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High Desert Hoops: Cal City, Rosamond in Valley semifinals

Three High Desert basketball teams are in the Valley semifinals, including the California City Ravens
Posted at 12:36 AM, Feb 20, 2024
  • In this video, Cal City's young boys' basketball team practices ahead of Tuesday's Valley semifinal matchup at Caruthers.
  • The Rosamond boys and girls teams are also in the Valley semifinals.
  • The Rosamond boys basketball team won the High Desert League with one loss, which was to Cal City. Rosamond later beat Cal City by 30 points.
  • Rosamond's Monday practice included legendary coach Newton Chelette.


The Ravens are back!

The Cal City High School basketball team... rebounding from the adversity created by the pandemic.

Neighborhood News Reporter Steve Virgen with Cal City Boys' Team
Neighborhood News Reporter Steve Virgen with Cal City Boys' Team

And they've got their game faces on... for Tuesday's Valley semifinals.

(Video of game-winning shot)

Freshman Avery Spears hit that game-winning shot to lead Cal City past Mammoth and into the Valley semifinals in Division 6. The Rosamond boys and girls basketball teams are also in the semis.

Virgen: “When you found out the play was going to be coming to you for the last shot what were some of the things that were going through your mind?”

“What went on through my mind, I was like: I gotta make this. I gotta really make this.” said Avery Spears, a Cal City freshman.

The Ravens struggled during the pandemic. But they have bounced back with the help of young players. Cal City also has the Brown brothers. Carlito, a sophomore forward. and, Cassius, a freshman point guard.

“We have a good brother relationship. But when it comes down to basketball. We’re really competitive," said Cassius Brown.

Virgen: “So who’s better?”

Both say: “Me.”

Coach Ronald Fleming believes Cal City will only get better.

“The future is bright. We have a 6-6 kid in the 8th grade right now, kind of incubating and waiting to get up here. Our best players next year will be sophomores and juniors,” Fleming said.

The Ravens finished third in the High Desert League. Rosamond won the league title for the second straight year.

Virgen: “Only one loss in league?”

“Only one loss this year," said John Burrell, Rosamond's first-year coach.

Virgen: “You guys rebounded from that loss and beat Cal City?”

Burrell: “Beat Cal City, yes. And we beat them pretty convincingly. A 30-point win. It just kind of shows the level we’re playing at. We’ve had a lot of 30-point wins this season and it’s because of the work that they’ve done. Just the energy. They’re passionate.”

Monday’s practice at Rosamond included a special guest, the legendary Newton Chelette, the former Antelope Valley coach and Burrell’s mentor.

Rosamond will play at Coalinga in Division 5 on Tuesday.

The Rosamond girls play at home Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Madera South. They beat Lindsay in the quarterfinals. They haven’t reached the semifinals since 2018.

The Cal City boys last won a Valley title in 2018 when it was a repeat.

The Ravens will get an early start for Tuesday's game at Caruthers... about a 3-hour bus ride.

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