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Boys' Basketball: Foes join forces for All-Star game

Brethren Christian's Ndiaye, Huntington Beach's Ruder, Fountain Valley's Armstrong, Gatlin to play in OC All-Star game for seniors.

April 10, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach / HUNTINGTON…)

Over the past few seasons, they were rivals on the court during Sunset League competition.

This week, they have come together to work toward a common goal.

Harley Ruder of Huntington Beach High, and Josh Armstrong and Jackson Gatlin of Fountain Valley, are among four local players who will compete for the South Saturday at the Orange Coast Optimist Orange County North/South High School Basketball Games.

The All-Star games, for senior players, will be played for the 48th time. The girls' game starts at 5 p.m., followed by the boys' game at 7 p.m., both at Concordia University in Irvine.

Brethren Christian's Mamadou Ndiaye joins Ruder, Armstrong and Gatlin, on the South squad, which is coached by Edison's Rich Boyce.

The girls' game also has local talent on it, as Geena Gomez of Edison and Jasmine Matar of Fountain Valley, will play for the South.

Boyce, who completed his 13th year as head coach at Edison in February, leads a South coaching staff that includes Edison assistant coaches Chris Gray and Jeff Harrell.

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"It is quite an honor, considering all the great coaching talent in Orange County," Boyce said of his selection as head coach of the South.

His North counterpart is Nate Harrison of Canyon/Anaheim. Among the key players on the North team is Deondre Bryant and Nick Hornsby, who helped lead Tustin to the CIF Southern Section Division 3AAA championship. The two went on to be named the division's players of the year.

"They are quick and very well-coached," Boyce said of the North. "Should be a fun game."

Boyce has seen the talent assembled on the South team at two previous practices held at the Edison gym. The squad, which boasts 11 All-CIF players, holds its final workout Thursday.

"We have lots of height and good shooting, so we will shoot and go get it, and shoot again," he said. "They are all very nice kids and great players. Their high school coaches did a great job with them both as players and people."

Boyce has a big force in the middle in the 7-foot-5 Ndiaye. The UC Irvine-bound center was MVP of the Academy League and, along with Tyler Coppin-Carter of Buckley, took player of the year honors in CIF Southern Section Division 5AA.

Ndiaye averaged 27 points, 13.7 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game during the 2012-13 season. He scored 30 or more points in 10 of Brethren Christian's 28 games, and had four games of 40 or more points.

He had a 77% field-goal percentage on the season.

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