All-State Girls BB 2024: First Team

Two of those who have repeated as first team elite All-State members are Jordan Lee from St. Mary’s of Stockton and Aliyahna “Puff” Morris of Etiwanda. Photos: @StMarysGirlsBB / & Willie Eashman / Cal-Hi Sports.

CIF Open Division state champ Etiwanda, runner-up Archbishop Mitty and SoCal Open finalist Sierra Canyon all place two players each on this year’s top 10 group for the 45th annual Cal-Hi Sports all-state girls basketball teams. That left only four spots for the rest of the state to get and one of those went to a freshman. The other three are seniors from Stockton, Fresno and Santa Ana.

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RELATED All-State Girls Basketball All-State Teams:
2nd & 3rd Team Overall/Elite (Gold Club) | Underclass (Gold Club) | All-State by Divisions | All-Time Regional POYs

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G – Izela Arenas (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 5-9, Sr.
The Louisville-committed daughter of former NBA standout Gilbert Arenas moves up to All State Elite First Team after snagging a Elite Second Team selection as a junior. This past season even with 2023 Ms. Basketball Juju Watkins replaced in her leading scorers role by sophomore transfer Jerzy Robinson, Arenas actually improved her production to 16.4 points per game from 15.3 per contest, plus her stats in other areas improved as well with averages of 4.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.6 steals per contest. Arenas didn’t have any huge games but she was a consistent double-digit scorer and solid defender. She led the way with 27 points against CIF SoCal D1 runner-up Brentwood and also with 28 points against Alhambra Mark Keppel and 23 points against 2023 Arizona large school state champion Desert Vista, and in a CIF Southern Section Open Division win over Sage Hill of Newport Beach, Arenas finished with 21 points six rebounds and four assists. Izela was nominated but not chosen for the McDonald’s game but she was selected as a Jordan Brand All American and was also named CIF Southern Section All Open Division. Being a four-year standout for the Sierra Canyon program (which won a CIF Open state title two years ago) also proved to make it more than deserving for Arenas to be first team.

Archbishop Mitty’s two first team all-state elite selections, McKenna Woliczko & Morgan Cheli, are shown after the Monarchs won the top division title at the Nike TOC in Arizona. Photo: @GC3Hoops /

PG/W – Morgan Cheli (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 6-2, Sr.
Last year she could only earn a “Special Note and Recognition” at the bottom of the page of the All State Girls Elite selections after we just could not place her on one of the three teams after the Connecticut-bound Cheli missed 17 of Mitty’s 31 games with a foot injury. It was another hard luck story this season as Cheli missed eight games just prior to the playoffs with a hamstring. When she did come back it was pretty obvious to all the analysts at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento for the CIF Open Division title-game matchup with Etiwanda that Morgan was not the same player that helped the Monarchs earn a national No. 1 ranking when helping lead Mitty to a 73-72 victory over an at the time No. 1 Long Island Lutheran in the title game of the top division (Cannizzaro) of the Nike TOC, a game played in front of an ESPNU national audience. Many analysts that have been around a long time called it one of the greatest girls basketball games ever played. In that game, Morgan registered a triple-double 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The previous game in a 69-55 victory over Canadian top-ranked Crestwood Prep of Toronto, Cheli went for 20 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals. Despite it all, Cheli earns a First Team Elite selection for what she did not only at the TOC, but at the Nike Holiday Classic in Oregon where like the TOC she was an all tournament selection, and everything else leading up to the playoff run. Some had pondered that if Cheli was 100 percent in Sacramento things possibly might have been different. The McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All American only played 15 games in a pandemic shortened freshman season and with the 25 games she missed the past two seasons that’s probably around 40 games with no stats. Despite that, Cheli finished with 1,107 points, 446 rebounds, 317 assists and 240 steals for her four-year varsity career.

F/C – Jenessa Cotton (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) 6-3, Sr.
After being named All State Elite Second Team last season, the Duke-bound Cotton moves up and earns an All State Elite First Team selection. With last year’s first teamer and leading scorer Addie Deal getting injured early on and missing just about the entire season, everything changed for the Monarchs. With Deal out, the heavy lifting fell to others, and in particular to Cotton, despite her playing with painful back spasms that came and went all season. Jenessa responded by upping her per game averages of 12.4 points and 6.1 rebounds from 2023 to a team-leading 17.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game this past season, and was third in steals at 1.9 per game. In a game we observed at the Matt Denning Classic at Mater Dei she cruised to 24 points and 10 rebounds in a rout of Arizona Millennium. In her final game, a loss to eventual CIF Open Division state champion Etiwanda, Cotton, whose cousin Schea Cotton starred for Mater Dei in the mid-1990s, made 10-of-17 shots to finish with 25 points. Besides her Cal-Hi Sports accolades, Cotton was the Orange County Register Player of the Year and a member of the CIF Southern Section Open Division team.

