All-State Girls BB: First Team Elites

California's five McDonald's All-Americans surprisingly also are among the first team overall on the 2014 all-state team. They are (l-r) Mikayla Cowling, Gabby Green, Jordin Canada, Lajahna Drummer and Mariya Moore. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

California’s five McDonald’s All-Americans surprisingly also are among the first team overall on the 2014 all-state team. They are (l-r) Mikayla Cowling, Gabby Green, Jordin Canada, Lajahna Drummer and Mariya Moore. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

We are proud to present the 34th annual Cal-Hi Sports all-state elite girls basketball teams. These are the teams selected regardless of CIF division or year in school. Every player is written up and profiled. It’s a group with 24 seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and one freshman.

Note: We’ll have an inside look at this year’s girls basketball all-state team posted after all of the teams are chosen, including names of other players who just missed earning a spot on these honor squads. That post plus more exclusive lists and record updates for girls basketball throughout the summer are for Gold Members only. To sign up for a Gold Club membership, CLICK HERE.

More All-State Girls Basketball Links: Ms. Basketball Player of the Year | More State Player of the Year Writeups | All-State Nominees-Part 1 | All-State Nominees-Part 2 (Gold Club)| State Coach of the Year | All-State Underclass | All-State Teams By Divisions

Attention young athletes: To check out info and to sign up for the first-ever Cal-Hi Sports/Gold Medal Excellence All-Sports Speed Camp and All-State Football Combine, CLICK HERE for June 14 event in Tracy or CLICK HERE for June 22 event in Bakersfield.


First Team Overall (10)

G – Jordin Canada (Windward, Los Angeles) 5-6 Sr.
This year’s Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year, Division IV Player of the Year and McDonald’s All-American headlines the first team before heading off to UCLA where she previously told Cal-Hi Sports one of her goals is to make an impact at the next level like many of the previous Ms. Basketball honorees. The Los Angeles Times Girls Player of the Year and last year’s State Junior of the Year and first team selection had per game averages this season of 17.2 points, 6.9 assists 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 steals. Her assist to turnover ratio was better than three to one. She finishes her career at Windward, where most of her four years she wasn’t called upon to score except against the top teams, with 1,769 points. Canada also averaged 4.9 assists per game and ends up with 623 career assists.

G – Arica Carter (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) 5-8 Sr.
On a team with 15 girls scoring 2.7 ppg or better, and having a lot of blowout games that limited her minutes, it was hard for Carter to put up big numbers or stand out when you have the kind blue-collar and non-flash-type game of this Louisville-bound floor general. Still, her overall game and contributions on the CIF Open Division state title team warranted a first team selection. Last year’s Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team Player of the Year has a smooth, athletic and confident style. Coupled with a soft touch on her mid range jumper, it all led to a 10.5 per game scoring average. She also led the team in assists and steals.

F – Mikayla Cowling (St. Mary’s, Berkeley) 6-1 Sr.
Her Tri-County Rock League rival and fellow McDonald’s All-American Mariya Moore got the majority of the Bay Area top honors, but besides being one of 28 invitees to the USA U18 national team tryouts along with Salesian’s Moore, the Cal-bound sleek and stylish Cowling got the nod for league MVP and joined Moore on the San Francisco Chronicle All Metro First Team. From the beginning of last summer, her game has steadily improved to where most girls basketball analysts acknowledge Cowling as the No. 2 player in Northern California behind Moore. Last season she led the team in scoring, rebounding and blocks (16.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.7 blocks) and was second to Gabby Green, her fellow Cal-commit and first team all-state selection, in assists and steals. For her four-year career, Cowling, who is one of the few girls that can elevate high enough to effectively execute finger rolls and lob passes, finishes with a very respectable 1,507 points, 900 rebounds, 387 assists, 235 steals and 212 blocks.

Santa Ana Mater Dei's Katie Lou Samuelson doesn't just shoot 3-pointers. She can score in myriad of ways. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Santa Ana Mater Dei’s Katie Lou Samuelson doesn’t just shoot 3-pointers. She can score in myriad of ways. Photo: Willie Eashman.

