., while the boys start at 8. Three-point shooting and dunk contests will be held between the games, and tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.
The 6-foot-3 Souza tops the Red Team, which also features all-district first-team players Kent Foster of Patterson and Kory Johnson of Davis. Souza was a jack-of-all-trades for the Bulldogs, while Foster was the district's No. 2 scorer with 22.6 points a game and the 6-foot Johnson used his strength inside to average 17.8 points.
Their squad includes five other all-district picks, including size inside with Ripon Christian's 6-8 Tyler Goslinga, Central Catholic's 6-5 Dusty Killian and Merced's 6-4 Brian Cooksey. The three combined to averaged 48 points and 29 rebounds last season.
The Blue Team can't match that muscle. Aside from Pitman's 6-6 Dominic Romeo, its frontcourt players are more athletic than thick, so guard play from Merced's Reggie Nelson, Ripon's Matt Ratto and Johansen's Dakari King will be crucial.
The girls game lacks such star power, because rosters are limited to seniors and many of the region's best were underclassmen: Four of the five players on the all-district first team were underclassmen.
The Long Beach State-bound Henton leads the Blue Team and will play alongside former rival and former teammate Lauren Godde of Argonaut. Henton and the 6-foot Godde met in the section final as foes, but have been teammates while playing travel ball.
In an interesting twist, Erin Godde will play opposite her sister on the Red Team. There are plenty of inside players for the Red, including all-district picks Madelyn Birchall of Hughson and Cassie Coble of Patterson.
Bee staff writer Richard T. Estrada can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2300.