Unlike the boys’ first team that had eight seniors and two juniors, the girls’ team only has five seniors, with three juniors and two sophomores.
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FIRST TEAM ELITE
G – Jordin Canada (Windward, Los Angeles) 5-7 Jr.
Many basketball analysts around the country feel this junior point guard that was a close runner-up for Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year — and who committed to UCLA in late March — is the best in the nation at her position from any class. The 14 assists the State Junior of the Year had in the 81-71 Windward victory over Mater Dei in the Southern Regional Open Division title game, some with no-look passes, were a thing of beauty that dazzled the crowd. Despite not being the team’s leading scorer, on the season she had 546 points (17 ppg), 234 assists (7.3 per game) and 157 rebounds for a 4.9 per game average despite being of slight build.
C – Oderah Chidom (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) 6-4 Sr.
The Duke-bound senior, Ms. Basketball finalist, Division III State Player of the Year and member of the Team USA U17 gold medal winners last year was also a McDonald’s All-American. With O’Dowd having seven or even eight players that could start anywhere, four with Division I scholarships, and two sophomores that are already on D1 radar screens, Chidom was not called upon to do as much scoring as she would have on another team, but her defense was her trademark, and that was what she showcased in the CIF Open Division final victory over Windward. This year she averaged 14 points, 10.3 rebound and 3.1 blocks per game, but of note is many of O’Dowd’s games in league went to a running clock that limited her court time. Chidom was also the Bay Area News Group Girls East Bay Player of the Year.
G – Gabby Green (St. Mary’s, Berkeley) 6-1 Jr.
The highly-regarded college prospect still hasn’t regained everything she had before an ankle injury robbed her of eight months of action almost two years ago, but she was still one of the two last girls out in the selection of the six Ms. Basketball finalists. Green can play just about any position on the court, and when called upon in the clutch can almost score at will, but also is content to drive and dish. This past season she led the team in scoring, assists and steals, with averages of 16.6, 3.9 and 4.2 respectively.
F – Erica McCall (Ridgeview, Bakersfield) 6-3 Sr.
This year’s Division II State Player of the Year is only the second girl from Bakersfield to be nominated for Ms. Basketball with the other being Nikki Blue in 2002 from Bakersfield West. The Stanford-bound McDonald’s All-American and Gatorade State Player of the Year etched her name in several places in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book, but blocked shots is where she is tops. This past season, she had 278 swats (8.2 per game) and finished with 950 for her career. Both figures make her the all-time shot block queen. After averaging over 20 points and 15 rebounds per game this season, McCall also makes the career rebounding list in the No. 4 spot with 1,883 rebounds, plus her 2,526 points makes the career list and places her as the No. 2 scorer in CIF Central Section history behind Blue.
G – Bri Moore (St. Mary’s, Stockton) 5-6 Soph.
The first of two girls named Moore to make the first team and one of just two sophomores this high as well, Moore blossomed perhaps more than any player in the state compared to last season. Every season the Rams are full of talented players and it was this talented sophomore that led the team in points, rebounds, assists and steals. She also was named Player of the Year by the Stockton Record in leading the team to the NorCal Open Division championship game where it lost to Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland. On the year, she averaged 16 points and 5.8 rebounds a game while recording 187 steals and 126 assists.
G – Mariya Moore (Salesian, Richmond) 5-11 Jr.
To say that this Ms. Basketball nominee and highly sought after college recruit put the Pride on her shoulders and took them to the Division IV state championship game would be an understatement. In actuality, the San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro Girls Player of the Year almost single-handedly won it with her team coming up just short in a 62-60 loss to Gardena Serra. In the game, the solidly-built Moore, who is listed as a wing and point guard, but can play any position on the floor, had 35 points, which is the second most ever in a Division IV title game, and ties for the fifth most all time in any division. Moore also set new state title game records in all divisions by making 17-of-20 free throws. This season she averaged 18.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 4.0 steals per game.
G – Kelsey Plum (La Jolla Country Day, La Jolla) 5-9 Sr.
Despite the Torreys taking their lumps, the 2013 Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year, who narrowly beat out Jordin Canada in one of the toughest decisions in a decade, shined and got stronger down the stretch in leading the team to the Southern Regional Open Division semifinals, where it lost 52-46 to Windward with her getting 19 points and 11 rebounds. Along the way, the Washington-bound Plum dropped in 50 points against Dobson of Arizona, 40 at the Nike TOC in a loss to New York Christ the King, and 25 at Stockton St. Mary’s and 29 versus Bishop O’Dowd in a MLK Day weekend when she was sick with a stomach virus. This season she averaged 27.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg, with 3.7 steals and 3.3 assists per game.
G – Chrishae Rowe (Santiago, Corona) 5-8 Sr.
The skilled Oregon-bound Rowe was the heart and soul of a team that made it to the CIF Southern Regional Open Division semifinals before bowing out to Mater Dei, 78-69, in a game in which she scored 32 points. Despite missing the first four games, Rowe still scored 588 points for a 21 ppg average. She also averaged 4.9 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 2.7 assists per game. For her career, the CIF Southern Section Division I Player of the Year and Riverside Press-Enterprise Player of the Year finishes with 2,095 points.
F – Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-3 Soph.
The Monarchs didn’t four-peat as state champions, but they did win the top division of the Nike TOC and made it to the Southern Regional Open Division title game. Mater Dei made it that far in great part due to the exploits of the only sophomore to make the final list of Ms. Basketball candidates this season. Despite being 6-foot-3 and a force down low when she goes to the paint, “Lou,” as family and teammates call her, is most dangerous on the perimeter. She shot an amazing 54.2 percent from the field, 67 percent from two-point range, and 43 percent from beyond the arc, where she made 92 three-pointers. Her per game averages were 20.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.2 blocks. Samuelson was also named the Orange County Register Player of the Year.
F – Kendall “K.C.” Waters (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) 6-2 Sr.
A previous State Freshman of the Year and last season’s Division III Player of the Year, Waters showed in her rugged play this season just why Cal wants her to be the same kind of force in the paint beginning this fall. Waters has averaged a double-double all four years of varsity play and had averages of 13 points and 11 rebounds this season. She went out in style with 20 rebounds in the Open Division title game victory over Windward.
Second Team Elite
G – Arica Carter (Long Beach Poly) 5-8 Jr.
She’s been selected as the Long Beach Press Telegram’s Player of the Year and would be top representative off of Poly’s Division I state title team. Carter was known for often taking on the opposing team’s best scorer and did that very well in the Jackrabbits’ final two games. She also was the team’s top scorer at 11 points per game. Head coach Carl Buggs told the Press-Telegram he thinks Carter will be the top college recruit in that part of the state next season.
C – Kendall Cooper (St. Anthony’s, Long Beach)
Headed to Duke, she was the lone representative from the CIF Southern Section to play in this year’s McDonald’s All-American Game. On the year, she averaged 12 points and 13 rebounds to go along with 4.2 blocks, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game. She was also named to the Los Angeles Times All-Area team and to the All-CIFSS Division 4AA team.
F – Kelli Hayes (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 6-1 Jr.
With Mitty having girls injured throughout the season, this highly-regarded college prospect with blazing speed for a girl her size had to due almost all the heavy lifting herself in a season that saw the defending Division II state champions kicked up to the Open Division. The West Catholic Athletic League Player of the Year responded by finishing the season with per game averages of 17.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks.
G – Gabriella Hanson (Troy, Fullerton) 5-11 Sr.
She was the leading scorer and rebounder for a Troy team that went 25-5 and played in the CIF SoCal Open Division. Among her outings in a 13.3 points per game season was 23 points in a loss to Corona Santiago and 16 points in wins over Long Beach Millikan and Playa del Rey St. Bernard. Hanson, a four-year varsity starter, will play next at Oregon State.
G – Courtney Jaco (Windward, Los Angeles) 5-7 Sr.
The long-range shooting specialist and top all-around talent finished her high school career with 409 career three-pointers to get herself near the top of the all-time state list. Jaco also set a CIFSS single season record with 143 long range baskets this year. She was named to the L.A. Times All-Area team and to the CIFSS Division 4AA team. Next season, she will play at USC.
F – Amy Okonkwo (Etiwanda) 6-1 Jr.
Just a junior, Amy has already been named to the CIFSS Division IAA team and the L.A. Times All-Area team as the Eagles went undefeated in Baseline League play and reached the finals of the loaded CIFSS Division IAA playoffs. She also was named the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Player of the Year during a season that saw her average 15.7 points and 9.5 rebounds a game. Her impressive season-high 28 points in a 73-72 win over Mater Dei (No. 1 in the nation at the time) pretty much guaranteed her a high placing on this year’s all-state team.
C – Kristin Simon (Windward, Los Angeles) 6-1 Jr.
Considered by many as one of the top juniors in the nation, she was an integral part of a star-studded Wildcats’ team that ended the season one win away from finishing undefeated and No. 1 in the state and nation. In the CIF Open Division championship game, she had 10 points and 13 rebounds for yet another double-double. She has yet to commit to a college.
G – Natalie Romeo (Carondelet, Concord) 5-7 Jr.
The heart and soul of a team that was lacking for size was a constant stat machine in a season that saw the Cougars advance to the second round of the NorCal Open Division playoffs before exiting in a five-point loss to Stockton St. Mary’s. On the season, Romeo averaged 21.3 ppg, 6.5 assists, 6.2 steals and 5.6 rebounds per game. She went for 30 or more point five times with a high of 34 in a NorCal Open Division first round win over Archbishop Mitty.
F – Karlie Samuelson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 5-11 Sr.
Making the most of her one season with the Monarchs after transferring from Edison of Huntington Beach, this Stanford-bound senior averaged 18 points, 4.5 rebounds and three assists per game. Among her other postseason honors she was named All-CIFSS Division IAA, Orange County Register All-County and L.A. Times All-Area. She was Mater Dei’s lone senior starter as it reached the CIF Open Division SoCal championship game.
