The six finalists for Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year are joined by 24 others on the 40th annual Cal-Hi Sports All-State teams regardless of CIF division or class. This year’s first team has six seniors, three juniors and a lone sophomore. Two are from the same team.
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2019 CAL-HI SPORTS ALL-STATE
ELITE GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAMS
FIRST TEAM OVERALL
C – Ali Bamberger (Carondelet, Concord) 6-3, Sr.
Bamberger was not one of six finalists for Ms. Basketball but if we had seven she probably would have been in that slot after the kind of season and career the 6-foot-3 Washington-bound center has had in her four-year varsity career as a Cougar. This past season for a Cougars’ team that went 26-5, won a third straight North Coast Section Division I title and made it to the CIF Northern Regional Open Division semifinals before bowing out to CIF state finalist Pinewood of Los Altos Hills, Bamberger averaged 18.8 points and 13.9 rebounds per game. The rebounding mark ranked No. 3 in the NCS and top 20 in the state for reported totals to MaxPreps, and the points are top 10 in the NCS as well. Bamberger reached the significant 1,500 and 1,000 plateaus for scoring and rebounding after closing out her four-year varsity career with 1,689 points and 1,108 rebounds. She did get to play in one post-season all-star game after being selected as one of 30 players nationwide for the Pass Tha Ball Who’s Nxt All American game in Tampa, Florida on the Saturday between the NCAA women’s Final Four and championship game. Her American squad had the only two California players with Elite First Team selection as Ali was joined by USC-bound Madison Campbell of Clovis West (Fresno) on the team. The double-double master just missed one but Bamberger still had 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds in a 71-64 victory. The thing that made Bamberger so hard to stop was when she got the ball down low there were few girls who could stop her, and it didn’t make any difference if she used her right or left hand. Ali’s father, Eric Bamberger, was selected to the 1989 All-State Boys Basketball Team from Ygnacio Valley (Concord). In the format used for that year, Dad was shown on the Third Five. Since Ali is on the first 10 for this year, she edges Pops for a slightly higher all-state selection.
G – Madison Campbell (Clovis West, Fresno) 5-11, Sr.
The four-year varsity USC-bound Campbell was already a budding star when she was a sophomore on the 2016 team from Clovis West that won a CIF Open Division state championship and her game has improved in each of the following two seasons. The 5-foot-11 Campbell, who is the daughter of Clovis West head coach Craig Campbell, set school records as an individual and as a member of the Golden Eagles’ team as well. Despite playing a lot on the perimeter because of her three-point shooting ability, she still managed to average a double-double 19.9 points and 10.9 rebounds to go with 6.3 assists. For her career, she set school records with 1,993 points, 617 assists and 324 made three-pointers. Her three-point total also is second all-time in the section and a number that will get her on the Most Three-Point Field Goals Made (Career) list in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book. Madison’s four years also saw her and a couple of classmates win 127 games, which is the best in section history and one of the best in state history. Like Elite First Team selection Ali Bamberger, she was one of two California girls out of 30 selected nationwide to play in the Pass Tha Ball Who’s Nxt All American game in Tampa, Florida on the Saturday between the NCAA women’s Final Four and championship game. Like Bamberger, Madison was on the winning team.
G – Ashley Chevalier (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 5-7, Jr.
Combined with her backcourt teammate and Elite First Team selection Vanessa De Jesus, the daughter of state CIF Open Division champion Sierra Canyon boys head coach Andre Chevalier gave the Trailblazers and State Coach of the Year Alicia Komaki the kind of 1-2 backcourt punch the team rode to a 33-1 record, a high national ranking, and all the way to matching the boys in winning a CIF Open Division title. It was very close between Chevalier and De Jesus for State Junior of the Year, so close that if we didn’t have a tradition going back 40-years of not doing a co-anything, an argument could have been made to break the mold. The L.A. Daily News made her its Player of the Year, and some of that reasoning may be because of what she did in the CIF Open title-game 69-51 victory when she went for game-highs of 20 points and seven assists, plus she had five rebounds and played great defense. Prior to that she went for 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in a CIF Southern Regional Open Division 74-70 win on the road at Clovis West. For the season, Chevalier averaged 12.8 points and 5.1 assists per game.
G – Vanessa De Jesus (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 5-7, Jr.
