“Everyone always had each other’s back and there was no weaknesses really because everyone helped out. It was nice for me to not always be leading and be able to sit back and just play.”
— Melissa Camilletti, a Moffat County High School senior, on playing in the Colorado Coaches of Girls’ Sports all-state basketball game Sunday in Arvada
Melissa Camilletti and Annie Sadvar were understandably nervous heading into Sunday’s Colorado Coaches of Girls’ Sports all-state basketball game in Arvada.
Teaming up with and competing against 14 of the top Class 4A seniors in the state would shed light on how good the two Moffat County High School seniors are as players.
Once the game got going, however, Camilletti said their worries were put to rest and they just played their game.
And, while the game was to recognize the top players in Colorado, a 76-67 victory for Camilletti and Sadvar’s team was a welcome achievement.
“I felt I played well and I think it actually made me a better player this weekend and the other girls made me look good,” Camilletti said. “It was really neat to play with girls who all had a lot of talent and could make good passes and catch my crazy passes.
“Everyone was just very athletic and very talented.”
On March 11, 16 of the top seniors from Classes 1A to 5A were chosen by a committee to play in Sunday’s all-state games at Arvada West High School, with one game for each class.
The girls arrived Saturday in Arvada to have a team practice and participate in a banquet to recognize each of the athletes.
Sadvar said the practice gave everyone a chance to know each other and work on a few simple plays.
The banquet, she said, was a great experience.
“They called up the girls from each of the classes and we were all up there together,” Sadvar said. “It was still nerve-racking to be with all those girls, but it was very cool once we got there and it was awesome to be part of that.”
Once on the court Sunday, Sadvar said the game didn’t flow like a regular-season game with the Bulldogs, but the talent on the floor made up for the lack of preparation.
“We didn’t have any offensive sets, but we just knew what we had to do even without the sets,” she said. “If there were holes, we all knew how to fill in quick and not effect the rest of the team.
“Overall, it was really cool experience to play with higher level girls. Compared to a normal team, who has good and moderate players, everyone was good (Sunday).”
D’Evelyn head coach Chris Olson coached Camilletti and Sadvar’s squad, the red team, to the victory over the blue team.
The Bulldogs beat D’Evelyn in a nail bitter at the Steamboat Springs Shootout in December, but the Jaguars went on to play in the 4A state championship game, losing to Air Academy.
Camilletti said she had some hard feelings at first, but overall, Olson did a great job.
“We beat (D’Evelyn) and then they went on to the state finals, so I was kind of mad about that at first, but (Olson) is really a smart coach,” she said. “I felt I got better playing for him and with all the other girls and I just think it is neat he was able to get his team to the state championship coming from a small school.”
While Sadvar said she felt at home in the post and felt pretty equal to her counterparts, Camilletti was able to take on a different role than she did for Moffat County.
“Everyone always had each other’s back and there was no weaknesses really because everyone helped out,” she said. “It was nice for me to not always be leading and be able to sit back and just play.”
The CCGS has been sponsoring an all-state game since 1978 to give girls a chance to showcase their talents.
And, while the game was meant to be fun, Sadvar said she thinks winning is always a priority.
“The highlight of my weekend was probably winning the game,” she said. “It was supposed to be a fun event, but it is never fun to lose, so it was nice to come out in one last game and win.”
Neither Camilletti nor Sadvar have decided what their next step in their basketball careers will be, but both said the all-state game was a reminder why they play basketball.
“I had decided not to play in college, but now I am right back on the fence and can’t decide,” Camilletti said.
“I might not play my freshman year, but it would be a great experience to be able to play with great girls all the time,” Sadvar said.
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