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Calexico High School junior Aaron Tabarez was named First Team All-Imperial Valley League along with teammate Julian Beltran. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

BOYS BASKETBALL: Bulldogs Earn IVL First-Team Honors

Calexico High School junior Julian Beltran skies for the jump ball against Vincent Memorial early in the season. Beltran was named to the All-Imperial Valley League First Team along with teammate Aaron Tabarez. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

CALEXICO — Despite playing just two Imperial Valley League games, two Calexico High School boys basketball players did enough to impress coaches and earn First-Team All-IVL honors.

The Bulldogs, defending IVL and CIF-San Diego Section Division IV champs, opened the season with a nonleague victory over Vincent Memorial Catholic then defeated Central Union and Southwest in IVL action. Calexico then had to halt its season due to positive COVID tests within the program which kept the Bulldogs sidelined for more than three weeks.

Even though they weren’t able to complete their IVL schedule, the Bulldogs were placed into the CIF-SDS Division III playoffs where they eventually lost in the quarterfinals to Hoover High of San Diego.

For their efforts, Calexico juniors Aaron Tabarez and Julian Beltran were named to the All-IVL First Team.

Vincent Memorial Catholic senior Jose Iturribarria looks to drive the basketball against Holtville earlier in the season. Iturribarria was recently named to the All-Desert League First Team after leading the Scots to the CIF-San Diego Section Division V championship game. | VALERIE MENDOZA PHOTO

Central’s Jordan Reed was named IVL Player of the Year, averaging 21.6 points and 11.8 rebounds per game for the IVL co-champion Spartans. Central finished tied with Holtville with one IVL loss but the Spartans were awarded the league’s top designation for their head-to-head win over the Vikings.

Also named to the All-IVL First Team was Brawley Union senior Rayvon Johnson and Southwest junior Leo Castillo.

The All-IVL Second Team consists of Central freshman Arturo Estrada and junior Jacob Tovar, Calipatria senior Dominic LaPena, Southwest senior Isaac Vargas and Calexico sophomore Andres Tabarez.

Central coach Juan Valenzuela was named IVL Coach of the Year.

The IVL teams for the selection process were Calexico, Central, Brawley, Southwest and Calipatria. During the COVID-shortened year, all local schools were placed into one Imperial Valley League. However, for all-league voting, the schools were placed back into their original divisions.

For voting purposed, the Desert League consisted of Vincent Memorial, Holtville, Imperial and Palo Verde Valley of Blythe.

Palo Verde’s Devin DeLaGarza was named Player of the Year and joined on the All-Desert League First Team by Vincent Memorial senior Jose Iturribarria, Holtville seniors Abraham Ramos and Jonathan Heraz and Imperial freshman David Scariano.

The All-DL Second Team featured Holtville senior Roman Ordonez and Vikings’ junior Dorian Maize, Palo Verde sophomore Daylan Perez and senior Mario Miranda and Imperial junior Jesse Nichols.

Holtville’s Tony Ramos was named Desert League Coach of the Year.

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