Boys BB: All-State 2nd, 3rd Teams

All-State players in action: Robinson Idehen of Modesto Christian (left) and Eyssau Worku of Los Alamitos. Photos: John Westberg/The Modesto Bee & Andrew Drennen.

All-State players in action: Robinson Idehen of Modesto Christian (left) and Eyassu Worku of Los Alamitos. Photos: John Westberg/The Modesto Bee & Andrew Drennen.

In addition to the first 10 players overall that are written up and showcased, the Cal-Hi Sports all-state boys basketball selections also features two more sets of 10 regarded as our best of the best. Schools getting multiple picks among the top 30 include Chino Hills, Bishop Montgomery of Torrance and Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth.

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For this year’s all-state underclass teams, CLICK HERE.

For this year’s final Gold Club list of all-state boys basketball nominees, CLICK HERE.

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2016 CAL-HI SPORTS ALL-STATE
ELITE BOYS BASKETBALL TEAMS
SECOND TEAM OVERALL

F -­ Li’Angelo Ball (Chino Hills) 6-6 Jr.
We knew there would be three Chino Hills players on this year’s elite team and the consensus is the middle Ball brother should be the second highest honored. Gelo, after all, was the leading scorer on a team that tied a state record with 18 100-point games. Ball ended the season with a 27.4 ppg average, including 41 in a win over nationally-ranked High Point Christian of North Carolina, and also had a perfect shooting performance (12-of-12) in a win over Roosevelt of Corona. Gelo has never met a shot he didn’t like, but he’s also never met a shot he couldn’t make and when he gets hot there is almost nothing a high school defense can do. In addition to his shooting prowess, Gelo has excellent hands and knows how to position himself to put constant pressure of defenses. He made the all-CIFSS Open Division team and the L.A. Times’ all-star team.

Sophomore State Player of the Year Jordan Brown already is well-known among USA junior national coaches. Photos: USABasketball

Sophomore State Player of the Year Jordan Brown already is well-known among USA junior national coaches. Photos: USABasketball

F -­ Jordan Brown (Woodcreek, Roseville)
6-10 Soph.

Our State Sophomore of the Year makes his first appearance on the elite team and it likely won’t be his last. When we evaluated Woodcreek in its first game versus Newark Memorial, we knew the Timberwolves had lost a lot of weapons from a team that advanced to the NorCal D1 regional final and the sophomore big man would receive plenty of defensive attention. Despite those constant double teams and youth at more than one position, Brown still averaged 26.7 points and 15 rebounds per game for a 20-9 club that played solid competition. Brown was a first team all-metro selection by the Sacramento Bee and has a chance to go down as the area’s best big man since Bill Cartwright was the national player of the year at Elk Grove in 1975.

G -­ Shacquille Dawkins (Alemany, Mission Hills) 5-8 Sr.
The Mission League produced two state champs in Crespi (D1) and Harvard-Westlake (D4), but for the second consecutive season Alemany was the outright league champion. Dawkins was the main reason for that and being named Mission League MVP helps him move up from the third team to second since he earned the honor over Crespi’s D’Anthony Melton. Arguably the fastest ball-handler in the state, Shac averaged 19.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.3 steals while cutting down on his turnovers over previous seasons. Dawkins, headed to Vanguard, is a classic example of a player fighting through adversity and being rewarded at the end with a scholarship. He played more under control this season and excelled at making big plays, none bigger than a last-second jump shot to defeat Crespi in the second round of league play.

C ­- Robinson Idehen (Modesto Christian, Modesto) 6-10 Sr.
Despite a poor game at the wrong time versus De La Salle in the NorCal Open final, Idehen had a fantastic overall senior campaign. Idehen helped the Crusaders extend their Modesto Metro Conference winning streak to 156 games while leading them to their first Sac-Joaquin Section Division I title in 14 years by averaging 15.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots. Athletically, he can do things around the rim no other NorCal player besides Manteca’s Kenny Wooten can, whether it’s blocking a shot out of his area or finishing high above the rim. He was the Modesto Bee co-Player of the Year along with teammate Christian Ellis (who was seriously considered for the Elite team), but was the MMC MVP by himself. NorCal’s top overall post prospect in his class, Idehen is still undecided about college but has multiple D1 offers.

Look for details soon on exciting, new way for every stat star and all-state player to be able to order their own highlight video.

Look for details soon on exciting, new way for every stat star and all-state player to be able to order their own highlight video.

G ­- Jonah Mathews (Santa Monica)
6-2 Sr.

He capped his senior campaign by scoring 33 in SaMoHi’s 66-60 victory over Temecula Valley in the CIFSS Division I-A title game. Mathews actually started that game 1-of-10 from the field, but his resiliency is one of his biggest traits, along with one of the best jump shots in the state. A four-year varsity performer who helped the Vikings win a Southern Section title when he was a freshman playing alongside older brother Jordan, Mathews had a great all-around year, averaging 24.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists for a team that lost two future D1 players before the start of the season. The CIFSS Division I-A Player of the Year, Mathews also made the L.A. Times’ All-Star squad and is headed to USC.

G -­ Jaelen Ragsdale (Weston Ranch, Stockton) 6-0 Sr.
When considering our elite selections, it was evident Manteca’s Kenny Wooten made a strong final impression and would move up the charts. He has as much long-term potential as many of the first 10 selections, but he can’t be higher in the pecking order than Ragsdale. Ragsdale was named Player of the Year by the Stockton Record over Wooten and led his team to three victories over Manteca. He went for 34 points in the Cougars’ home win over Manteca and 22 in the third win over that team in the Sac-Joaquin Section D3 title game. For the season, the quick point guard averaged over 20 points per game after entering high school as a 5-foot-3 freshman. Similar to Shac Dawkins, he kept improving every season he was on the varsity. Headed to Cal-State Stanislaus, Ragsdale also was our D3 State Player of the Year.

Devearl Ramsey certainly looked like an all-state player in many Sierra Canyon games, especially the one against Bishop Montgomery. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Devearl Ramsey certainly looked like an all-state player in many of Sierra Canyon’s games, especially the one against Bishop Montgomery of Torrance. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

G -­ Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 5-10 Sr.
It was tough to sort out the plethora of guards left on the board for the second and third 10, but we decided to go with two players off the CIFSS Open Division runner-up club. After all, two players from state No. 2 Bishop Montgomery made the elite all-state teams and Sierra Canyon overwhelmed the Knights in the section semifinals. Ramsey put relentless pressure on defenses and his speed with the ball affected the outcome of many games, all while becoming a more consistent shooter. Bound for Nevada, Ramsey averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game and was first team All-Area by the L.A. Daily News.

G ­- Colin Slater Jr. (Immanuel, Reedley)
6-0 Sr.

He moves up from the third team as a junior after having another stellar year for the Central Section’s best overall team. It’s a bit unfortunate that Immanuel couldn’t compete for a CIF state title after being placed in the Open Division to face Chino Hills, but it doesn’t take away from Slater’s dominance against CIF Central Section foes. Slater, whose family moved to the Central Valley after Hurricane Katrina, helped Immanuel go 41-1 vs. section foes the past two seasons and win two back-to-back D4 titles. As a senior, Slater averaged 22.2 points, shot 63 percent from the field and 90 percent from the line. He netted 20 points in this year’s section title game, had a career-high 52 in a game his junior year and finished his three-year career with 1, 785 career points, according to section historian Bob Barnett. He repeated as the Fresno Bee’s Player of the Year and already has been named D4 State Player of the Year.

F -­ Kenny Wooten (Manteca) 6-8 Sr.
This forward with less playing experience than a vast majority of the state’s elite players is also the most athletic. He didn’t play as a junior, but when he saw him in the fall of 2014 at the California Super Showcase we knew he had big-time potential. It all came together in his final game when he scored 24 points (missing two shots from the field), grabbed 18 rebounds and blocked 11 shots to lead the Buffaloes to the CIF Division III state title over Ayala of Chino Hills. He dominated the game from start to finish and showed why many believe the University of Nevada got itself a major steal if he ever enrolls there. If not, he’ll be a major recruit if he shores up his academics.  Wooten finished the season with averages of 14 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks and was first team all-area by the Stockton Record. He couldn’t be in front of Weston Ranch’s Jaelen Ragsdale on the all-state pecking order, so he lands with him on the second ten.

G -­ Eyassu Worku (Los Alamitos) 6-2 Sr.
Although Los Al was a bit overwhelmed in the CIFSS Open Division and this wasn’t a vintage year for talent in Orange County, it’s still refreshing to see an all-state level talent leading the local public high school as Worku and Evan Leonard (Cerritos) did. Worku carried Los Al in a couple of the games we evaluated and ended up as the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,777), breaking the record of NBA player Landry Fields. As a senior, Worku averaged 24.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game and has received a slew of local honors. He was the Sunset League Player of the Year, the Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team Player of the Year and the Orange County Register Player of the Year. He even got an invite to the Capital Classic in Washington D.C. after the late legendary scout Howie Garfinkel saw him play.

Tommy Rutherford from Grossmont of La Mesa was a double-double machine. Photo: EastCountySports.com.

Tommy Rutherford from Grossmont of La Mesa was a double-double machine. Photo: EastCountySports.com.

2016 CAL-HI SPORTS ALL-STATE
ELITE BOYS BASKETBALL TEAMS
THIRD TEAM OVERALL

F ­- Jordan Griffin (Centennial, Corona) 6-3 Sr.
A four-year contributor for a strong program that won 103 games (vs. 22 losses) during his time on the varsity, Griffin successfully transitioned from a situational shooter to a go-to scorer for his final two years. He capped it off with a big senior campaign with averages of 21.0 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting over 45 percent from 3-point range. Griffin also shot 89 percent from the free throw line. Although he played a wing forward position at times for Centennial, he’s cut out to be a true shooting guard at Long Beach State. He was the Big VIII League co-MVP with Roosevelt’s Matt Mitchell (who was seriously considered for third team as well) and was the only Riverside County player to make the all-CIFSS Open Division team.

Jordan Griffin will play next at Long Beach State. Photo: Andrew Drennen.

Jordan Griffin will play next at Long Beach State. Photo: Andrew Drennen.

F ­- Jake Killingsworth (Serra, San Mateo)
6-5 Sr.

Sure, Killingsworth’s team didn’t beat St. Francis of Mountain View in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs or in the West Catholic Athletic League, but he still was the WCAL Player of the Year and later led the Padres to the CIF Division II state title. Killingsworth, who moved to the Bay Area as a sophomore after starting out in Arkansas, averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds and three assists per game. He almost had a triple-double (12 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists) in Serra’s NorCal D2 win vs. El Cerrito and then had 15 points and 16 rebounds in the state final vs. LB Poly. Killingsworth, also named the San Jose Mercury-News Player of the Year, could have gone to a number of D1 colleges, but is headed to Columbia University of the Ivy League.

G ­- Dikymbe Martin (J.W. North, Riverside) 6-0 Sr.
He was named Player of the Year by the Riverside Press-Enterprise over names such as Centennial’s Jordan Griffin (Long Beach State) and Ike Anigbogu (UCLA) and Roosevelt’s Matt Mitchell and Jemarl Baker, two juniors seriously considered for the elite team. Martin’s offense can be unorthodox at times, but he’s a total winner with a knack for making big shots and the correct reads. This four-year regular headed to UC-Riverside helped J.W. North win 110 games, four league titles and two CIFSS titles, including this year’s Division I-AA crown. He was named CIFSS Division I-AA co-Player of the Year along with Long Beach Poly’s Zafir Williams (another junior seriously considered for third ten accolade).

G ­- Damari Milstead (Moreau Catholic, Hayward) 6-2 Jr.
He came into his own this year to lead a talent-laden Moreau Catholic squad to the NorCal Open Division playoffs for the second consecutive season after it reached the D4 state title game when he was a freshman. Milstead continues to mature and grow physically and that complements his excellent feel for the game. Milstead got his season off on the right track when he alertly intercepted a loose pass in the backcourt against Sierra Canyon to set up the game-winning shot in the Mariners’ season opener and capped it off by scoring a career-high 35 points in their NCS D3 championship game win over Miramonte of Orinda. In between, the son of former Fremont of Oakland standout Jules Milstead averaged 18.8 points and was named first team all-East Bay and All-Metro by the San Francisco Chronicle.