W – Jordan Lee (St. Mary’s, Stockton) 6-0, Sr.
The 5-Star recruit that is rated as the No. 8 prospect in the national senior class by ESPN now has made it two-straight All State Elite First Team selections after garnering the honor last season. As a junior, she put up solid numbers but Lee surpassed those this past season and just missed a double-double after averaging 24.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, plus 2.9 steals. Jordan shot 50.1-percent from the field and 41-percent on three-pointers. Lee cracked the 30-point mark nine times last season with a couple of her top outings a 41-point, 10-rebound effort in a win against Los Angeles Windward, 36 points and eight rebounds in a victory over Perry of Gilbert (Ariz.), and 35 points and 12 rebounds in a victory over Acalanes of Lafayette. Besides Cal-Hi Sports All State Elite First Team honors, the Texas-bound Lee was a McDonald’s All American and Jordan Brand All American and a 2024 Team USA World Games participant. Despite the pandemic limiting her to nine games in her freshman season, Lee still cracked the 2,000 career point mark and nearly got 1,000 rebounds after finishing with 2.136 points and 845 rebounds in 106 career varsity contests.

G – Aliyahna “Puff” Morris (Etiwanda) 5-5, Jr.
The reigning State Junior of the Year after winning State Freshman of the Year and State Sophomore of the Year honors now makes it two straight All State Elite Girls First Team selections after garnering Elite Third Team as a freshman. This past season Morris had per game averages of 16.1 points, 5.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, similar to the 17.3 points, 4.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game she averaged in winning State Sophomore of the Year. Puff had some challengers for State Junior of the Year, however, Morris, the Eagles’ floor general and the ESPN No. 5 rated point guard in the nation, was the choice in the end after solidifying things with her performance in the 60-48 CIF Open Division state championship victory over Archbishop Mitty of San Jose where she took control from the opening tip and showed why she is the top true point guard in the state after finishing with a game-high 20 points (two-three-pointers), plus six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Last year, shortly after she was named State Sophomore of the Year, Morris received two big-time offers from California and Michigan. Now, after the way she’s shown improvement in her game, Puff has added USC, Duke, Yale, Illinois, Mississippi State, University of Central Florida and San Jose State to the list, and more are likely to come. Besides her Cal-Hi Sports accolades, Morris was selected for the All CIF Southern Section Open Division team.

Mackenly Randolph played for the late Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Academy before she started playing for Sierra Canyon as a freshman four years ago. Photo:

W – Mackenly Randolph (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) 6-0, Sr.
As a sophomore, Randolph was named All State Elite Second Team and was considered the runner-up to Kennedy Smith for Cal-Hi Sports State Sophomore of the Year. Last season, Randolph, the daughter of former NBA star Zach Randolph, made All State Elite First Team joining teammate and 2023 Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year and current USC standout Juju Watkins, plus once again Mackenly was the runner-up to Smith for State Junior of the Year. Now, Randolph repeats as Elite First Team and was also considered a finalist for Ms. Basketball. Besides the Cal-Hi Sports honors, Randolph will leave Sierra Canyon for the University of Louisville with a 2022 CIF Open Division state championship on her resume, McDonald’s All American and Jordan Brand All American selections, Nike Hoop Summit selection, and All CIF Southern Section Open Division. Randolph has been a double-double machine all four years she’s worn a Trailblazers’ jersey and this past season she averaged 19.0 points and 11.7 rebounds plus 4.0 assists and 2.4 steals.

G – Kaleena Smith (Ontario Christian) 5-6, Fr.
It’s a bit of an anomaly when a freshman is selected for the All State Elite First Team, but with the selection of the girl they call “Special K” in the California girls high school basketball community, it marks the second straight year the reigning Cal-Hi Sports State Freshman of the Year has made the grade after fellow elite first-teamer McKenna Woliczko was honored last year. Smith showed her stuff as one of the top rated underclass performers in the Cal-Hi Sports Girls of Summer rankings and from there she took off for the statistical stratosphere. Kaleena didn’t break the state freshman scoring record set in 2020 by Chloe Briggs of Ontario Christian of 1,216 points, but she did lead the state with 1,153 points and averaged 34.9 points per game. The point total is No. 10 on the Most Points (Season) list in the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book. Smith may be a scoring machine but she can dish, rebound and defend as well as evidenced by her additional per game averages of 6.5 assists, 4.2 steals and 3.5 rebounds. The points total is the first record book entry for her and the second is for her three-pointers. Her 179 made treys led the state, ranked as the No. 2 reported mark in the nation this past season, and is the most ever on the Most Three-Point Field Goals Made (Season) list in the record book, breaking the record of 169 set by Danielle Viglione of Del Campo (Fair Oaks) in the 1992 season. Smith cracked the 40-point mark 10 times and had 50 points or more twice with a high of 62 against Temecula Linfield Christian. The 62 points also gets Kaleena a third spot in the state records for Most Points (Game). Provided she stays healthy, there is a possibility “Special K” may etch her name in several other spots in the record book. Besides the Cal-Hi Sports honors, Smith was the MaxPreps National Freshman of the Year and the lone freshman on the All CIF Southern Section Open Division team.

