“I think it will be a good game with everyone being able to play off everybody else’s strengths. I will be nervous because I haven’t played in a while and there are going to be some good girls, but Melissa and I got picked along with them, so we must not be terrible.”
— Annie Sadvar, a Moffat County High School senior, on what she expects when playing in Sunday’s Colorado Coaches of Girls’ Sports all-state basketball game in Arvada
A week ago, Annie Sadvar and Melissa Camilletti joked about being “retired” from high school basketball.
The two Moffat County High School seniors wrapped up their final season as players on the MCHS girls varsity basketball team with a loss in the Sweet 16 on Feb. 25.
Sadvar said she contemplated throwing her basketball shoes away.
Lucky for her, she didn’t.
Sadvar and Camilletti were chosen to participate in the Colorado Coaches of Girls’ Sports all-state basketball game this weekend in Arvada.
The girls will be two of 16 senior players from Class 4A to play in the 4A game at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Arvada West High School.
A team practice and banquet will take place Saturday.
“It was awesome, unexpected and actually such a surprise,” Sadvar said. “I am happy I didn’t throw my shoes away because now I have one last chance to play and that is pretty exciting.”
Coaches nominated players from their league, with six from each league being submitted to CCGS.
Then, one representative from each league met March 11 to narrow the list down to 16 players.
CCGS has been sponsoring all-state basketball games since 1978 to provide girls a showcase for their talents, according to a news release.
Sadvar and Camilletti were both named Western Slope League all-conference players this season, but Camilletti said being able to play in an all-state game is “pretty cool.”
“Being all-conference is always an honor, but being one of the best in the state is awesome,” she said. “It feels pretty good.”
Both girls said they didn’t tell one another right away when they learned they were selected because they didn’t know the other was nominated, too.
Camilletti said she couldn’t have been happier when she found out her and Sadvar would be playing together one last time.
“I wanted to tell Annie right away, but I didn’t know she was playing too and I didn’t want her to feel bad,” she said. “I was so scared and nervous to play because I didn’t want everyone to be so much better, but I was so happy when I found out Annie was playing because we have played together for a long time and I think we are at the same level.”
Two teams of eight players will play in a game representing each class, from 1A to 5A.
Sadvar said it would be “nerve racking” playing with the best 4A seniors in the state.
“I think it will be a good game with everyone being able to play off everybody else’s strengths,” she said. “I will be nervous, because I haven’t played in a while and there are going to be some good girls, but Melissa and I got picked along with them, so we must not be terrible.”
Camilletti said this opportunity gives her a chance to take on a different role than she had with the Bulldogs.
“As point guard for our team, I was always the one setting things up, so in this game, I might be able to be the one getting set up for plays,” she said. “It will be a lot of fun to play with people who play at a higher level and all love basketball.”
As two of the top senior girls in the WSL, Bulldogs head coach Matt Ray said both Sadvar and Camilletti deserved the postseason honor.
“Both these girls work extremely hard and they love the game,” he said. “They have been varsity players for three years, and that is a lot of time to put into the game, and I think they earned this privilege.”
Ray said Sadvar and Camilletti bring different strengths to a team, but both have traits any team would be lucky to have.
“For Annie, she is very consistent and we could always count on her for 10 points and 10 rebounds a game,” he said. “Melissa is hard-nosed and very competitive and has that no-lose type of attitude. Whether it was a big-time shot or a steal, she has a trait that is hard to find in a girl athlete.”
Neither Sadvar nor Camilletti is sure where their basketball careers will go after leaving MCHS, and whether it includes college ball is yet to be decided.
But, both are going to take advantage of one final game.
And, while Sadvar said she expects the all-state game to be more for fun than “going after each other’s throats,” Camilletti said she wouldn’t be surprised if her competitive nature takes over.
“I hope to be able to get better playing this game and I hope the other girls are competitive and don’t just show off,” she said. “I still want to compete and I hope my team wins.”
Joshua Gordon can be reached at 875-1795 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.