The four finalists for Ms. Basketball are joined by 26 others on the 39th annual Cal-Hi Sports All-State teams regardless of CIF division or class. This year’s first team only has three seniors but it’s loaded with six juniors and in a rare occurrence one freshman. We’re lucky to have covered some of the greatest players in women’s basketball history and welcome these girls to the status of first team all-state.
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2018 CAL-HI SPORTS ALL-STATE
ELITE GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAMS
FIRST TEAM OVERALL
G – Madison Campbell (Clovis West, Fresno) 5-11 Jr.
Many thought it would be a rebuilding year for head coach Craig Campbell and his Golden Eagles after he lost five Division I players to graduation, but one player he didn’t lose was his daughter, and Madison responded by leading the team to a 13th straight league championship and sixth straight CIF Central Section Division I title and to the final four of the CIF Open Division state championship before it bowed out to Windward in the Southern Regional title game with a 32-4 record. Along the way, Campbell broke school records for points in a game (41), points in a season (737), three-pointers in a game (nine), and three-pointers in a season (120). Despite being known as a shooting guard, she did everything well and averaged 20.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 4.0 steals per game, attempted 200 free throws (which is very high for a girl known as a perimeter player), and she had nine double-doubles, with seven involving points and rebounds and one each points and assists and points and steals. Campbell also had two triple-doubles. She needs less than 300 points and 12 three-pointers next season to become the school’s all-time leader in those categories. Campbell has over 20 Division I offers with 11 considered major.
W – Aquira DeCosta (St. Mary’s, Stockton) 6-3 Sr.
One of four finalists for Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year, DeCosta has now been on the All-State Basketball Girls Elite First Team for four straight years after earning a spot when she was named the State Freshman of the Year in 2015, State Sophomore of the Year in 2016, State Junior of the Year in 2017, and now, and although she didn’t get Ms. Basketball, State Senior of the Year this season. One of only two McDonald’s All-American selections from California, the Baylor-bound wing, who can play just about every position down low and also is pretty proficient handling the ball on the fly, averaged 18.3 points, 13.1 rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks per game, and this season went over the 1,800-career point and 1,100-career rebound marks. Although she had great in-school seasons, she shined even brighter during the past two summers. In 2016, Aquira was one of the top players on the 2017 USA U17 world championship team and then last summer joined 2017 Ms. Basketball Destiny Littleton as two of three girls on the USA Basketball 3×3 U18 world cup winning team. DeCosta was recently invited to the USA U18 trials as one of only three California girls of 36 invitees.
W – McKenzie Forbes (Folsom) 6-1 Sr.
To say the Cal-bound McDonald’s All-American (along with good friend DeCosta) put Folsom on the map for girls basketball in California would be a bit of an understatement. Before she arrived, Folsom was very well known as a football school and to some extent boys basketball, where her twin brother and Harvard-bound Mason Forbes was a star this year, but the program had seen some rough times, including going 5-22 two years before she arrived. However, in the end not only did the daughter of former Harlem Globetrotters’ star and Folsom top assistant coach Sterling “Smooth” Forbes get the Bulldogs on the radar screen, the Ms. Basketball finalist was the reason Folsom had its greatest season in school history after she led the Bulldogs to the CIF Northern Regional Open Division playoffs. Forbes as such joins her friend DeCosta as one of 36 girls with only three from the Golden State invited to the USA U18 trials in late May.
F – Kiki Iriafen (Harvard-Westlake, N. Hollywood) 6-1 Fr.
It’s rare for a freshman to make the All-State Elite First Team but the State Freshman of the Year is that rare and unique exception, and to think she only started playing basketball seriously a few months before the season began makes it even more amazing. There was no doubt Iriafen was the real deal when college coaches and analysts like Dan Olson of ESPN hardly knew who she was when she performed for them at the MLK St. Mary’s Showcase in Stockton, and sparkled. She went up against fellow Elite First Team selection Angel Jackson of Salesian, who lots of colleges were there to see, and got the best Jackson after finishing with a double-double 22 points and 16 rebounds in a 54-39 Wolverines’ victory. Iriafen can handle the ball with either hand and finishes down low, but despite her tender age knows her limitations and lets her teammates do the majority of the ball handling. Iriafen led the team in scoring and rebounding with 17.0 and 10.8 per game averages, respectively, and against a schedule of top tournaments and nationally-ranked teams. The cherry on the sundae is Iriafen had 21 double-doubles for the 26-6 Wolverines, who finished No. 6 in the final state rankings.
C – Angel Jackson (Salesian, Richmond) 6-5 Jr.
For a consummate team player that doesn’t always look for her shot, and on a team that stresses defense, the top rated post player in the state had some very decent numbers. On the season, Jackson averaged a double-double 14.6 points and 10.5 rebounds plus 4.6 blocks a game. In a 27-6 season for the Pride, she had 21 double-doubles and three triple-doubles (with blocked shots), including a season-best 31-point, 21-rebound, 10-block performance. Although it wasn’t her top performance of the season, one of her best games came in the CIF Open Division Northern Regional quarterfinals when she totally controlled the paint to finish with 13 points and 13 rebounds with five blocks in a 57-52 road victory over Folsom. The season ended for Jackson and the Pride in a loss to Archbishop Mitty in the NorCal Open semifinals but Jackson went out with a bang after finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds with four blocks. Jackson has major interest from Division I colleges and the list that’s already pretty long seems to grow every day. Currently the list includes Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Loyola Marymount, Nevada Las Vegas, Texas, UCLA, USC and Washington State.
W – Haley Jones (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
Most players list a position, and the recruiting analysts rate and rank players by position and year, but in the case of Jones, who is the ESPNW No. 1 ranked junior wing and to many the No. 1 junior at any position, it is and it isn’t appropriate, because Jones can play any position on the court and play it as good as any girl in the nation. The Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year finalist who was nosed out by Charisma Osborne won so many awards this past season she literally needs a wheelbarrow to tote them around. She was Gatorade State Player of the Year where academics and community service are involved, the consensus Player of the Year in the West Catholic Athletic League, the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Central Coast Section Player of the Year, the Bay Area News Group Player of the Year, the San Francisco Chronicle Metro Girls Player of the Year for the second straight season, a Cal-Hi Sports Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year finalist for the second straight year and will be First Team All State for the second straight year. The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame has asked to borrow Haley’s jersey to be displayed in the Hall’s “ring of honor” for her outstanding play this past season. Other national honors include being the only junior on First Team All-American for USA Today, and First Team All-American for MaxPreps. Jones averaged 21.8 points 10.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.5 blocks and 2.0 steals per game. Not too many high school players can say that UConn jead coach Geno Auriemma, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer, South Carolina’s Dawn Staley, and national champion coach Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame, plus coaches from all nine of the schools she’s narrowed it down to, the four mentioned plus Cal, Louisville, Oregon, Texas and UCLA, have come to see her play personally.
G/W – Hannah Jump (Pinewood, Los Altos Hills) 5-11 Jr.
Very few, if any, players in Northern California have ever been offered by Stanford prior to the end of their junior season, or for that matter not many players at all from NorCal or even California period, are asked to grace a Cardinals uniform, but hopping Hannah Jump has the entire package, including an astronomical 4.31 GPA that’s gotten her an offer to come to The Farm that she’s accepted. Everyone wants a shooter and Jump is just that, but besides being deadly from outside the arc she’s steadily developed the rest of her game and now has solid numbers in all statistical categories. She led the Northern Regional Open Division champions in scoring (16.7 ppg), was second in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and was right around two assists and two steals per game. Jump drilled 102 three-pointers and shot 45 percent from outside the arc, 57 percent on 2-pointers and 84 percent from the free-throw line. She has 266 career three-pointers and if she gets 100 or more next year she’ll be pretty high up on the career list in the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book.
G – Karisma Ortiz (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 6-0 Sr.
Teammate Haley Jones got most of the ink but the true leader according to Archbishop Mitty head coach Sue Phillips of a team that some had finishing number one in the nation (despite not winning the state title) is this Penn State-bound floor general. Ortiz started all 30 games for the Monarchs and was second on the team in scoring and rebounding to Jones and first in assists with 14.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game averages. Despite spending a lot of time on the perimeter, she was very effective inside as well as evidenced by her 10 double-doubles, including one with points and assists, and one triple-double with two other near miss triple-doubles. Two of her double-double performances came against nationally-ranked St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) and national No. 2 Maryland Riverdale Baptist at the Nike TOC. With Jones having fouled out she played herself to exhaustion in the CIF Northern Regional Open Division triple overtime loss to Pinewood and still finished with a double-double 14 points and 11 rebounds with five assists in her final high school game. She is one of only three California girls along with fellow first team selections DeCosta and Forbes to be invited to the USA U18 trials in late May.
G – Charisma Osborne (Windward, Los Angeles) 5-9 Jr.
Although she didn’t get the national recognition she may have deserved after leading Windward to 2018 CIF State Open Division title, the Ms. Basketball finalist went home with not only the hardware for her team winning a CIF Open Division state championship but she was the Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year as well. After what she did in both the CIF Southern Section Open Division title run and then on the road to the CIF Southern Regional Open Division championship prior to the state title game, Osborne was a lock for being one of the four Ms. Basketball finalists and this group as well, but her performance in Sacramento in the Wildcats’ win over Pinewood sealed the deal. Osborne set a CIF Open Division record with six 3-pointers in the Pinewood win and finished with 26 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. Osborne, who was the State Freshman of the Year and a close runner-up to Haley Jones for State Sophomore of the Year last season, and who she edged for Ms. Basketball this season, averaged 18.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.2 steals. She is currently considering college offers from Stanford, Cal, USC, UCLA and Ohio State.
W – Alexis Tucker (Serra, Gardena) 5-11 Jr.
The heart and soul of the CIF Division I state champions, Tucker was a First Team All CIF Southern Section Open Division selection while leading the Cavaliers to a 25-8 record that culminated in a 70-54 victory in the CIF D1 state title game over Sacred Heart Cathedral where she had a double-double 19 points and 11 rebounds. On the season and against a very formidable schedule of opponents, Tucker averaged 16.9 points, 13.2 points, 2.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game and amazingly had 29 double-double performances in 33 games. Her best game statistically was in an early season win over CIF Open Division participant Etiwanda where she went for 30 points and 15 rebounds with three steals and two assists. Not only does Tucker get it done on the court but in the classroom as well where she maintains a 4.3 GPA. Because of her academic prowess, Tucker has slowed the recruiting process but according to Serra head coach and State Coach of the Year McKinsey Hadley several schools have made offers including Michigan, Texas Tech and a number of Pac-12 schools as well.
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