C – Lajahna Drummer (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) 6-3 Sr.
Despite missing her entire junior season with a knee injury, and then having to sit out until the first week of January after transferring from Playa del Rey St. Bernard, the UCLA-bound Jackrabbits’ star was arguably the piece of the puzzle Long Beach Poly needed down the stretch to win the CIF Open Division state championship. Despite having her minutes limited in blowout wins, she had excellent numbers. With 11.2 ppg, the 2014 Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team Player of the Year tied for per game scoring team honors on a squad that had nine players average more than five points per game. Her 6.2 rebounds was second on the team. Her explosion back from the injury on the 2013 Girls of Summer scene had everyone poised to expect the kind of year this rugged but athletic post produced. Earlier this week, she was invited to try out for the USA U18 team, the fourth time she has been invited to a USA team tryout.

G – McKynzie Fort (Etiwanda) 5-8 Sr.
In naming the Oregon-bound Fort the Inland Empire Daily News Player of the Year the paper called her “the engine that drove the Etiwanda machine deep into the playoffs.” That drive included a CIF SoCal Open Division upset of Windward before the Eagles fell to eventual state champion Long Beach Poly. On a team with five Division I starters, Fort was not only the engine but the linchpin that held things together. The explosive and athletic combo guard was the Baseline League MVP and an All CIF Southern Section Division I selection. Fort shot 54 percent from the field and averaged a team-high 15.6 points with 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

F – Gabby Green (St. Mary’s, Berkeley) 6-1 Sr.
By far the toughest decision was whether this McDonald’s All-American should be the second girl on the first team from a squad that had an up-and-down season that ended in a semifinal loss to Salesian in the CIF NorCal Open Division playoffs. After battling through nagging injuries for most of the season, Green’s overall game on a team that still had a fine season gave her the nod over sophomore sensation Sabrina Ionescu and seniors Amy Okonkwo and Imani Littleton. This past season, the Cal-bound Panthers’ star was second on the team to fellow Cal-commit and first team selection Mikayla Cowling in points and rebounds with 14.2 and 8.1 per game, respectively. She also led St. Mary’s with 5.1 assists and 4.1 steals per game.

F – Mariya Moore (Salesian, Richmond) 5-11 Sr.
The runner-up to Canada for Ms. Basketball carried her team like Canada but in a more physical way. Like Canada, the McDonald’s All-American and Louisville-bound Moore had a knack for making the perfect no look pass when she wasn’t bulling her way to the basket for a winning score. Besides just missing top honors, she repeats as a first team all-state selection, and also was named both the Contra Costa Times East Bay Player of the Year and the San Francisco Chronicle Metro Area Player of the Year for the second straight season. This past season, in leading Salesian to its third straight NorCal regional title and first in the Open Division, Moore averaged 17.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 3.6 steals per game. Her career numbers are a very respectable 2,396 points, 1,110 rebounds, 878 assists and 535 steals. The career points and assists could get her a spot on those lists in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book. Earlier this week, Moore was invited to try out for the USA U18 national team.

G – Natalie Romeo (Carondelet, Concord) 5-7 Sr.
The Nebraska-bound Cougars’ star and floor general had a fine season and got Carondelet all the way to the CIF NorCal Open Division semifinals. Despite being overshadowed by her teammates at Carondelet (Erica Payne, now at Stanford; Hannah Huffman, now at Notre Dame) in her first two years as a starter, the deadly long-range shooter really came into her own these past two seasons and with 2,151 points finishes as the No. 2 scorer in school history to former Stanford and current WNBA star Jayne Appel. She is the school’s all time assist and steals leader with 735 and 613, respectively. The Contra Costa Times first team selection also finishes her career shooting 35 percent from 3-point range.

