Boys BB: All-State Best of Best

Two members of this year's Super Elite First Team are point guards Jordan Ford of Folsom and Lonzo Ball of Chino Hills. Photos: &

Two members of this year’s Super Elite First Team are point guards Jordan Ford of Folsom and Lonzo Ball of Chino Hills. Photos: &

It’s finally time to present the 38th annual Cal-Hi Sports all-state elite boys basketball teams. These are the teams selected regardless of CIF division or year in school. This is a look at the 10 players named first team overall. Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf are joined by one junior and we think at least one selection that may be surprising.

For the all-time archive of every Cal-Hi Sports All-State elite/overall team for boys that has been chosen, CLICK HERE.

For this year’s all-state teams according to school size, CLICK HERE.

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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G ­- Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills) 6-6 Sr.
Last year’s unofficial Mr. Basketball runner-up took top honors in the state this year after a magical season that saw the Huskies finish 35-0 and win the mythical national title. Ball earned Division I state player of the year honors twice and was a rare three-time first 10 elite team selection. Ball finished his four-year career with 2,522 points, 1,204 rebounds, 1,214 assists (state No. 1 all-time) and 592 steals (state No. 2 all-time), including 408 assists and 178 steals this past season. Ball is headed to UCLA.

Keith Fisher was the L.A. City Player of the Year. We hope a first team All-State selection gives him a boost as he rehabs from a knee injury. Photo: Andrew Drennen.

Keith Fisher was the L.A. City Player of the Year. We hope a first team All-State selection gives him a boost as he rehabs from a knee injury. Photo: Andrew Drennen.

F ­- Keith Fisher (Westchester, Los Angeles)
6-7 Sr.

The heart and soul of legendary head coach Ed Azzam’s L.A. City Section Open Division championship team, Fisher tore his ACL in the final game of his prep career – a loss to Bishop Montgomery in the first round of the SoCal Open Division playoffs. Who knows what would have happened if he didn’t leave that game in the first quarter? Before that, Fisher averaged 19.8 points and 11.1 rebounds and was named L.A. City Section Player of the Year. He work ethic and improvement also led him to being named all-South Bay by the L.A. Daily Breeze and to the L.A. Times’ 10-man all-star squad. He will play next at San Jose State.

G ­- Jordan Ford (Folsom) 6-0 Sr.
Similar to Lonzo Ball, Ford makes the Elite team for the third consecutive season, with the only difference being Ball made the first 10 each season. Ford went from the third as a sophomore to the second as a junior up to first 10, even though he wasn’t named Sacramento Bee Player of the Year like he was the previous two seasons. It’s a reflection of his sustained excellence and leading Folsom to statewide relevancy almost as much as its football team. This season, Ford led the Bulldogs to a 27-5 mark (they were 28-5 in 2014-15) and to the Sac-Joaquin Section D1 title game. Ford had similar numbers to his junior campaign: 19.7 points, 3.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game. Ford is one of the most accomplished lead guards ever from a Sac-Joaquin Section program. He’s headed next to St. Mary’s.

F ­- T.J. Leaf (Foothills Christian, El Cajon) 6-9 Sr.
We’ve said this before on social media and it’s worth repeating: in numerous seasons the last 30 years, T.J. Leaf would be a hands-down Mr. Basketball choice. After all, many long-time observers such as Frank Burlison feel he’s San Diego County’s best player and prospect since Bill Walton of Helix in 1970. Leaf is a repeat first 10 selection after leading Foothills Christian to its second consecutive section title, last year in D2 and this year in the open division. He was the D2 state player of the year as a junior and since we’re putting Foothills Christian as small schools for those all-state teams he’d be the 2016 Small Schools Player of the Year. Leaf averaged 28.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.1 bpg this past season. The two-time San Diego Section Player of the Year finished his career with 3,020 points (No. 7 on all-time state list) and as the San Diego Section’s No. 2 rebounder all-time behind San Diego Hoover’s Angelo Chol.

Brandon McCoy had a breakout season for Cathedral Catholic and will be one of nation's top seniors next year. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Brandon McCoy had a breakout season for Cathedral Catholic and will be one of nation’s top seniors next year. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

C -­ Brandon McCoy (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego) 6-11 Jr.
He showed solid potential when he was named all-state underclass last season at Morse of San Diego, but came into his own in his first season in head coach Will Cunningham’s program. After a strong summer, McCoy emerged as one of the nation’s top juniors, averaging 21.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game for a 21-7 team that advanced to the San Diego Section Open Division title game. He netted a season-high 28 points against T.J. Leaf and Foothills Christian, but the game that elevated him to first team was a big performance against a Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth team that included at least three elite team candidates, including last year’s sophomore of the year in Cody Riley. McCoy had 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Dons to a 83-80 upset win in the opening round of the SoCal Open playoffs that went along way in him also earning State Junior of the Year accolades.

G ­- De’Anthony Melton (Crespi, Encino) 6-4 Sr.
As one of three Mr. Basketball State POY finalists along with Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf, Melton is naturally a first 10 elite selection. What we’ll remember most about Melton’s career is his block to seal the D4 state title his junior year, some key defensive plays and rebounds vs. Redondo Union in the SoCal D1 regional title game and scoring three straight buckets in a decisive moment vs. Berkeley in this year’s state title game. Melton’s clutch play led Crespi to back-to-back state titles in different divisions and is up there with Lonzo Ball as far as doing whatever it takes, whether it be a key bucket, pass, rebound or defensive play, to help his team win. The L.A. Daily News Player of the Year averaged 20.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.5 steals for a 33-4 club. The USC recruit is also Crespi’s all-time leading scorer.

G ­- Bryce Peters (Damien, La Verne) 6-4 Sr.
He’s one of the players that was a bit overlooked this season because of the looming presence of Lonzo Ball and the gravy train that grew around the Chino Hills team. Playing in the same league as the Huskies, however, Peters had a fantastic campaign in his own right. Peters started out at St. John Bosco and his athleticism actually increased as he grew and gained strength. One of the state’s best finishers, Peters averaged 23 points and five assists per game against solid competition with a season-high 44 vs. league foe Etiwanda. A two-time all Inland Valley Daily Bulletin choice, Peters also made the prestigious all-CIFSS Open Division team. Headed to Colorado, he is Damien’s second all-time scoring leader behind 1996 graduate Brian Jackson.

Concord De La Salle's Jordan Ratinho tries for the reverse layup during CIF state final vs. Chino Hills. Photo: Willie Eashman.

Concord De La Salle’s Jordan Ratinho tries for the reverse layup during CIF Open Division state final vs. Chino Hills. Photo: Willie Eashman.

G ­- Jordan Ratinho (De La Salle, Concord)
6-4 Sr.

The ringleader for the NorCal Open champions had an excellent senior campaign and will continue his career across the bay at USF. One of the state’s best jump shooters, Ratinho averaged 18.7 points for the Spartans and is equally as good on the defensive end. He was a second team all-state underclass choice as a junior, but his production and De La Salle’s team success moves him up to the first 10 overall. Ratinho was first team all-East Bay and first team All-Metro by the San Francisco Chronicle.

F -­ Bryson Williams (Roosevelt, Fresno)
6-8 Sr.

Although he wasn’t the Fresno Bee’s Player of the Year (Colin Slater was), Williams was just too individually dominant to be denied this spot, plus we know after seeing him plenty of times in grassroots event settings that he’d match up well with many first team players. Many also may not be aware of the type of season he had because Williams’ stats aren’t on MaxPreps. According to CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett, however, Williams’ average of 33.8 ppg ranked second all-time in section history. He also averaged 18 rebounds and five blocked shots per game. Another plus is he helped Roosevelt win, as it went 25-8 and captured its first section title since 1977 with a D3 victory over Selma behind his 29-point, 23-rebound performance. He also set a Fresno city record with a 53-point performance. Yes, Roosevelt doesn’t play the competition level as some of the teams the other state’s top forwards play on and he didn’t get the local honor, but this is one time we’re going against the grain. Williams will stay home and play for Fresno State.

F ­- Solomon Young (Sacramento) 6-7 Sr.
By earning player of the year honors from the Sacramento Bee over Folsom’s Jordan Ford, Young forced his way onto the first 10. It’s nothing any different than what he did to foes on the court, using his overpowering game around the basket to help Sacramento to a school-record 30 wins against only two losses. A four-year starter and 3.4 student, Young averaged 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots for a team that captured the Sac Joaquin Section D2 title. Sacramento also defeated Ford’s Folsom club in the NorCal Open Division playoffs in a game in which he went for 22 points and 13 rebounds. Young’s overall production and the local honors helped him earn D2 State Player of the Year laurels plus a scholarship to Iowa State.

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

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

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