G – Sierra Thompson (Serra, Gardena) 5-7, Sr.
Averaging 18 points, 4.5 rebounds, four assists and three steals per game, Thompson was named the Player of the Year by the South Bay Daily Breeze as the Cavaliers captured the CIF Division IV state championship. She was also named to the All-Area team by the Los Angeles Times. Next season she will be a Wolverine as she heads to the University of Michigan.
Third Team Elite
C – Monique Billings (Santiago, Corona) 6-3 Jr.
An inside beast for one of the top teams in the state, Billings she was almost a lock to get a double-double on most nights as she averaged 12.8 points and 11.4 rebounds. With a pair of talented seniors gone, look for her numbers to go much bigger next season during her senior year.
G – Ariell Bostick (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) 5-4 Sr.
It was no coincidence when the Dragons’ floor general had to miss two games at the Nike TOC due to a family obligation O’Dowd suffered two close losses many experts in attendance felt it probably would have won if Bostick had been there to direct traffic. Even so, the San Diego State-bound point guard had her best season after averaging 10 points, five assists and five steals per game. In the Open Division state championship game win over Windward, Bostick had 16 points, six assists and six steals.
G – Mikayla Cowling (St. Mary’s, Berkeley) 6-1 Jr.
Don’t let her quiet demeanor and non-flash game confuse you. There’s a reason Cal-bound Cowling was offered early and it has to do with consistency and discipline in her game. Cowling scored when needed but was content to play defense. She finished the season with averages of 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.9 steals per game in a season the saw the Panthers advance to the semifinals of the NorCal Open Division playoffs.
F – Ahlisha Henderson (Reseda) 6-3 Sr.
If there was a rebound to get, Henderson would get it almost every possession. The rebounding machine for the Regents averaged 30.4 points and 31.4 rebounds per game as they made it the CIF SoCal Division III regional semifinals after winning the CIF L.A. City Section Division III championship. Named the L.A. City Section Player of the Year, Henderson recently signed with Grambling State for next year. Her reported total of 849 rebounds this season is a state record.
F – Rachel Howard (Berkeley) 5-10 Sr.
The University of San Francisco-bound Yellowjackets’ star was a major force in leading an underdog Berkeley squad to the CIF Division I title game, and three-straight NorCal championships. This past season Howard averaged a double-double 18 points and 13 rebounds per game, and posted a double-double in each of the NorCal Division I playoff games. In the quarterfinals, she had a double-double against McClymonds, and then went on to lead the way with 27 points against Gunn of Palo Alto in the semifinals, scoring more than half of Berkeley’s points in the 54-46 win. In the NorCal finals, Howard added a team-high 23 points and 11 rebounds as her team defeated Oak Ridge of El Dorado Hills.
G – Cheyenne Greenhouse (Canyon Springs, Moreno Valley) 5-10 Jr.
There were five sophomores and one freshman that had to play a lot for the Cougars, which required Greenhouse to become more of a leader. She did that and more with 18.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Greenhouse also shot 72 percent from the line and led Canyon Springs to the CIFSS Division I-A crown.
F – Lynette Johnson (Kennedy, Sacramento) 5-10 Sr.
Named by the Sacramento Bee as its All-Metro Player of the Year, Johnson averaged 17.5 points and 7.6 rebounds this season. Her best game came in a 49-45 win over Oakland Tech that saw her score a season-high 30 points while also grabbing a season-high 13 rebounds. She will be headed to Utah State next season after winning 97 games and a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship during her four seasons on varsity.
G – Leslie Lopez-Wood (Bishop Alemany, Mission Hills) 5-9, Sr.
Leading the Warriors to a CIF Division III state championship, she was already named CIFSS Division 3AA Co-Player of the Year. For this one from us, she doesn’t have to share. Committed to Loyola Marymount, she had 16 points in the Warriors’ 46-40 state final win over Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco.
F – Bayli McClard (Hanford) 6-1, Sr.
Due to a communications mishap, the Bullpups did not advance to the CIF Division I Southern Regional playoffs, but the Gonzaga-bound McClard had nothing to do with it and it did nothing to tarnish her fine senior season. With McClard doing most of the heavy lifting, Hanford was 12-0 in league and did advance to the CIF Central Section title game where the Bullpups lost to Clovis West. On the season, she averaged 18.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 2.6 assists per game. McClard had season-highs of 39 points and 22 rebounds in a Central Section D1 semifinal victory over Bullard of Fresno.
G – Keyla Morgan (Long Beach Poly) 5-8, Sr.
It’s not always about putting up big offensive numbers, particularly on a team where there are 11 players averaging more than 3.5 points a game. Where Morgan shined was with outstanding smothering defense, timely scoring, no fear of mixing it up in the paint with bigger girls, and senior leadership that was the glue that led to a CIF Division I state championship. Kansas likes what Morgan has to offer and this fall she will be joining the Jayhawks. This past season Morgan averaged 9.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 1.9 assists per game.
Note: Mark Tennis and Paul Muyskens contributed to this report.
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend