We include some big-time efforts from players who have already led their teams this week to major national invitational titles such as Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills) and Aquira DeCosta (Stockton St. Mary’s). Others lighting up scorebooks include Johnny McWilliams of San Marcos and Junior Ballard of Lathrop for boys plus Janelle Sumilong of Hanford and Stephanie Custodio of Chino for girls. Other teams making headlines are the Freedom of Oakley boys and Archbishop Mitty girls.
Note: We will collect totals from MaxPreps, newspapers, tweets and from those sent in to us. We also will compile single-game highs from this post throughout the season and of course we use our weekly State Stat Stars collection as an aid for the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book. That is the only state record book anyone has ever done and we have published it seven times with full copyright protection. To report totals to us for this feature and for the record book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209-463-9050. You can also text to 209-608-1317.
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(All players listed in alphabetical order)
(For games played through Wednesday, Dec. 23)
(Writeups by Mark Tennis, Paul Muyskens & CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett)
LiAngelo Ball (Chino Hills)
One night before the Huskies won the prestigious City of Palms Classic championship in Florida earlier this week (see below), they took down High Point Christian of North Carolina in the semifinals 94-82. LiAngelo, a junior guard committed along with older brother Lonzo and younger freshman brother LiMelo to UCLA, bombed away on the perimeter for 42 points.
Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills)
The hoops world is on fire checking out Lonzo and his other family members after they led the Huskies to the City of Palms Classic title this week in Florida. In the title game, two days after Chino Hills edged national No. 1 Montverde Academy of Florida, Lonzo had 20 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds during a 66-60 win over Patrick School of New Jersey in the finals. With the win, our preseason No. 1 team in the state stayed unbeaten and headed into the MaxPreps Invitational that starts later this week already moved up to No. 1 in the nation by several media outlets.
Junior Ballard (Lathrop)
Not even a junior yet, this sophomore had back to back big games but they both came in losses as he scored 37 points during a 62-57 loss to Liberty Ranch of Galt and the next day he scored 45 points during a 86-79 loss to Sonora.
Evan Battey (Villa Park)
Leading the Spartans to a win over Lehi of Utah at the Tarkanian Classic, he scored 32 points in the 87-64 victory. He’s already been a SoCal Player of the Week this season.
Jimmy Beltz (Elliot Christian, Lodi)
He scored 40 points the week before in a win over Galt but did even better last week during a 86-75 loss to McNair of Stockton as the junior guard scored 53 points. It’s the fourth highest single game point total so far in the state this season.
DeShawnte Collins (Freedom, Oakley)
The 6-foot-4 senior was named the MVP of the Roy Ghiggeri Invitational after scoring 23 points when 6-1 Freedom surprised previously unbeaten and state-ranked Folsom 83-81 in three overtimes in the tourney final.
Tyler Garlitos (Burlingame)
In a huge 66-55 win over defending CCS Open Division champion Serra of San Mateo, Garlitos led the Panthers with 29 points. He played earlier in his career for the Padres and helped the Panthers improve to 5-1. According to the San Jose Mercury News, he is averaging 20.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
Jesse Hurtado (Alisal, Salinas)
A senior guard with a 35-point outing from earlier in the season, Hurtado hit for 30 points and had seven rebounds and six assists in a 64-60 victory vs. Carlmont of Belmont.
Noel Iniquez (Tranquillity)
He led his team to the Hawks Classic by scoring a game high of 34 points as the Tigers beat Yosemite of Oakhurst 64-53 in the championship game.
Clayton Ladine (Burton, San Francisco)
Becoming a weekly regular in our state stat stars list, Ladine had a season-high 43 points during a 76-74 win over St. Francis of Watsonville.
T.J. Leaf (Foothills Christian, El Cajon)
Facing Cypress Lakes of Texas, the All-American candidate had 36 points and 10 rebounds as the Knights picked up a 57-55 win. He and his team’s game coming up in January vs. Chino Hills at Sierra Canyon is generating a lot of buzz.
Johnny McWilliams (San Marcos)
One of the San Diego Union Tribune’s Athletes of the Week, McWilliams rampaged for 49 points to lead the Knights past Escondido in the championship game of the North County Classic tournament.
Luke Nichols (Valley Christian Academy, Santa Maria)
Outscoring Maricopa on his own, he had 34 points during a 80-32 win. It was his fourth time this season Nichols scored over 30 points in a game. Earlier this season, he had 57 points in a win over Cate of Carpinteria.
Kezie Okpala (Esperanza, Anaheim)
The Aztecs improved to 5-4 on the year with a 74-59 win over University of Irvine as he scored 35 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and had six assists.
Pearson Parker (Servite, Anaheim)
With Parker scoring 28 points, the Friars defeated Downey 57-53 for third place at the North Orange County Championships. Earlier in the tournament, he scored 31 points during a 60-58 overtime win against Central Valley Christian.
Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth)
It was a battle of nationally ranked teams when Ramsey and the Trailblazers defeated La Lumiere of La Porte, Ind., 53-48, in the title game earlier this week at the Iolani Classic in Honolulu. Ramsey, a University of Nevada recruit, had a game-high 25 points. Sierra Canyon has an early loss, but beat a La Lumiere squad that was as high as No. 2 in the national rankings.
Ethan Richardson (Madera)
The senior 6-foot-9 center scored a season high of 38 points in a 61-44 win over Washington Union. He also scored 30 points in a 68-56 losing effort against Roosevelt of Fresno.
Trey Smith (Saddleback Valley Christian)
Despite knocking down the treys and finishing with a game-high 34 points, it wasn’t enough to prevent a 64-62 loss in overtime against Canyon of Anaheim at the North Orange County Championships.