G – Katie Lou Samuelson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-3 Jr.
The reigning State Junior of the Year and Division I Player of the Year and last year’s State Sophomore of the Year also is a first team all-state selection for the second straight season. The Gatorade State Player of the Year and repeat winner as the Orange County Register Player of the Year was a leading candidate along with Canada and Moore for the state’s No. 1 honor until a long layoff and elbow injury helped to end her own and the Monarchs’ season in the CIF SoCal Open Division semifinals. Of all the finalists considered for Ms. Basketball, “Lou” as she’s now known as in the girls basketball community, had the highest points and rebounding averages and her shooting percentages were among the tops in the state. On the season, Lou averaged 26.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game. She has been invited to try out for the USA U17 national team after starring on last year’s U16 Gold Medal squad.

F – Kris Simon (Windward, Los Angeles) 6-1 Sr.
The inside portion with Jordin Canada on the outside of what most California girls basketball analysts agree was the best 1-2 combination in the state had her best season ever, despite the team failing to reach the Open Division state title game as many had predicted. Some had other power forward/post types ahead of her to start the season but no one dominated the paint any better this past season than the USC-bound Simon, who has the kind of inside presence colleges crave, and whom the Girls of Summer Caravan uncovered as an eighth-grader. Last season, she averaged 14.6 points and 14.4 rebounds per game, and had more than 20 rebounds in a game eight times, all this on a sore shoulder that required off-season surgery. ESPNW called Simon a “rebounder deluxe with physical interior game that flourishes versus contact.” Plus she can finish in the block.

St. Mary's of Stockton couldn't get a grip on possibly winning the CIF NorCal Open Division title partly because its senior leader, Charise Holloway, suffered a season-ending knee injury in February. Photo: Willie Eashman.

St. Mary’s of Stockton couldn’t get a grip on possibly winning the CIF Northern California Open Division championship partly because its senior leader, Charise Holloway, suffered a season-ending knee injury in February. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Second Team Overall (10)

F – Kennedy Burke (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) Jr.
One of the top-rated juniors and the No. 5 rated wing by ESPNW in the nation, the UCLA-verballed Burke was the key player in a solid playoff run that saw the San Fernando Valley girls make a very good showing in the CIFSS Open Division and then an eventual return to Sacramento for a Division IV state championship after winning the D5 title last year. The Los Angeles Times All-Area Team, Southern Section All-Open Division Team, Los Angeles Daily News All-Area Team member finished the season averaging 15 points and 13 rebounds per game.

G – Chyanne Butler (Serra, Gardena) 5-6 Sr.
The USC-bound point guard was the leader and floor general of a Cavaliers team that came close to making a return trip to Sacramento before falling 59-52 to Sierra Canyon in the CIF Southern Regional Division IV title game. Along the way, Butler led the team in scoring at 17.4 ppg while also registering 4.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.3 steals. Butler was named to the CIF Southern Section All-Open Division Team and was the Torrance Daily Breeze All-Area Co-Player of the Year.

F – Cheyenne Greenhouse (Canyon Springs, Moreno Valley) 5-10 Sr.
The leader and top player on the CIF Division I state champions, and the ESPNW highest rated recruit for San Diego State, played just about every position on the floor but was most comfortable at wing. En route to being named the Riverside Press-Enterprise Player of the Year, a Southern Section All-Open Division Team selection, and the Inland Valley League MVP, Greenhouse posted per game averages of 21.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.5 steals.

F – Kelli Hayes (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 6-0 Sr.
Her young team had an up and down season and didn’t qualify for the Open Division playoffs. However, behind the fleet-footed UCLA-bound Hayes, the Monarchs did make it to another CIF Division II state title game where they were beaten by Chaminade, although with no fault to Hayes who played her heart out. The San Jose Mercury News All-Area Player of the Year, San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro First Team and West Catholic Athletic League MVP had an outstanding season after finishing with 18 points and eight rebounds per game, respectively.

F/G – Charise Holloway (St. Mary’s, Stockton) 5-8 Sr.
The Arizona-bound strong, athletic guard/forward combo had her season and really the Rams’ hopes of a deep Open Division playoff run ended by a knee injury in a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoff game the Rams won easily. Holloway was not the Stockton Record All Area Player of the Year, but she was the top player on a very deep and talented team. She led the team in scoring at 16.6 points per game and pulled down 5.9 rebounds per game. She noticeably stepped up her game and leadership when teammate Bri Moore left the school in January.

