State Stat Stars of the Week

Chance Comanche (left) from View Park of Los Angeles and Alyssa Benton from Millikan of Long Beach both had honor roll worthy outings and will try to lead teams to section titles this weekend. Photos: Ronnie Flores & Harold Abend.

Chance Comanche (left) from View Park of Los Angeles and Alyssa Benton from Millikan of Long Beach both had honor roll worthy outings and will try to lead teams to section titles this weekend. Photos: Ronnie Flores & Harold Abend.

Stanley Johnson and Ivan Rabb are heating up in some of the biggest games. Maybe they’ll go head-to-head on March 29. For the girls, Camarillo’s Geralynn Leaupepe leads the pack with a sensational 48-point night.

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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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(Mostly for games played Feb. 24-March 1 but including some from this week; thanks to CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett for continued contributions to this feature and to the state record book.)

BOYS BASKETBALL

Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana)
A favorite to be named the Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year, he tied his season and career-high with 42 points as the Monarchs advanced in the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs with a 77-59 win over Mayfair of Lakewood. Stanley’s national player of the year hopes also are improving due to the situation in Chicago with Curie High star Cliff Alexander (his team was hit with forfeit losses and then lost in the playoffs after several key players were ruled ineligible).

Aaron Holiday (Campbell Hall, North Hollywood)
There should have been some celebrating going on for UCLA fans when this junior committed to the Bruins earlier this week after his season came to an end despite scoring 42 points and grabbing nine rebounds during a 91-75 loss to Village Christian of Sun Valley. On the season, he averaged more than 30 points and he had 36 and 39 points in two earlier playoff wins.

Marcus LoVett Jr (San Gabriel Academy, San Gabriel)
Yet another familiar name, he scored 42 points and had nine assists as the Eagles defeated Pacifica Christian of Oxnard 101-44 in the semifinals of the CIFSS Division 5AA playoffs.

Murshid Randle (Central, Fresno)
A four year starter, he makes this feature for a second straight week after scoring a career-high 38 points as the No. 1 seed in the CIF Central Section Division I playoffs came back from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter to win 84-83 in overtime over Bakersfield. With that performance, he has scored a school record of 1,802 points in his career. Central lost, however, in the semifinals earlier this week to Bullard.

T.J. Leaf (Foothills Christian, El Cajon)
This sophomore big man had a nice start to the postseason as he scored 35 points and grabbed 17 rebounds during a 85-64 win for the Knights over Ramona.
Players to Watch 576
Ajon Jefferson (Pasadena)
He scored 35 points as the Bulldogs defeated Eisenhower of Rialto 70-60 in the CIFSS 2A playoffs. He also scored 28 points during their 73-71 loss in overtime to Westlake of Westlake Village.

Lynard Steward (San Ysidro, San Diego)
For the second game in a row, he scored 35 points but it wasn’t enough to get a playoff-opening win over Poway as the Cougars lost 75-63 to the Titans. Steward will be back next season as one of the state’s top players.

Daryl Edwards (Fresno)
Not only did he score 34 points during a 71-64 win over West of Bakersfield but earlier in the week he scored 30 points during a 65-60 win over Sanger. In 29 games, he had a total of 729 points, which is a school record.

Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland)
Another one of the favorites to capture the Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year award and the frontrunner for juniors, Rabb scored 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Dragons defeated Encinal of Alameda 97-64 in the CIF NCS Division III quarterfinals.

Anthony Zataray (Coalinga)
During the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs, he scored a game-high 32 points in a 74-54 win over Caruthers. In his career, Zataray has scored 984 points.

Eric Patton (Foothill, Santa Ana)
Picking a great time for a season-high 32 points, the Knights advanced to the CIFSS Division 2AA semifinals with a 64-54 road win against Murrieta Valley of Murrieta. The Knights trailed entering the fourth quarter before outscoring the Nighthawks 24-11 in the final period.

Brandon Shelton (Bakersfield)
Drilling shots from all over the court, Shelton nearly led the Drillers to a big upset in the CIF Central Section Division I playoffs. Shelton scored 32 points, but the Drillers lost a 15-point lead in the second half and lost 84-83 to No. 1 seed Central of Fresno.

Joshua Conde (South Gate)
Despite Josh scoring 32 points, the Rams’ season came to an end in the CIF L.A. City Section Division II playoffs as they were defeated 75-68 by Poly of Sun Valley.

Brandon Boyd (Alemany, Mission Hills)
During a 83-69 win over Sunny Hills of Fullerton in the CIFSS Division I-A playoffs, Boyd led the Warriors with 30 points.

Spencer Mattox (Sweetwater, National City)
Showing a sweet touch last Saturday, he scored 30 points as the Red Devils defeated Valhalla of El Cajon 73-64. With Buckley of Sherman Oaks losing, Mattox and his team are the only other unbeaten team in the state other than No. 1 Mater Dei.

Julian Richardson (El Camino Real, Woodland Hills)
For the No. 2 seeded Conquistadors, he scored 29 points as they advanced in the L.A. City Section Division I playoffs with a 85-64 win over Washington of Los Angeles.

Ben Taufahema (Canyon, Canyon Country)
With Taufahema leading the offense with 28 points, the Cowboys advanced to the CIFSS Division II-AA semifinals with a 84-53 win over Elsinore of Wildomar. Teammate Mark Bell scored a career-high 25 points with 23 of those points coming in the second half.

Marcus Cooper (Fulton Prep, Van Nuys)
The Jaguars advanced to the L.A. City Section Division IV semifinals with a 59-34 win over Downtown Magnet with Cooper scoring 27 points and grabbing 25 rebounds in the win.