William Thigpen (Indio)
This 6-foot-4 senior has ramped it up in the last two weeks. In back-to-back outings before the Rajahs hit their Christmas break, Thigpen had 32 points in a 88-85 win vs. Xavier Prep and then 34 in a 67-63 loss to Desert Hot Springs. It helped push his scoring average to 22.3 ppg.
Noah Valencia (California School for the Deaf, Riverside)
Scoring at least 30 points in all four games last week, he scored 46 points to go along with 10 steals, nine rebounds and six assists during a 83-19 win over Anaheim Discovery Christian. Valencia had a 71-point game earlier in the season for one of the highest totals in recent years and 10th best in state history.
Bryson Williams (Roosevelt, Fresno)
He put on a show by scoring 43 points in a 71-36 win over Washington Union in the Holiday Invitational Tournament. Bryson scored 137 points in four games to set a new HIT record. Earlier in the season, Williams set a new school record by scoring 50 points against Buhach Colony of Atwater in a 81-57 triumph.
Delacy Brown (Poly, Riverside)
Outscoring La Sierra of Riverside on her own, our first SoCal Player of the Week of the season (named two weeks ago) finished with 32 points and eight steals during a 68-29 win.
Sierra Campisano (Torrey Pines, San Diego)
The University of Oregon-bound standout had a 46-point game in her first game of the season but since then she hadn’t broken 30 in a game until last week when she scored 36 points during a 81-50 win over Mira Mesa of San Diego and 34 during a 80-34 win over Santa Fe Christian of Solana Beach.
Stephanie Custodio (Chino)
One of several team captains to lead their team with big time performances last week, she scored 30 points during a 65-26 win over Santiago of Corona. Averaging 22.7 points per game, she has scored at least 30 points in a game four times this season with a season-best 38 points coming in the Cowgirls’ season opener.
Aquira DeCosta (St. Mary’s, Stockton)
With so many talented players on the Rams’ roster, to have one player have a huge night isn’t likely but this sophomore sensation had 27 points during a 86-73 win over Archbishop Mitty of San Jose in the semifinals of the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona. DeCosta then had 22 points in a 75-70 win over Riverdale Baptist of Maryland in the final, which also matched the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation. DeCosta was MVP of the event and unbeaten St. Mary’s will head to its next tournament – the Title IX Classic in Washington, D.C. – firmly planted as the No. 1 team in the state and nation.
Miranda Hernandez (Our Lady of Peace, San Diego)
The 5-foot-10 junior guard rattled home a season high of 31 points earlier this week to lead OLP past Otay Ranch of Chula Vista 70-50.
Maddie Holland (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
The junior forward notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, which aren’t normally stat star worthy totals but we had to mention it since it came in a 58-56 win over nationally ranked Good Counsel of Maryland at the Nike TOC. The Mitty girls lost their only game in the top division of that event to Stockton St. Mary’s and emerged deserving of a higher ranking than any of the other California teams who were there other than St. Mary’s, including Chaminade (lost twice), Mater Dei and Long Beach Poly.
Rebecca Gallis (Kern Valley, Lake Isabella)
A stat star regular for the past two seasons, her 32 points and 10 rebounds wasn’t enough to prevent the Broncs from opening last week with a heartbreaking 54-53 loss to Monache of Porterville.
Anyssia Gibbs (Granite Hills, Apple Valley)
For the third time already this season, this sophomore captain recorded a triple-double with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists during a 56-50 win over Hesperia. She also had eight steals and once again just missed a quadruple-double. Gibbs missed one earlier this season by one rebound.
Krystal Gutierrez (Immanuel, Reedley)
She scored a career high of 30 points in a non-league game against San Joaquin Memorial that the Eagles won 65-44.
Destiny Littleton (Bishop’s, La Jolla)
Scoring over 30 points in all six of her games last week, her biggest scoring game came in the final game of the week when she scored 42 points during a 87-37 win over Rancho Bernardo of San Diego. She currently is listed as the state leader in scoring according to MaxPreps at 39.4 points per game.
Tatianna Kelly (Alameda)
The Hornets were playing at the Nike TOC in Arizona last week in one of the lower divisions and in a 72-56 win vs. Canyon Springs of Moreno Valley it was Kelly who came up huge with a game-high 33 points.
Aarion McDonald (Brookside Christian, Stockton)
It would be funny if she’s a McDonald’s All-American and she has to be candidate. The senior guard scored a season-high 38 points while recording 10 steals during a 74-73 win over state-ranked Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco. Just the day before she scored 27 points during a 59-54 win over St. Mary’s of Berkeley. Those are two big-time wins for the Bruins against two of the top teams in the Bay Area.
Amber Melgoza (Santa Barbara)
Following her season-best 37 points from the week before, Melgoza pumped in 35 points during a 60-42 win over Camarillo of Lompoc to keep the Dons undefeated.
Rachel Peterman (Loyalton)
The leading reported scorer in the CIF Northern Section at 21.0 ppg, Peterman racked up 32 points and had 12 rebounds and seven steals in a 72-33 win over Pyramid Lake (Nevada).
Janelle Sumilong (Hanford)
The Bullpups opened West Yosemite League play with a 75-44 win over Redwood of Visalia, which ended a long league win streak Hanford was on last season. Sumilong was dominant with 32 points, 12 rebounds, six assists & five steals.
Jordan Thompson (Harker, San Jose)
Her performance last week helped at least one of us learn of a school we had never heard of before. Thompson scored 41 points during a 80-51 win over Kirby Prep of Santa Cruz.