Three area high school boys basketball players will represent their schools one more time toward the end of next week.
Liberty Ranch High’s Jayden Baroni and Jaime Gonzalez, along with Elliot Christian High’s Nate Gotgotao-Washington, have been selected to play in the 42nd annual Optimist High School Basketball All Star Games. The four games will be played on Saturday, April 6 at Sacramento High. The Evening Optimist Club of Sacramento is the official sponsor.
The trio will be part of the Boys’ Small Schools South team. Players from West Campus of Sacramento, Rosemont of Sacramento, Woodland Christian, Pioneer of Woodland, Cordova and Delta high schools are part of the squad. West Campus head coach Michael Lawrence and his assistant coaches are handling the South squad. Sacramento Waldorf head coach Dean Stark and assistant coaches from that school, plus San Juan and Foresthill, are in charge of the North team.
Baroni, a forward/guard, and Gonzalez, a guard, were part of a Liberty Ranch squad that won its fourth consecutive Sierra Valley Conference title this past season. Baroni scored an average of 12.3 points per game and grabbed an average of 6.8 rebounds per game. Gonzalez scored 11.8 points per game and pulled 5.1 boards per game.
The duo helped their team reach the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title game, as the top-seeded Hawks played No. 2 Sonora for the title at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Feb. 22. Sonora came out on top with a 73-70 win. Liberty Ranch (29-4) advanced to the California Interscholastic Federation NorCal D-IV playoffs. The Hawks lost to Fortuna in the first round.
Gotgotao-Washington was one of the few starters returning to the Elliot Christian boys basketball team this past season. He averaged an even 19 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game. The Eagles went 4-8 in the Central California Athletic Alliance and 5-21 overall.
Galt High’s Hannah Aguirre was offered a spot on the girls small school squad, but had a prior commitment. Aguirre helped the Warriors go 10-16 overall and win their first SVC game in several years, averaging 3.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game.
Game time for the Boys’ Small Schools game against the North squad will be at noon. Prior to the game, the Girls’ Small Schools game will play at 10 a.m. The Girls’ Large Schools contest is scheduled to tip-off at 2 p.m. and the Boys’ Large Schools game will be the final contest at 4 p.m.
Sacramento High is located at 2315 34th St. in Sacramento.
General admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for students and $3 for children under 12. There is free admission for children 5 and under.