F – Sabrina Ionescu (Miramonte, Orinda) 5-11 Soph.
A first team overall near miss after being edged out for the final spot, the State Sophomore and Division III Player of the Year headlines the second team after edging out Natalie Romeo for the San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro First Team. The USA U16 walk-on starter for the Gold Medal winning team has been invited to this year’s U17 team tryouts. For the season, Ionescu, who is on the radar screen of every top college, including NCAA champion Connecticut, scored a school record 598 points (18.7 per game), had a school record 150 steals (4.7 per game), snagged 7.8 rebounds per game, and led the team is assists and 3-point shots at 4.2 per game and 60 for the season, respectively.

C – Imani Littleton (Bishop’s, La Jolla) 6-3 Sr.
Despite the passing of her mother early in the season, the St. John’s-bound Knights’ star played through the anguish of the loss to help lead Bishop’s to the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship. Along the way, the smooth senior post led the team in scoring at 21.9 ppg and rebounding at 12.6 per game and was named the San Diego Section Player of the Year. Littleton also was the Coastal League Most Valuable Player.

C – Amy Okonkwo (Etiwanda) Sr.
The third girl that was strongly considered for first team honors and just missed was also a CIF All Southern Section Open Division, Los Angeles Times All-Area and Inland Daily Bulletin All-Area honoree. The USC-bound post who can occasionally light it up from outside (just ask Mater Dei from the 2013 season) and is just as happy outside as inside where her size and strength make her tough to handle. She was second on the Etiwanda team in scoring at 14.4 points per game and led the team in rebounds after snagging 8.1 per game.

C – Devin Stanback (Chaminade, West Hills) 6-3 Sr.
The big sister of super sophomore Trevor Stanback and little sister of former boys’ all-state player Chace Stanback was part of a sister-brother duo that each helped their Chaminade team to a CIF state championship, with Devin’s coming in Division II and Trevor’s in Division III. The Pepperdine-bound post averaged 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while being named to the Los Angeles Times All-Area Team and the Los Angeles Daily News All-Area Team. Stanback had 27 points in both the SoCal regional final against West of Torrance and in the CIF state final against Mitty.

G – Asha Thomas (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) 5-6 Jr.
Almost every major scouting service rates the Dragons’ point guard as the top junior at that position in the state and as the No. 2 junior behind Katie Lou Samuelson in the state overall. Her season was cut short due to O’Dowd being disqualified from the CIF North Coast Section playoffs so the explosive, athletic Thomas never got to showcase her talents in the postseason. The Contra Costa Times All-Area First Team, San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro Second Team, West Alameda County Conference Foothill League MVP led O’Dowd in points and assists with14.6 and 7.4, respectively.

Third Team Overall (10)

C – Breanna Alford (Miramonte, Orinda) 5-11 Sr.
The second player from the CIF NorCal Regional Open Division runner-up had a breakout season before heading off to Loyola Marymount this fall. The Contra Costa Times All East Bay second team selection averaged 12.5 points and nine rebounds a game. The four-year starter and the school’s career rebounding leader (1,309) had 32 rebounds in one game this past season.

F — Emily Anderson (Clovis West, Fresno) 5-11 Sr.
The Fresno Bee Co-Player of the Year with fellow third team selection Brooke Johnson of Hanford will be taking her game to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this fall. The senior leader helped take the team to the CIF Central Section Division I championship and selection to the Open Division playoffs. She led the team in scoring and was second in rebounding with 17.1 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. For her four-year varsity career, she also finished with 1,227 points.

Mandy Coleman from McNair of Stockton led her team to new heights from a humble start. Photo: Courtesy SportStars.

Mandy Coleman from McNair of Stockton led her team to new heights from a humble start. Photo: Courtesy SportStars.