The other half of the Dynamic Duo backcourt who also was a finalist for Ms. Basketball, won out for State Junior of the Year by the thinnest of margins over her teammate and First Team Elite selection Ashley Chevalier. When we looked at it, we felt she played equally as well as Chevalier in the final two games, and her overall body of work was a tad more complete than her Trailblazers’ teammate. It was so close that State Coach of the Year and Sierra Canyon head coach Alicia Komaki tried hard to make a case for co-players but as was previously mentioned that is outside the Cal-Hi Sports’ box. De Jesus had 17 points, five rebounds and three assists, and was 3-of-6 on three-pointers in the CIF Open Division state championship 69-51 victory over Pinewood. In three games against Gold Coast League arch rival Windward (Los Angeles), including the one game they lost this year, De Jesus had 32 points in the first game when they won, and averaged 20.3 points with 4.3 rebounds and made 60 percent of her three-point shots. On the season, De Jesus, who is also pretty adept at tickling the ivories as a classically trained pianist, averaged 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
W – Brooke Demetre (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-2, Soph.
Although just a sophomore, Demetre was an overwhelming choice as the Orange County Register Player of the Year, and after finishing a close second to Kiki Iriafen of Harvard-Westlake (Studio City) for State Freshman of the Year, Demetre was not denied this season and snagged the State Sophomore of the Year honors by turning the tables and edging out Iriafen. The 6-foot-2 Demetre, who is listed as a guard but can pretty much play any position on the court, was instrumental in helping lead the Monarchs to a Trinity League title, a 2-1 record in the CIF Southern Section Open Division Pool play format that included wins over Etiwanda and a third win against CIF Division I state champion Rosary of Fullerton, and a close loss to Windward of Los Angeles, and then into the CIF Southern Regional Open Division where the Monarchs’ season ended in a loss to Clovis West of Fresno. Along the way, Demetre led a very balanced Mater Dei team in scoring at 14.6 points per game, rebounding at 6.6 rebounds a game, blocks at 1.8 per game, and was second in assists and steals at 3.3 and 2.1 per game, respectively. Not many players listed as a guard had the six double-doubles Demetre had last season for the 28-5 Monarchs.
C – Angel Jackson (Salesian, Richmond)
The only girl in California besides Ms. Basketball and First Team Elite selection Haley Jones and fellow first-teamer Charisma Osborne to be a McDonald’s All American and also play in the Jordan Brand Classic, Jackson was a dominant force inside for the CIF Northern Regional Open Division runner-up Pride. The USC-bound Jackson helped lead the Pride to a 25-9 record playing against the nation’s toughest competition in tournament action, a third straight CIF North Coast Section Division III title, and a second win in four years in the CIF Open Division playoffs over an Archbishop Mitty team that was nationally ranked both times. Other than her freshman season, Jackson has averaged a double-double, and this year, with Salesian head coach Steve Pezzola asking her to score more, she had her highest per game scoring in average in her four-year varsity career, and also had her highest rebounding stats. This past season the double-double machine had per game averages of 16.2 points and 12.0 rebounds, plus she averaged 3.6 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.3 assists per contest. For her career, Jackson leaves Salesian with 1,659 points (12.7 ppg), 1,309 rebounds (10.0 rpg) and 572 blocks which is 4.4 per game. Her rebounding and blocked shots will qualify for those career lists in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book.
W – Haley Jones (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 6-1, Sr.
Despite only losing 11 games in her four-year varsity career, the one thing that eluded the 2019 Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year was winning a CIF state championship, because the Stanford-bound Jones snagged everything else. We don’t usually put in local awards unless you’re the outright winner, and not only did Jones win every local award in the San Francisco Bay Area, she darn near won all the national awards as well. Besides Ms. Basketball, Jones is a two-time California Gatorade Player of the Year and 2019 finalist with two others for the national honor, the WABC National Player of the Year, Naismith National Player of the Year, Morgan Wooten National Player of the Year, USA Today First Team All-American, World Champion – Gold Medal winner with USA Basketball U17 team, one of five players named to the All World Team, ESPNW No. 1 recruit in the nation for the Class of 2019, two-time San Francisco Chronicle Metro Player of the Year, two-time Bay Area News Group Player of the Year and the 2017 South Bay/Peninsula BANG Player of the Year, three-time 49ers Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Central Coast Section Player of the Year, and three-time West Catholic Athletic League Player of the Year. Jones, who can play any position on the court, leaves Mitty as the all-time leading scorer with 2,126 points, surpassing Olympian and 1995-96 Cal-Hi Sports female State Athlete of the Year Kerri Walsh Jennings, All-American and 1998-99 Cal-Hi Sports female State Athlete of the Year Rometra Craig, and WNBA All-Star Danielle Robinson. Haley also grabbed 1,046 rebounds. This past season, head coach Sue Phillips turned her loose in some games and limited her time in a lot of blowout wins just like she has all four years Jones has been a Monarch, but Haley still averaged 26.1 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 3.7 steals and 2.8 blocks per game. She had 23 double-doubles in a 25-3 season and her high water mark for points was 43 against WCAL rival Mountain View St. Francis and her best game on the boards was 22 rebounds versus Christian Brothers of Sacramento.
G/W – Hannah Jump (Pinewood, Los Altos Hills) 5-11, Sr.
We liked to tease Hannah in stories and features by saying Jump was hopping and popping but it was no joke, and she kind of liked it. Jump, who will join fellow First Team Elite selection Haley Jones at Stanford, was one of the top shooters in the nation last season, and besides the grades to get an invite to The Farm, legendary Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer likes a three-point shooter, and she has one in Jump. Everyone in the Central Coast Section talks about Haley Jones, and rightfully so, but it was Jump that was the linchpin of a Pinewood team that won two straight CIF Northern Regional Open Division titles, and as such she was a finalist for Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year. Among her best outings this season were 36 points vs. Incarnate Word of Missouri and 35 vs. eventual CIF D2 state champ Menlo School. Hannah averaged 15.2 points for her career and 16.7 as a senior, but it’s her 3-point shooting that also sets her apart. For her career at Pinewood, she sank 357 of 848 shots from long range for a 42 percent rate. The 357 three-pointers aren’t a school record, but Pinewood has several of the top totals in state history and Hannah’s will be up there, and will qualify her along with First Team Elite selection Madison Campbell for a spot on the Most Three-Point Field Goals (Career) list in the Cal-Hi sports State Record Book.
G – Charisma Osborne (Windward, Los Angeles) 5-9, Sr.
The 2018 Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year didn’t repeat, but the UCLA-bound guard had an outstanding season and was a slam dunk as one of the six finalists for the state’s top honor. Along with Haley Jones and Angel Jackson, she was a California representative as a McDonald’s All American and Jordan Brand Classic selection, and she was a teammate of Jones on the World Champion – Gold Medal winning USA Basketball U17 team. After what she did last season in leading the Wildcats to a CIF Open Division state title she was a deserving Ms. Basketball. It looked like it might happen again after she scored 27 points and had four assists to lead the Wildcats past Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth for the CIF Southern Section Open Division championship. However, after the teams had split two games, in the third matchup with the Trailblazers for the SoCal Open crown, Charisma went down early with an ankle injury. She got back into the game, but Windward lost 49-36 and its season was over. Osborne, who also was State Freshman of the Year in 2016 and then was runner-up to Haley Jones as State Sophomore of the Year in 2017, hit for 17 points, 5.4 rebounds and four assists per game this season.
G/F – Te-hina Paopao (La Jolla Country Day, 5-11, Jr.
There are some that might be questioning how Paopao can be ahead of San Diego Section Player of the Year and Third Team Elite selection Selena Peterson of Mount Miguel of Spring Valley. The answer is we respect very much but don’t just always agree with the locals, particularly when we see a player in person and look at the overall body of work against top-notch competition, so despite not winning the local award we’re finally able to place Te-hina’s name on an Elite All State list, and it’s been a long time coming. After dazzling scouts and analysts the summer before her freshman season, Paopao went down with a knee injury that wiped out her season, and then the same thing happened in her sophomore season although she came back for four games in the playoffs. She came back this season and missed eight games, but on a young nine-girl roster with only one senior starter, Paopao put the team on her back during the playoffs despite not being 100-percent. When the Cal-Hi Sports crew saw her at the St. Mary’s MLK Showcase in Stockton in January, she admitted she was about 75-percent but still went for 24 points (three 3-pointers) and 12 rebounds in a close loss to a very good Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa team. Two days earlier in a 20-point win over host St. Mary’s, Paopao had a season-high 32 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and three steals. She couldn’t carry the load in every game but in the CIF Southern Regional Division I playoffs she had 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists in a win over Granada Hills Charter, 20 points and 14 rebounds in a win over M.L. King of Riverside, and in the SoCal D1 title game Paopao led all scorers with 26 points (4-of-8 on three-pointers), plus she had five rebounds and four assist as the Torreys bowed out to Rosary with a runner-up finish. Despite still not being 100 percent for the playoffs, that’s pretty amazing and she finished the season with per game averages of 17.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.4 steals. If Paopao, who is considered by almost every analyst as the top junior recruit in California, is back to full strength next season, she may very well make a run at Ms. Basketball.
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend