Boys/Girls BB Blasts From The Past

Clovis West of Fresno head coach Vance Walberg (left) is shown as an assistant coach with Sacramento Kings. At right are players from Brea Olinda’s 2016 D1 state title team. The Brea program at one time won 183 straight league games. Photos: clovisroundup,com & Harold Abend.

We presented Blasts From The Past in the fall for football, and will now look at doing the same for boys and girls basketball when those teams should be playing this winter. These are highlights from around the state from 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years ago. We’ve also added one this week from believe it or not 110 years ago. Among those for the boys is a quite memorable 300th win 20 years ago for Clovis West head coach Vance Walberg. For the girls, we’ve written up perhaps the best regular season win enjoyed by Sabrina Ionescu when she was in high school five years ago plus detail the end of Brea Olinda’s state record league win streak 15 years ago.


We hope you enjoy this free post on We will continue to have a mix of free and Gold Club boys and girls basketball features until we have a season hopefully starting later this spring. We also will have new player rankings done soon for the boys and have added updated state records (both boys and girls) for Gold Club members. You can now join for one-month rate of just $3.99. For details, CLICK HERE.

Orinda Miramonte’s Sabrina Ionescu was the No. 1 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft. Photo: Harold Abend.

5 YEARS AGO (2016)
*(Girls) With all of its state titles and great players over the years, it’s incredibly rare for the Mater Dei of Santa Ana girls to ever be on the short end of lopsided score, but it makes sense when finding out who the leading player on the other team was when the Monarchs lost 65-47 to Miramonte of Orinda at the MLK Showcase in Stockton. This was the senior year of Miramonte’s eventual Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year, Sabrina Ionescu, who also later became the best college player in the nation at Oregon. Ionescu didn’t get going until the second half against the Monarchs, but still had 26 points, eight rebounds, eight steals and four assists. The Matadors remained unbeaten with Mater Dei falling to 17-2. Miramonte head coach Kelly Sopak called it the biggest win in school history outside of the playoffs.
*(Boys) With the help of making eight 3-pointers, Brett Gangi pumped in 29 points to lead St. Francis of La Canada past Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks 69-62. It broke the Golden Knights’ 18-game losing streak in the Mission League. Their fortunes were expected to improve with the arrival of new head coach Todd Wolfson (formerly at Chaminade). His team just this last season won the CIF SoCal D2 title before the breakout of the pandemic.
* (Girls) Returning Santa Rosa Press-Democrat All-Empire small schools player Natalie Karlsson of Upper Lake pushed the Cougars to a pair of league wins during the previous week. The 5-foot-6 guard first racked up 37 points and had 12 rebounds and 11 steals for a triple-double in a 59-48 triumph over St. Vincent de Paul of Petaluma. She came back to net 25 points with six assists, four rebounds and three steals when Upper Lake topped Calistoga 65-36. Karlsson was averaging 22.4 points, 4.7 steals and 3.4 assists per game.
* (Boys) Looking like he was competing, and winning, in a 3-point shootout, Even Kittelsen from Crean Lutheran of Irvine made 13 from beyond the arc and finished with 42 points in a 81-36 win over Calvary Chapel of Downey. His 13 made 3-pointers tied the reported Orange County record for 3-pointers in a game with Brendan Holmes, who made 13 in a game back in the 2007-08 season for Marina of Huntington Beach.

10 YEARS AGO (2011)
* (Boys) In a battle of Dragons at the 14th annual Martin Luther King Holiday Classic held at Cal’s Haas Pavilion, it was a rematch of the 2010 CIF D3 NorCal final and it was an upset as state No. 4 Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland lost in a double-overtime thriller 86-85 to Sacramento. Sac High had just lost a game to Sheldon of Sacramento and was getting used to playing without all-state guard Josiah Turner (who had left the team). Center Robert Garrett scored the game-winning basket with 6.5 seconds left in the second overtime. It was the shooting, though, of sophomore guard Aaron Cameron that was the difference. He had a game-high 33 points, including eight 3-pointers. Anders Haas led O’Dowd with 21 points, but his half-court shot at the second OT buzzer hit off the backboard.
* (Girls) Early January must be a favorite time of the year for Northgate of Walnut Creek’s Kayla Galanter. In two games of one week in early 2011 (both wins), Kayla lit it up for 33 points with nine 3-pointers against Ygnacio Valley of Concord and had 32 points with eight 3-pointers vs. College Park of Pleasant Hill. One year previously in mid-January, Galanter made 11 three-pointers and had 39 points in a win against Fairfield.
* (Boys) He may have been playing at a small school, but guard Patrick Gonzalez from Providence of Burbank was putting up big numbers this season. During the same week in January of 2011, Gonzalez scored 49 points in a 85-78 win over Oakwood of North Hollywood and then followed it up with 43 points in a 85-54 triumph vs. Glendale Adventist.
* (Girls) Senior guard Jordan Henry from Ursuline of Santa Rosa connected for 34 points and had six rebounds in a 51-41 victory over crosstown Maria Carrillo. Henry was 16 of 17 from the free throw line and scored all of her team’s 17 fourth quarter points. Ursuline was an all-girls Catholic school that closed in June of 2011. Players like Henry today would be playing for Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa), which didn’t have girls until Ursuline closed.