Deontae North (Centennial, Corona)
Despite North scoring 27 points and grabbing 15 rebounds, the Huskies lost by two points to J.W. North in the CIFSS Open Division quarterfinals.

Rashad Jackson (Garces, Bakersfield)
Becoming the 17th player in the CIF Central Section to reach 2,000 points for a career, Jackson scored 26 points in a 77-60 win over Lemoore in a CIF Central Section Division II playoff game. He is now at 2,008 points and counting after that win.

Chance Comanche (View Park Prep, Los Angeles)
Nearly recording a triple-double, Chance scored 20 points and had 17 rebounds plus nine blocks during the Knights’ 97-27 win over Central City in the semifinals of the L.A. City Section Division V playoffs.

Armando Prieto (Valley Academy, Granada Hills)
Most double-doubles include points but his didn’t as he grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked 14 shots during a 52-47 win over Animo South L.A in the L.A. City Section Division IV quarterfinals.

Oderah Chidom, Erica McCall, Kendall Cooper and Kelsey Plum (L-R) are all smiles at last year's McDonald's All-American Game.

Oderah Chidom, Erica McCall, Kendall Cooper and Kelsey Plum (L-R) are all smiles at last year’s McDonald’s All-American Game.


GIRLS BASKETBALL

Geralynn Leaupepe (Camarillo)
Normally, twin sisters Geralynn and Geraldynn Leaupepe are even in scoring, but in Camarillo’s 89-70 win last week over Valley View of Moreno Valley in the CIFSS Division IAA playoffs, it was Geralynn who went bonkers with a career-high 48 points. She also grabbed 12 rebounds as Camarillo earned its first trip to the semifinals since 1989.

Taylor Pierce (La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad)
With the Mavericks trailing by nine with just over six minutes remaining, Pierce led the comeback to force overtime and then LCC posted a 71-67 win over La Jolla Country Day in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division quarterfinals. Pierce finished with 35 points.

Ali Engelhardt (Mt. Carmel, San Diego)
It may be the playoffs but this junior who averaged 24.9 points per game during the regular season has continued to light up the scoreboard. Engelhardt opened the playoffs with 31 points during a 63-43 win over San Pasqual. Already this week, she scored 38 points during a 68-64 road win against Torrey Pines.

Christina Castro (Lindsay)
Increasing her career point total to 2,124 points, she scored a game-high 32 points as the Cardinals defeated Kerman 73-44 in the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs.

Jasmine Black (Redwood, Visalia)
She scored a season-high 30 points as the Rangers defeated Madera 65-33 in the CIF Central Section Division II playoffs.

Jordin Canada (Windward, Los Angeles)
For the second time this season, the Wildcats defeated Long Beach Poly with Canada leading the way. She scored a career-high 27 points in the 62-49 win. USC-bound teammate Kristen Simon had 14 points and 16 rebounds.

Brittney Reed (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta)
Despite her game-high 28 points, the No. 2 seeded Broncos lost to No. 7 seed Brea Olinda of Brea 63-59 in the CIFSS Division IAA playoffs.

Brooke Johnson (Hanford)
With her team as the No. 1 seed in the CIF Central Section Division I playoffs, she led the way in a 82-43 quarterfinal win over Clovis East of Clovis with 28 points.

Alyssa Benton (Millikan, Long Beach)
The 6-foot-2 senior center and all-state candidate came up big on defense with two blocked shots in the closing seconds to help the Rams beat Brea Olinda 70-66 in the CIFSS Division I-AA semifinals earlier this week. She also ended with 27 points. Benton, who has been called “the most versatile player in the Moore League” by head coach Lorene Morgan (a recent Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year, had 20 points and 10 rebounds earlier in the year in a loss to Mater Dei. How many girls who average 25 points or more per game could do that?

Imani Littleton (Bishop’s, La Jolla)
Her performance during the Knights’ 78-40 win over Horizon Christian of San Diego was no little one as this St. John’s-bound senior scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

DaShayla Johnson (Tulare Western)
Before becoming the 20th player in section history to reach 2,000 points this week, she scored 27 points during a 62-29 win over Lemoore which increased her career total to 1,998 points.

Kali Vittallo (Canyon, Canyon Country)
This 5-foot-6 senior tied her career-best for 3-pointers in a game as she knocked down seven and finished with 25 points during a 63-37 win over Knight of Palmdale in the CIFSS Division I-A playoffs.

CIF CENTRAL SECTION RECORD

Edison, Fresno
When head coach Will Harris’ boys captured the County/Metro League championship, it was Edison’s 14th consecutive league title, which is a new Central Section record. The Tigers, who are playing Bullard in this weekend’s Division I final, surpassed San Joaquin Memorial, which had 13 straight league titles from 1971-83.

SOFTBALL

Hayley Copeland (Esperanza, Anaheim)
Showing why she will be headed to South Carolina next year, Hayley not only pitched a five-inning no-hitter but she recorded 14 of the 15 outs via strikeout while also going 3 for 3 at the plate during a 10-0 win over Mira Costa at the Cypress tournament.

BASEBALL

Weston Hatten (Clovis West, Fresno)
In the Fresno area Coca-Cola Classic, Weston pitched a no hitter against Merced with 12 strikeouts and just one walk on March 1. He also was the winning pitcher on Wednesday night vs. Bullard, going two innings with four strikeouts. For the week, he was 2-0 with 16 strikeouts in nine innings and as a batter he went 6-for-13 with one homer and seven RBI. Clovis West went 7-0-1 in the tournament.

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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