By Kevin Wilson
There’s no telling who will come out on top in this summer’s North-South Class 3A All-Star games, or which former rivals will make the best teammates.
The only thing that is for sure is that Portales High School will be well-represented.
Tori Carter and Jennie Gentry were named to the inaugural 3A South All-Star team, and the 3A boys team has three Rams and will be coached by Portales’ Mark Gallegos.
The games are scheduled for July 11 at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas.
“It’s going to be exciting with the games in Vegas,” Gallegos said. “Those people love to watch basketball, and they’ll have a good crowd.”
The boys game, which will follow the girls game, is in its third season. The North leads the series 2-0, but Gallegos will have some of his own players in an attempt to get a win for the South.
Rustin Self, Brodie Clark and Nathan Goyne are on the roster for the South, which Gallegos says will have to “get up and down the floor” to compete with the North squad. Guy Meyer and Conrad Ley of state champion St. Michael’s are on the roster for the North.
“We might even play a little bit of the Portales matchup defense,” Gallegos said, “just to mess with them.”
Other District 4-3A representatives for the South are Lovington’s Will Payne and New Mexico Military Institute’s Trey Moore. Gallegos said that J.R. Calderon would be an alternate for the South.
Only three members of the South girls team are from 4-3A — Carter, Gentry and Michelle Alexander of Lovington. Portales girls coach Brenda Gomez nominated Carter, Gentry and Jojo Miller — who may receive a bid as an alternate.
“I think Jennie can help with her defense and quickness,” Gomez said. “Tori can help underneath offensively and she does well defensively.”
The South will be coached by Joseph Garcia of Socorro High School. Socorro has four representatives, led by Renee Gallegos.
While she admitted it will be odd to team up with players she’d treated as rivals, Carter was excited at the prospect of playing one more game.
“I thought I was going to (be nominated), but I wasn’t sure,” said Carter, a 5-foot-9 post who did not find out about her selection until Monday. “I’m shocked and excited.”
Nicole Zamora was the lone representative for Portales in last year’s North-South game, which also included players from Classes 4A and 5A. Gentry, a 5-foot-3 guard, wasn’t sure about her chances under the old format.
“I don’t know,” Gentry laughed. “Probably not as good. It is special that they chose me.”
The weekend will conclude on July 12 with the 3A North-South football game.