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Cal duo, Levine in Roundball Classic

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
California's #12 Tanner Huffman puts up 2 against Frazier at California. Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
FILE PHOTO California's Brian Fisher (24).
Bentworth forward Cody Levine fires a shot for a goal around Washington defender Brady Ross during their October 2, 2012 contest in Ellsworth. Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review

Tanner Huffman and Brian Fisher have played basketball together for so long, it would seem strange to see one on the court without the other.

They played four years of high school together and played in middle school together before that. They are also members of the same AAU team.

The two California seniors will get one more chance to play a scholastic game on the same team when they play for the Class AA All-Stars in one of the games for the Roundball Classic doubleheader April 20 at Geneva College.

Huffman and Fisher will be joined by Bentworth's Cody Levine as the only area boys to be named to the annual all-star event. Levine will also play for the AA All-Stars.

The Class AA team will play the Class A/City/District 10 All-Stars in the first game at 6 p.m. with the Class AAA All-Stars meeting the Class AAAA All-Stars in the 8 p.m. nightcap.

Huffman and Fisher, both 6-1 guards, led the Trojans to an 18-4 season that included a trip to the WPIAL playoffs. Both 1,000-point scorers, Huffman was the leading scorer in Class AA with an average of 22.9 points per game while Fisher averaged 18.5.

Levine, a 6-2 guard, led the Bearcats (7-14) in scoring at 21.4 ppg.

Huffman finished his career at California as the Trojans' all-time leading scorer with 1,351 points, while Fisher finished with 1,233 points.

Both players finished with single-game career highs of 33 points.

Huffman and Fisher are the first California players in more than a decade to be selected to play in the Roundball Classic.

“They are the first two that I have had since I've been here,” said California coach Phil Pergola, who just finished his ninth season with the school.

“I think it's a heck of an honor, especially to get two kids from the same school in that game,” Pergola said. “It is a great way to cap their careers.”

Pergola said having Huffman and Fisher get picked is also good for the program.

“Having two of your own make it makes me feel good for the program because it shows our younger kids that if you work hard there is something to shoot for,” Pergola said. “And there is no doubt Tanner and Brian certainly put the time in.”

At Bentworth, while Levine played for coach Bob Kennedy for four years, he never started until his senior season.He led the Bearcats in scoring and rebounding.

“For a one-year starter to come where he did and make the Roundball is pretty fantastic,” Kennedy said. “he was my sixth man last season and a captain this season.”

Kennedy described Levine as a fiery player who is a perfectionist.

Also a standout soccer player, Levine has a decision to make for college.

“He's being recruited by schools for soccer and for basketball,” Kennedy said. “I'm not sure which way he is going to go.”

The AA team will be coached by Beaver Falls coach Doug Biega and the team includes Beaver Falls' Drew Cook, Washington's Josh Wise and Greensburg Central Catholic's Zach Herman.

The A/City team is coached by Vincentian's George Yokitis and includes Perry's Shakeem Cox, St. Joseph's John Arcuri and Sharon's Khalil Hopson.

The AAA team is coached by Montour's Adam Kaufman and includes Beaver's Aaron Barlow, Keystone Oaks' Corey Sevachko and Montour's Devin Wilson.

The AAAA team will be guided by New Castle's Ralph Blundo and includes New Castle's Shawn Anderson, Shaler's Geno Thorpe and Peters Townships Gabe Pritz.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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