C – Monique Billings (Santiago, Corona) 6-2 Sr.
Had not Billings suffered an ankle injury that sidelined her for the last 10 games of the season, the UCLA-bound Sharks’ star probably would have been at least a second team and conceivably a first team selection. Instead, she still is named third team and earlier this week was chosen as one of the four girls from California to be invited to the USA U18 national team tryouts. When she went down, Billings was leading the team and well on her way to a spectacular season with averages of 18.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game.

F – Mandy Coleman (McNair, Stockton) 6-4 Sr.
The Stockton Record All-Area Player of the Year helped McNair become the first public school in Stockton to reach a CIF regional title game (boys or girls) in 86 years. The Oklahoma State-bound Coleman can handle the ball on the fly as well as anyone her size in the state and can also finish inside. Coleman led the Tri-City Athletic League in scoring (17.4 points per game), rebounding (13.5) and blocked shots (3.2) and was third in assists (3.5) and steals (3.2). She shared the league’s MVP award with Charise Holloway of St. Mary’s.

F – Desire Finnie (Berkeley) 5-11 Sr.
Despite the fact her Yellowjackets were upset by Pleasant Grove in the NorCal Division I regional title game, the University of Pacific-bound Berkeley star had her best season after leading the team with a double-double averages of 19.3 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. She was both a Contra Costa Times and San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro Second Team selection.

G — Caila Hailey (Serra, Gardena) 5-9 Sr.
A four-year starter for the Cavaliers (who won the D4 state title last season), it only makes sense for Hailey to gain elite all-state status along with teammate Chyanne Butler. The two were named Co-Player of the Year by the South Bay Daily Breeze. Hailey also is headed to the Pac-12 with her future home being Washington State. She posted averages of 14.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.3 steals per game.

G – Brooke Johnson (Hanford) 5-11 Sr.
The Fresno Bee Co-Player of the Year with fellow third team selection Emily Anderson of Clovis West is headed to Nevada Las Vegas this fall. During her four years of carrying on the long tradition of top-notch girls basketball at Hanford, the team was 48-0 in West Yosemite League play and won CIF Central Section Division I crowns in 2011 and 2012. This past season, she led the team in every statistical category after posting averages of 17.6 points, 8.7 rebounds 6.3 assists, 5.1 steals and 3.1 blocks per game. For her career, the all-around star finishes with 1,373 points, 663 rebounds, 515 assists, 495 steals and 146 blocks.

G – Destiny Littleton (Bishop’s, La Jolla) 5-9 Fr.
With tragedy striking the Bishop’s season with the death of star teammate Imani Littleton’s mother, it was this freshman with no relation to Imani who was thrust into a leadership role, and despite playing almost the entire season with a thigh problem, the State Freshman of the Year helped lead the team to the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title. Littleton, who was the only freshman on the San Diego Section’s All-County Team, scored a career high 42 points in a game against Horizon Christian and had 32 points in a win over San Jose Archbishop Mitty, the Division II state finalist. She averaged 20.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 3.6 assists per game.

G – Andee Velasco (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 5-9 Jr.
Along with State Junior of the Year and first team selection Katie Lou Samuelson, the early Loyola Marymount-commit not only handled the point guard duties but gave the Monarchs the top 1-2 punch from outside the 3-point line in the state. The Orange County Register First Team and OC Sidelines All-OC Girls Team selection averaged 10 points and five assists per game.

G – Nikki Wheatley (Bonita, La Verne) 5-7 Sr.
After leading the team to the CIF Southern Section Division I title game, the Nevada Las Vegas-bound floor general earned her third straight San Gabriel Valley Tribune All-Area Player of the Year Award. She was All CIF Southern Section three of her four seasons as well and All-Area four times. She was among the San Gabriel Valley area’s leaders in assists and scoring in leading the Bearcats to their fourth undefeated Hacienda League title in her four years of varsity play.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

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One Comment

  1. Kenny Cruz
    Posted May 17, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Think u missed a great freshman at Mcclatchy…2nd in scoring (stats were skewed due to injury) averaged about 18/game in All the big games!not same team w/out her!!

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