F – Kennedy Smith (Etiwanda) 6-1, Sr.
The Quad Queen who added the Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year to the State Freshman of the Year, State Sophomore of the Year and State Freshman of the Year honors, didn’t quite get an All State Girls Elite First Team quad, but after being named Elite Second Team as a freshman, the USC-bound Smith finished her career with three straight First Team selections and headlines this year’s All State honorees. Despite being known for not caring about stats or personal achievements, this past season Smith led Etiwanda in scoring at 21.5 points per game, plus she averaged 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.2 blocks each contest. In the CIF Open Division state championship 60-48 victory over Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, Kennedy finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and when she decided to go to the basket Smith was unstoppable. While none of Smith’s totals will make the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book her numbers are formidable. For her career, Kennedy finishes as the all-time leading scorer in Etiwanda history with 2,122 points, third in rebounds with 912, plus she has 351 steals, 303 blocks and 286 assists. The 6-foot-1 Smith can also shoot the three-pointer and converted on 278 for her career, third most in school history. Smith was the top player on the State Team of the Year and a team that was named No. 1 in the nation by all major national rankings (special thanks to team that beat Long Island Lutheran in its last game). Not only that, but besides Ms. Basketball and All State First Team Elite honors Kennedy has plenty of other hardware and accolades. The major ones this year besides Ms. Basketball are: California Gatorade State Player of the Year, Wooden Award Player of the Year, Naismith National Finalist, McDonald’s All-American where she led the West team with 15 points, Jordan Brand All-American, Nike Hoop Summit, CIF Southern Section Open Division Player of the Year and the HoopHall Classic Most Valuable Player.

Athena Tomlinson put her stamp on being one of the best players ever from Clovis West’s outstanding program. Photo: Paul Meadors.

G – Athena Tomlinson
(Clovis West, Fresno) 5-5, Sr.

After garnering an All State Elite Second Team spot in 2023, Tomlinson, a player Golden Eagles’ head coach Craig Campbell said “was the dynamic fire that propelled us in big games and moments” on a team that went 31-3 and finished as the CIF Northern Regional Open Division runner-up moves up to All State Elite First Team for this past season. Tomlinson was the type of point guard who could break a team’s press on offense and break many of the state’s elite guards with her defensive tenacity. She led the team in scoring at 19.1 points per game to go with 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.4 assists as well. Her best outing was a 30-point effort against St. Mary’s of Stockton in a 69-57 CIF NorCal Open semifinal victory. During her four-year varsity career, the Boston College-committed Tomlinson amassed 1,747 points on a team that went 109-10, including a 20-1 record in a pandemic shortened freshman season. Athena’s other accolades include Adidas 3-Stripes Select Basketball All-American, and two straight Tri-River Athletic Conference and CIF Central Section Player of the Year honors.

C – McKenna Woliczko (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) 6-2, Soph.
Last year when Woliczko was named the State Freshman of the Year and also named All State Girls Elite First Team we had said it was a very infrequent occurrence for a freshman to make the first team. Now, after being named State Sophomore of the Year, the Monarchs’ two-sport star not only duplicates her first team selection but this year, although she was challenged for sophomore honors, Woliczko was still a legitimate finalist for Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year. After averaging 20.4 points and 10.2 rebounds last year she had similar numbers this past season. Her per game averages were 22.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game against a national schedule and also including several running clock blowouts where her minutes were limited. She shot a blistering 64.2 percent from the field and was even 38.1 percent from outside the arc. Against Long Island Lutheran in the title game of the top division (Cannizzaro) of the Nike TOC, McKenna had 22 points and nine rebounds. In the CIF Open Division state championship, and with Etiwanda using a very physical defense to move her out of the block, Woliczko still was able to register a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds with six assists and three steals. For her career, Woliczko already has 1,235 points and 519 rebounds in only two seasons. As for this year’s accolades, besides Cal-Hi Sports State Sophomore of the Year and All State Elite First Team, Woliczko was a member of the Gold Medal winning FIBA USA U16 America’s Championship Team, the MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year, two straight years as the San Francisco Chronicle Metro and Bay Area News Group Player of the Year, and the MVP of the Cannizzaro Division of the Nike TOC. Woliczko has been invited to the USA U17 trials over Memorial Day weekend. On a side note, Woliczko is one of the top softball players in the state for her class. In fact, according to rival West Catholic Athletic League coach Mike Oakland of state No. 1 St. Francis, if Woliczko were to make softball her main focus, she would be the top sophomore recruit in the state.

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

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

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