15 YEARS AGO (2006)
* (Girls) It took overtime, but El Dorado of Placentia finally snapped the state record league win streak held by Brea Olinda of Brea at 183 games. The Golden Hawks topped the Ladycats 52-47. St. Mary’s of Stockton won its 106th straight league game to take over the state lead and years later would break Brea Olinda’s record. The St. Mary’s girls also had a game that same week in 2006 in which the Rams buried 18 three-pointers. It was thought to be a state record initially by some in the media, but we knew that just in the previous week the record had been set at 21 by Yosemite of Oakhurst in a win vs. Kerman.
* (Boys) At the annual Hoophall Hall of Fame Classic in Massachusetts, state No. 4 Mater Dei of Santa Ana made the trip and faced national power St. Anthony of Jersey City, N.J. The Monarchs lost 65-48, but the real story was the matchup of head coaches Gary McKnight (Mater Dei) and Bob Hurley (St. Anthony). Those two would eventually both go over 1,000 career wins. Hurley also has since been inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame. McKnight has been listed as a possibility for that honor and we hope to someday see that happen.
* (Girls) Santana of Santee head coach Wade Vickery hit a milestone with his 600th career victory when the Sultans defeated Grossmont of La Mesa 55-54 in a Grossmont North League game. Vickery already had become the winningest girls coach in CIF San Diego Section history and became just the third girls coach in state history to reach the 600-win plateau.
* (Boys) In a 101-50 win by King-Drew of Los Angeles over Elizabeth of Los Angeles, Aaron Hill pumped in 23 points during the second quarter and ended with 28 points. The big story, however, was that the King-Drew team exploded for 55 points in that second quarter to set a reported state record at the time. The previous record was 54 points for one quarter, set by Perris in the fourth quarter of a 129-48 win over Norte Vista of Riverside in December of 1976. Freshman Brandon Walton added 25 points for King-Drew, including 13 in that second quarter.

20 YEARS AGO (2001)
* (Boys) It was a 300th win to remember for Clovis West of Fresno head coach Vance Walberg, who is now coaching back at Clovis West after being an assistant in the NBA plus several other college/JC stops. Walberg’s team in 2001 played at Loyola Marymount in an MLK weekend event and took on state No. 3 Dominguez of Compton. The Golden Eagles came into the day at No. 4 in the state, but the Dons were favored because they had two-time Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year Tyson Chandler. Clovis West got the win, 65-61, using its trademark full-court pressure and outside shooting. Making the win even more memorable for Walberg is that his son, Jason, led Clovis West in scoring with 18 points. Eventual all-state guard Chris Hernandez, who would later play at Stanford, had 17 points. Chandler had a triple-double with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks.
“That was a special game for our program, especially for a team coming out of Fresno,” Walberg recalled. “The amazing thing about that team is we had 17 players and 16 of them were Hustlin’ Eagles from 1st grade through high school. The 17th player (Tyrone Jackson) transferred in his 7th grade year to our junior high. So for me to watch them grow and achieve what they did was a great joy for me. It was definitely a highlight for the kids and myself especially when you see how Tyson had such a great NBA career. A little side note is that Tyson’s father and myself played JC basketball together at DeAnza Junior College.”
* (Girls) At the Acalanes/Centex Homes Shootout, Pleasanton Amador Valley’s Mia Fisher rampaged for 37 points and pulled down eight rebounds to the lead the Dons past Miramonte of Orinda 67-54. Fisher scored eight of her points in the third quarter when Amador went on a run to give it a 46-37 lead heading to the final quarter.
* (Boys) In the Martin Luther King Holiday Classic played at St. Mary’s College, host school De La Salle of Concord notched one of its best wins ever in that event with a 60-58 triumph over a Modesto Christian squad that entered the day at 17-1 and was No. 7 in the state. De La Salle was No. 11, but moved just in front of the Crusaders after that game. With the score tied at 58-58, the Spartans got the winning basket with four seconds left when future all-state guard Joe See slipped a pass to Joe Robinson, who converted the shot. See led the Spartans with 21 points. Chuck Hayes, a future NBA player, had 18 points and seven rebounds for Modesto Christian.
* (Girls) One team that could be called a one-girl team in 2001 was West of Bakersfield. That player was high-scoring guard Nikki Blue, who would later play at UCLA. Nikki had 41 of West’s 49 points in a 49-47 win over Centennial of Bakersfield in January of 2001. In the same week, Blue had 26 in a 66-50 loss to Bakersfield. She was averaging 33.6 ppg through her first 18 games.

