State Stat Stars of the Week

Marquese Chriss is a 6-foot-9 junior to watch from Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove. Imani Littleton (right) from Bishop's of La Jolla racked up 43 points in a game last week. Photos: Ronnie Flores & Harold Abend.

Marquese Chriss is a 6-foot-9 junior to watch from Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove. Imani Littleton (right) from Bishop’s of La Jolla racked up 30 points in a game last week. Photos: Ronnie Flores & Harold Abend.

Bakersfield sizzles as Braxton Huggins of Mira Monte has 45-point outing while Elray Coleman of West hits for 41. And you can guess which team Coleman scored 41 against. For the girls, Jessica De Gree bakes with a 50-point outing, Imani Littleton heats up with 30 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks, and Breanna Alford yanks down 32 rebounds.

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As has been customary for many years, we collect the state stat stars in support of the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book & Almanac. The book has been published seven times (the most recent, though, was 2009) and is as official as a state record book can be since no other exists. To report a State Stat Star of the Week of your own, please email details to markjtennis@gmail.com.

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BOYS BASKETBALL

Braxton Huggins (Mira Monte, Bakersfield)
Despite Huggins going off for 45 points in another huge night last week, the Lions ended up on the losing end of a 83-75 final score against South of Bakersfield. Earlier in the week, he also scored 33 points but it wasn’t enough during a 99-53 loss to West of Bakersfield and fellow state stat star Elray Coleman.

Elray Coleman (West, Bakersfield)
Coleman had yet to have a game with a point total in the 30s this season, but he now has one in the 40s after he scored 41 points in a 99-53 win against 30-ppg scorer Braxton Huggins and Mira Monte of Bakersfield.

Serigne Athj (Birmingham, Lake Balboa)
Not an easy name to pronounce, this junior guard also wasn’t easy for Chatsworth to stop as he scored 26 points while grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking five shots during a 74-59 win. Earlier in the week, he had 36 points and 17 rebounds during a 75-58 win over Cleveland of Reseda.

Christian Rita (Milpitas)
He had 23 points during a 52-51 win over Homestead of Cupertino last week but his big performance saw him score 35 points during a 67-61 win against Los Gatos.

Marcus Tran (Yerba Buena, San Jose)
With a chance to clinch the BVAL West Valley Division championship, he scored 27 of his 31 points in the second half to lead the Warriors past Branham of San Jose 75-67.

Jeremy Hemsley from Damien of La Verne has had several 30-point games in the last month. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Jeremy Hemsley from Damien of La Verne has had several 30-point games in the last month. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Donald Gipson (Fairfax, Los Angeles)
Outscoring fellow state stat star Dewan Thompson, his team also got the win as he scored 35 points during a 91-85 win over Venice. Venice’s Thompson finished with 30 points in the losing effort.

Jacob Short (Capistrano Valley, Mission Viejo)
The Cougars’ four-game losing streak came to an end in a 80-79 double-overtime thriller against Tesoro of Las Flores. Short led the way with 34 points.

Michael Scarlett (Woodbridge, Irvine)
Earning Athlete of the Week honors by OCVarsity, this 6-foot-4 senior knocked down eight 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 33 points during a 92-69 win over Beckman of Irvine.

Jeremy Hemsley (Damien, La Verne)
One of the highest-ranked junior prospects in the state, Jeremy scored 33 points but it wasn’t enough to stop the winning streak of Chino Hills as the Huskies defeated the Spartans 82-64.

Dominick Wood-Anderson (Steele Canyon, Spring Valley)
Known more for his play as a quarterback on the football team, Wood-Anderson scored a career-high 32 points in a 76-62 victory over Valhalla of El Cajon. He made 15-of-18 from the floor while also grabbing 16 rebounds.

Stephen Thompson Jr. (Bishop Montgomery, Torrance)
During the Knights’ 98-44 win over La Salle of Pasadena, he scored 31 points. The triumph helped Bishop Montgomery stay at No. 13 in our newest state rankings.

Tra Holder (Brentwood, Los Angeles)
In Alpha League play, he scored 30 points during a 79-64 win over Viewpoint of Calabasas.

Josh Mendoza (Estancia, Costa Mesa)
Wins have been tough to come by at times for the Eagles but they were able to get a 58-39 win over Calvary Chapel last week and Mendoza delivered with a game-high 30 points.

Rajon Moore (Pasadena)
Helping the Bulldogs become co-champions of the Pacific League, he scored a game-high 30 points during a 66-53 win over arch-rival Muir of Pasadena.

Siavesh Yektafar (Beverly Hills)
With part of the Ocean League championship on the line, he scored 28 points as the Normans defeated Culver City 63-42 to finish tied for first with Santa Monica.

Aaron Holiday (Campbell Hall, North Hollywood)
While it wasn’t as many points as his performance the week before with brother Jrue in attendance, Holiday did score 28 points during a 75-46 win over Paraclete of Lancaster.

Tommy Rutherford (Grossmont, El Cajon)
Despite scoring 28 points and grabbing 22 rebounds, Rutherford’s team wasn’t shown any love on Valentine’s Day as it lost 62-52 on the road against West Hills of Santee.

Adrian Gutierrez (Verdugo Hills, Tujunga)
With Adrian leading the charge, the Dons moved to 11-0 in the East Valley League and clinched the championship with a 58-55 win over Grant of Van Nuys. He scored 19 points and grabbed 26 rebounds.

Marquese Chriss (Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove)
It was an interesting end to the regular season earlier this week when the Eagles (D1 state champs last year) clashed with Sheldon of Sacramento (NorCal Open Division finalists last year). Sheldon closed its season after being hit with sanctions and lost to the Eagles 68-65. Chriss, a key sophomore on last year’s team at Pleasant Grove, had 25 points and 14 rebounds. The 6-foot-9 junior had a 30-point outing a few weeks ago in a loss to Jesuit of Carmichael and is averaging 19 ppg. Pleasant Grove is only 13-13 entering the Division I section playoffs, but watch out for Chriss both in the playoffs and next season.

Jiday Ugbaja (Archbishop Riordan, San Francisco)
It was a great day for Jiday as he knocked down a school-record seven 3-pointers and finished with 23 points during a 68-44 win over Bellarmine of San Jose.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Jessica De Gree (San Clemente)
She should be given an advanced degree for scoring after her performance last Wednesday. De Gree scored 50 points and had 10 rebounds during a 98-67 win for the Tritons over Aliso Niguel. Her previous season-high was 33 points which she did twice this season and first did in the first matchup against Aliso Niguel.

Imani Littleton & Destiny Littleton (Bishop’s, La Jolla)
Imani and Destiny, who are not related, both continued their 1-2 dominance last week for the No. 17 state-ranked Knights. Imani, a senior headed to St. John’s, had 30 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks in a 92-48 romp past Horizon Christian of San Diego. Destiny, a freshman, hit for 43 points and 10 rebounds in the same game. Destiny then had a triple-double with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 101-37 win over Santa Fe Christian of Solana Beach.

Mai-Loni Henson and Sabrina Callahan have been double-double machines for La Jolla Country Day this season. Photo: Harold Abend

Mai-Loni Henson and Sabrina Callahan have been double-double machines for La Jolla Country Day this season. Photo: Harold Abend.

Breanna Alford (Miramonte, Orinda)
During the Matadors’ 78-19 win over Dougherty Valley of San Ramon, this Loyola-Marymount-bound standout pulled down an incredible 32 rebounds. She also became one of the only players in school history to go over 1,250 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.

Olivia Vezaldenos (East Union, Manteca)
Named by the Modesto Bee as its star of the week, this sophomore point guard scored 40 points for the Lancers in their 61-56 win over Sierra of Manteca.

Kayla Stephens (Segerstrom, Santa Ana)
After being held to a season-low three points during a 39-32 win over Orange, she came back with her second 35-point game of the season and more than outscored Santa Ana on her own in a 58-13 win.

Whitney Branham (West Ranch, Valencia)
Following her 30-point performance from the week before, she went out and did even better with 35 points but it came during a 71-61 loss to Golden Valley of Santa Clarita. On the season, Branham is averaging 27.7 points per game for the Wildcats.

Lauren Seyranian (Piedmont)
Making sure the Highlanders wouldn’t lose a second straight game, she scored 35 points to lead Piedmont past Hayward 79-41.

Ali Engelhardt (Mt. Carmel, San Diego)
Becoming a regular to be listed here each week, this junior scored 33 points and grabbed 15 rebounds on Valentine’s Day during a 74-39 win over Rancho Bernardo of San Diego. On the season, she is averaging 25.5 points and 12.4 rebounds per game.

Coco Miller (JSerra Catholic, San Juan Capistrano)
Her 30 points was double what Katie Lou Samuelson scored when the Lions played No. 1 Mater Dei last week, but of course it came in an easy 77-48 win by the Monarchs. Still, getting 30 against Mater Dei no matter what the circumstances isn’t insignificant.

Deijah Banks (Mount Miguel, Spring Valley)
It was a low scoring game but she led the comeback from a 15-point deficit and finished with 27 points and the Matadors defeated Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista 47-45.

Mai-Loni Henson (La Jolla Country Day)
The emerging sophomore standout had 18 points, 20 rebounds and five assists when the Torreys topped Horizon Christian of San Diego 52-50. This came after a 26-point, 14-rebound outing against Santa Fe Christian from the week before. Teammate Sabrina Callahan also had 30 points and 10 rebounds vs. Santa Fe Christian.

SOCCER SPECIAL

Ella Dederick (Newbury Park)
While we normally don’t list any soccer performances in our weekly state stat stars we decided we would go ahead and throw this one in. Dederick, a goalkeeper, not only recorded the shutout but she scored the game’s only goal when she connected on a free kick from near midfield during a 1-0 win over Thousand Oaks. With the win, Newbury Park won its first league title in program history and finished tied for first with Westlake in the Marmonte League.

Paul Muyskens is the Stockton office assistant editor for Cal-Hi Sports and can be seen around town also working for the Stockton Ports and University of the Pacific. Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Paul and Mark on Twitter: @CalHiSports


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One Comment

  1. Joker
    Posted February 21, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Well Millers points are insignificant as they came in the 4th quarter against Mater Deis 3 rd string. J Serra coach is a strange bird why not play your bench when game was over in the first quarter?

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