F -­ Sayeed Pridgett (El Cerrito) 6-4 Sr.
Similar to Jonah Mathews, Pridgett is another player whose team lost a key cog or two but who still had a fantastic season. Pridgett is cut out to be a college off-guard, but he played a variety of positions for a Gauchos’ team that finished 22-14 after standout forward Carlos Johnson transferred to Findlay Prep in Nevada for his senior season. As Mathews did, Pridgett had a big-time scoring performance in a section title game, leading El Cerrito to a 70-59 win over Newark Memorial in the NCS D2 title game by scoring 34 points. Pridgett averaged 21.9 points in Tri-County Rock Athletic League games and is one of the most versatile scorers in the state. Headed to Montana, Pridgett was first team All-East Bay and first team All-Metro by the San Francisco Chronicle.

F -­ Cody Riley (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 6-8 Jr.
A repeat elite team selection, Riley was the only 10th-grader to make overall all-state last season and had another standout year for one of the state’s top programs. His scoring average dipped a bit (from 15.6 to 12.5), but that’s mainly because all-stater Devearl Ramsey and Remy Martin (who was also considered for this team) stepped up their scoring. Riley gave the Trailblazers an inside presence against a national schedule and it was especially important after fellow junior Ira Lee left the team. Riley was last year’s Division 5 State Player of the Year and made the all-CIFSS Open Division team this season.

C -­ Tommy Rutherford (Grossmont, La Mesa) 6-9 Sr.
Playing in the shadow of East County (San Diego) All-American T.J. Leaf of Foothills Christian, it would be easy to overlook Rutherford. We didn’t. After he impressed as a junior with 24.4 points and 21.5 rebounds per game, Rutherford was even better as a senior despite missing games late in the season with a sprained ankle. His senior averages were 25.2 points and 20.9 rebounds. Rutherford joined Leaf on the All-San Diego Section team along with All-American junior Brandon McCoy and was considered our third player in the section’s pecking order for all-state honors. Rutherford will play next at UC Irvine.

Eli Scott was perhaps the most athletic player for No. 1 Chino Hills. Photo: Andrew Drennen.

Eli Scott was perhaps the most athletic player for No. 1 Chino Hills. Photo: Andrew Drennen.

F -­ Elizjah Scott (Chino Hills) 6-4 Jr.
Only truly great teams (such as a couple of the L.A. Crenshaw teams of the 1980s or the L.A. Westchester teams of the mid 2000s) have placed three players on the elite team and after what Chino Hills accomplished this season, Scott deserves to be the third Husky chosen. In the pecking order for a team that basically played five players, Scott was No. 3 in front of the two freshmen (Melo Ball and Oneyka Okongwu) because his impact was a bit greater than Melo’s and his numbers were a bit more consistent from beginning to end than Big O. Scott was named first team All-Area by the Daily Bulletin after averaging 15.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists while hitting double figures in scoring 33 of 35 games. Scott went for 16 points and nine rebounds in the CIF Open Division state title game win and was named first team all-CIFSS Open Division.

G -­ David Singleton (Bishop Montgomery, Torrance) 6-3 Soph.
Only one of two 10th-graders to make the elite team after a breakout individual season in which Bishop Montgomery finished as the No. 2 ranked team in the state with an all-underclass starting lineup, Singleton forced his way onto this team. He was named Player of the Year by the South Bay Daily Breeze over his teammate Ethan Thompson, Keith Fisher of L.A. Westchester and Leland Green of Redondo Union. We would have gone with Fisher (that’s why he’s first team), but Singleton wasn’t going to be denied after averaging 18.9 points and hitting on 92 percent of his free throws. He also averaged 27.5 points in two games versus state No. 1 Chino Hills, hit the game winning shot in the CIFSS Open Division quarterfinals versus Damien of La Verne, and was lauded for his “throwback” attitude towards winning and competing in the big games.

G -­ Ethan Thompson (Bishop Montgomery, Torrance) 6-4 Jr.
He could join his older brother Stevie Jr. (now at Oregon State) and his father (who played at Crenshaw in 1985 and 1986) next season as two-time elite all-state honorees. Thompson had some of the smooth offensive moves that his older brother possesses, but he actually has a stronger frame and is probably a better rebounder. He also drew raves for his defensive work versus Mr. Basketball Lonzo Ball in the two highly-anticipated contests. He averaged 17.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists while making the all-CIFSS Open Division team, an honor that teammate David Singleton did not earn (but should have).

Note: Co-founder Mark Tennis contributed to this report.

Ronnie Flores is the managing editor of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at ronlocc1977@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonMFlores


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