It’s not going to be long until the state’s high school boys basketball teams are getting seriously ready for the upcoming 2022-23 season. We do the same and have completed our annual update of all categories in the Cal-Hi Sports state record files. Go inside for a look at those teams and players from the 2021-22 season who have been added to these records. One of them has a chance to become one of the state’s top shot-blockers ever.
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One of the highest risers on the national recruiting scene for the boys basketball Class of 2023 has been 7-foot-1 center Dennis Evans from Hillcrest of Riverside. Just last season for the 16-14 Trojans, Evans only averaged 11.6 points and 10.0 rebounds, but he’s shown marked improvement since then and has continued to do what he does very well: block shots.
Evans swatted away 211 shots last season, but gained an entry into the Cal-Hi Sports state records by blocking 16 shots in a 74-38 victory against Norte Vista of Riverside. He averaged 7.0 per game. He’s also been on the Hillcrest varsity for three seasons and if he is able to block another 211 in his senior year he’d push his career total to well past 600 and he’d be listed fifth on the all-time state list.
As we were writing up this post, Evans was beginning a long-awaited recruiting trip to the University of Minnesota. The local Minneapolis Star-Tribune had a mention of it and quoted the Riverside County athlete as saying, “I’m looking for a program that can push me to be the best.”
In addition to the Golden Gophers, Evans (recently anointed a 4-star ranking by 247 Sports) has been a prime target of TCU, Kansas, Florida State, San Diego State and others.
The busy fall will continue for Dennis from Oct. 7 to Oct. 10 when he attends a USA Men’s Junior National Team mini-camp that will be held in Colorado Springs.
TO SEE ALL OF THE STATE RECORDS FOR BLOCKED SHOTS, REBOUNDS, ASSISTS & STEALS (GOLD CLUB), CLICK HERE.
League Title Streak Updates
Here’s another example of why Santa Ana Mater Dei’s ongoing state record of winning league titles is just so impressive: one of the other longest in state history ended last season at 17 and that one was still just half as long as the Monarchs’ streak (and it didn’t end).
That streak that ended was held by Pasadena, which did not win its league title last season as the Bulldogs fell two games short of Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta) in the Pacific League. Pasadena had its streak of winning league titles snapped at 17 years.
Down in Orange County, meanwhile, head coach Gary McKnight’s Monarchs didn’t even lose a game last season in the tough competition of the Trinity League. There have been a couple of recent seasons in which Mater Dei has shared a league title, but that counts for the state records. The state record streak therefore will be sitting at 34 in a row when this season begin. McKnight also of course remains the winningest coach in state history after going over the 1,200 mark last season.
Mater Dei also remains tied with Fresno Edison for the state record in the category of most CIF section titles with 23. It is No. 1 for CIF state titles with 11.
TO SEE ALL OF THE STATE RECORDS FOR TEAM CATEGORIES (GOLD CLUB), CLICK HERE.
More Individuals Who Earned State Record Listings From Last Season
Junior Andrade (Princeton)
He canned 139 three-pointers in just 21 games.
Joseph Hunter (San Joaquin Memorial, Fresno)
Scored 2,335 points for his career, which began as a freshman being a teammate of current Houston Rockets’ star Jalen Green.
Ryan Beasley (Dougherty Valley, San Ramon)
He could get high enough for his career scoring by end of upcoming season to get onto all-time lists. The junior is already in the book for shooting 89.1 percent on free throws from last season.
Cruz Billings (Foothill, Tustin)
Standout for CIF D2 state runner-up made 123 of 136 free throws for a 90.1 percent mark.
Aidan Burke (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
Set a school record with 12 three-pointers vs Cathedral Catholic of San Diego (which also gained state listing).
Manuel Chavez (Bishop Amat, La Puente)
In 27 games for the Lancers, Chavez pumped in 122 three-pointers.
Evan Record (San Marcos)
Hit for 12 three-pointers in a game vs Westview of San Diego.
Matthew Ruegge (Kingsburg)
Helped team win a SoCal regional title in that spring season of 2021 and then came back to make 119 three-pointers in 27 games.
Damian Ruiz (Linfield, Temecula)
Sharpshooter from the perimeter connected on 133 three-pointers in 28 games.
TO SEE ALL OF THE STATE RECORDS FOR INDIVIDUAL SCORING & SHOOTING CATEGORIES (GOLD CLUB), CLICK HERE.