25 YEARS AGO (1996)
* (Boys) Future NBA player Eddie House sparked Hayward High to a pair of wins in the Hayward Area Athletic League. House had 31 points in a 74-59 triumph over Tennyson of Hayward and then 36 to lead the Farmers past San Leandro 77-63. Eddie went on to play 11 seasons in the NBA for nine different teams, including being a member of the NBA championship team in 2008 in Boston. Current NBA player Danuel House is Eddie’s cousin.
* (Girls) In the late 1990s under head coach Paul Romig (currently at Selma), Del Campo of Fair Oaks hosted several Del Campo Challenge events during MLK weekend and for 1996 brought in state-ranked teams from outside of the Sacramento area such as state No. 1 Buena of Ventura, No. 4 Woodbridge of Irvine and No. 9 Campolindo of Moraga. Local teams El Camino of Sacramento (No. 2) and Bear River of Lake of the Pines (No. 6) also were in it. Buena and Woodbridge both played Fairfield and won by scoring wins of 48-43 and 70-64. Woodbridge played in a second game on another night and topped Nevada Union of Grass Valley 63-36 behind Melanie Pearson’s 26 points. El Camino won in its game 61-40 over defending D1 state champ Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton. Campo played the host school, Del Campo, and won 63-40, which also earned head coach Scott Brown his 300th career win in 12 seasons (one season at another school).
* (Boys) Cathedral City scoring phenom Caleb Gervin led his team to a resounding 102-85 win over Coachella Valley of Thermal by scoring 44 points. Caleb, the nephew of Pro Basketball Hall of Famer George “The Ice Man” Gervin, also was averaging 28.6 ppg.

Hayward’s Eddie House was a key player coming off the bench for Boston Celtics’ NBA title team in 2008. Photo:

30 YEARS AGO (1991)
(Boys) The state’s scoring leader was small school standout Mike Fisher from Southwestern of San Marino, who poured in 45.7 points per game with 914 points in just 20 outings. If that sounds like it might be a state record, then that is correct. Fisher also set a state record for most points in back-to-back games that season with 73 and 56 points for a two-game mark of 129. In addition, he had two other 60-point games for a state single-season record of three.
(Girls) There wasn’t a girl going bonkers quite like Mike Fisher for the boys. The state leader for the season was senior Tamika Phillips from Chaffey of Ontario. She played 29 games and knocked down a reported 28.1 ppg. Phillips also was the state leader for most points scored with 816.

35 YEARS AGO (1986)
(Boys) Drake of San Anselmo broke a state record in its first Marin County Athletic League contest of the season with a win against Novato as the Pirates made it 83 league wins in a row. They surpassed the previous record of 82 straight league win set between 1956 and 1965 by Santa Clara of Oxnard. Drake’s long league win streak, though, was snapped in the very next game, 61-47, by Terra Linda of San Rafael. Mike Hayward, son of head coach Pete Hayward, had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Drake, but the Trojans had three players in double figures — Todd Jones and Jamie Davidson with 16 points and Mike Caulfield with 15.
(Girls) Anaheim Magnolia’s Michelle Carter rewrote the Orange County record list and set a state high for the season after she connected for 55 points in her team’s 108-25 win over Anaheim. Carter also grabbed 30 rebounds in that game and pushed her scoring average to 31.5 ppg. We don’t know for sure, but it’s probably the only 50-point, 30-rebound outing in state history.
(Boys) Two players who had single-game outings of 51 points were Gerald Madkins of Merced and Mahlon Williams from Sweetwater of National City. Madkins, who later played at UCLA, burned the nets for 51 in Merced’s 115-74 triumph of Modesto Beyer. Williams, a junior who had started as a sophomore at Sweetwater, hit for 51 to lead the Red Devils past Montgomery of San Diego, 86-70. At the time, it also was fourth best in CIF San Diego Section history.
(Girls) Anaheim Magnolia’s 108-25 win from early in January of 1986 wasn’t the only girls rout that had people talking. There also was state No. 1 Muir of Pasadena beating Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta 108-13 and Santa Clara of Oxnard pounding Agoura, 113-6. State No. 3 Point Loma of San Diego had two of those outings — 107-14 vs. Carlsbad and 108-23 vs. Serra of Tierrasanta.

40 YEARS AGO (1981)
(Boys) There was a new No. 1 team in the state after Manual Arts of Los Angeles moved up with two big wins as a replacement for previous No. 1 Castlemont of Oakland, which had lost in a league game, 71-65, to Fremont of Oakland. The versatile duo of Dwayne Polee and Johnny Brown led the Toilers to their wins. Brown had 27 and Polee had 26 in a 77-69 victory over Dorsey of Los Angeles. They both totaled 38 points when Manual Arts next clobbered Jefferson of Los Angeles, 103-52.

110 YEARS AGO (1911)
(Boys) California high school boys basketball players averaging 30 points per game or more during a season is no longer that uncommon, but actually there was someone doing that before World War 1. That player was Art Worthy of Huntington Beach, who averaged 30.4 points per game way back in that 1911 season in 14 games. Worthy also had a high game in 1911 of 58 points, which was the single-game state record for more than 40 years.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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