Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog
Quick-hitting, behind-the-scenes news and notes from the CalHiSports.com staff, including previews of upcoming content and events.
For those just interested in seeing the names of players who are on the Gold Club post for this year’s All-State Underclass Team for girls basketball 2021 without having to pay us any money, here is a simple alphabetical list. If you want the full presentation and are not Gold Club, please check out getting a membership today.
For those just interested in seeing the names of players who are on the Gold Club post for this year’s All-State Underclass Team for boys basketball 2021 without having to pay us any money, here is a simple alphabetical list. If you want the full presentation and are not Gold Club, please check out getting a membership today.
In addition to overall State Coach of the Year Ed Tunstall from Esperanza of Anaheim, we have additional state coaching honors for the 2021 season going to Obie Galindo from Sultana of Hesperia (medium schools) & Stefanie Danna of Sutter (small schools).
In addition to overall State Coach of the Year Jared Halpert of Harvard-Westlake, we have additional state coaching honors for the 2021 season going to Daniel Maye from Royal of Simi Valley (medium schools) and Eric Lay (small schools). We swear that the rhyming of their names wasn’t realized until the last one was picked, but it sure gave us a laugh on that day.
There’s only a pair of ex-California high school players who’ll be in this year’s NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, but they’ve both been all-stars and were instrumental in the Bucks winning the Eastern Conference title after their No. 1 player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, went down with a knee injury.
Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez of the Bucks are the two Californians. They hail from Campbell Hall (North Hollywood) and San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno).
Brotherly connections also are very important to them. Jrue is the younger brother of NBA players Justin and Aaron Holiday. And if Jrue and the Bucks win the NBA title, he and Justin would become the first brother combination from California to win NBA championships. Justin was a member of the Golden State Warriors’ title squad from 2015. Brook has a twin brother, Robin, who also has been in the NBA for 13 seasons.
At Campbell Hall, Holiday was part of an unbeaten CIF D4 state championship team as a freshman with Justin. As a senior in 2008, he was named Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Basketball by averaging nearly 26 ppg. Jrue then played one season at UCLA before declaring early for the NBA Draft. He was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers and became an All-Star in 2013 while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans. Holiday was traded to the Bucks this past off-season and he has become a great fit alongside Antetokounmpo, Lopez and Khris Middleton. In the team’s last two playoff games vs. the Atlanta Hawks, Jrue went for 25 points and 13 assists and then a near triple-double with 27 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
At San Joaquin Memorial, Brook Lopez was part of a team that had two other NBA players counting himself, Robin plus Quincy Pondexter. The Panthers were always among the best teams in the state, but never had the guards to compliment the others. Brook and Robin were both all-state and both went to Stanford. After college, Brook played for nine seasons with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets and had several years in which he averaged more than 20 ppg. He’s still the Nets’ all-time leading scorer. In game five vs. the Hawks, Lopez had his postseason career high of 33 points with seven rebounds and four blocks.
The Bucks do not have any other players on their roster from California. Head coach Mike Budenholzer is from Pomona College, but is from Holbrook High in Holbrook, Ariz.
The Suns do not have any players on their roster from California. Center Deandre Ayton played for two years as a freshman and sophomore for Balboa School in San Diego, but that is a prep school and not part of the CIF. He finished up at a different prep school in Arizona.
And unlike the Los Angeles Lakers from last season, which had an almost All-California cast of assistant coaches, there are no assistant coaches this year from either team who can be counted on our alumni lists.
In addition to overall No. 1 and Division 1 No. 1 Esperanza of Anaheim, others that can say they are mythical state champions for 2021 are Upland (Division 2), Notre Dame of Salinas (D3), Sutter (D4) and Fowler (D5). Read more…
In addition to overall No. 1 and Division 2 No. 1 Thousand Oaks, others that can say they are mythical state champions for 2021 are Harvard-Westlake of Studio City (Division I), Rio Americano of Sacramento (D3), Tamalpais of Mill Valley (D4) and Colusa (D5). Read more…
In conjunction with the final overall selections for the 42nd annual Cal-Hi Sports All-State Football Teams, here are the winning names of several honors that that have been added to our archives and reflect the most outstanding players in the state according to position (QBs, RBs, Ends, Linemen, LBs & DB) plus region (NorCal & SoCal). Thanks to managing editor Ronnie Flores, we also have done the research to have positional players of the year going back to the 1950s.
For ordering info to get 2020-21 all-state football patch, CLICK HERE.
To get a Gold Club subscription so you can see the complete presentation of the Cal-Hi Sports 2020-21 All-State Football Teams, CLICK HERE.
(Note that for third team it’s for large schools only and for seniors only since players already have been honored as juniors, sophs, medium and small schools)
Brady Anderson (Liberty, Bakersfield)
Darren Barkins (Mater Dei Catholic, San Diego)
Josh Bryan (Sierra Canyon)
Jonah Coleman (Lincoln, Stockton) Jr.
Zevi Eckhaus (Culver City)
Landon Gallagher (Vista Murrieta)
Kevin Green Jr. (Alemany) Jr.
Dorian Hale (De La Salle)
Deacon Hill (Santa Barbara)
Hero Kanu (Santa Margarita) Jr.
Ezekial Larry (Sierra Canyon) Jr.
Makai Lemon (Los Alamitos) Soph.
Jaiden Letua (Mission Hills)
Rayshawn Luke (St. John Bosco) Jr.
Andrew Madrigal (Norco)
George Miki-Han (Mater Dei)
Marco Notarainni (Torrey Pins)
Tsion Nunnally (Cardinal Newman)
Dominic Oliver (Valley Christian, SJ)
Hayden Petersen (Buchanan)
Jarrett Reeser (Canyon, Canyon Country)
Edward Riley (St. John Bosco)
De’Jon Roney (Etiwanda) Jr.
Carson Schwesinger (Oaks Christian)
Dylan Smith (Carlsbad)
Max Smith (La Jolla)
Devin Spencer (Centennial, Corona)
D.J. Stevenson (Central, Fresno)
Tyler Tremain (Folsom) Jr.
Jalil Tucker (Lincoln, San Diego) Jr.
Jeremy Alcorn (Edison, HB)
Thomas Bouda (Corona del Mar)
Justin Brown (Grossmont, El Cajon)
Cole Bullock (Sierra Canyon)
Mekhi Broadway (Monterey Trail)
Braedon Broyles (Edison, HB)
Micah Carreon (Mission Viejo)
Tyler Deleon (Los Alamitos)
Skai Donnell (Mission Hills)
Colt Fulton (Santa Margarita)
Max Gascon (St. Mary’s, Stockton)
Josh Gerlach (California, San Ramon)
Ilaisa Gonbure (Rocklin)
Anthony Hall (San Clemente)
Austin Hauptman (Whitney)
Kyran Hayes (Bishop Amat)
Sioeli Helu (Serra, San Mateo)
Carson Irvin (Norco)
Maurice Jamison (Pittsburg)
Vance Jefferson (Poway)
Chris Lands (Monterey Trail)
Haden Mann (Liberty, Bakersfield)
Shawn Martinez (Helix)
Hudson Mesa (St. Francis, Mtn. View)
Dartanyon Moussiaux (Capistrano Valley)
J.P. Murphy (San Ramon Valley)
Reymello Murphy (Santa Margarita)
Nick Murray (St. Mary’s, Stockton)
Daytuawn Pearson (Pittsburg)
Calvin Pitcher (Centennial, Corona)
Tristen Ramirez (Chaparral)
Aidan Sayin (Carlsbad)
Andrew Simpson (St. John Bosco)
Zachari Spears (Loyola)
D.J. Watts (Murrieta Valley)
Malachi Williams (Cathedral Catholic)
Fynn Williams (Serra, San Mateo)
Marceese Yetts (Mater Dei)
Josh Zamora (Mater Dei)
It’s been very hard for anyone looking at all these teams playing limited schedules to evaluate them so we don’t want to be too critical of the CIF in how it seeded teams for the upcoming CIF Southern California regional championships, which are starting Tuesday with the first round. The most important point is that these games are happening at all. The semifinals will take place on Thursday and the season wraps up on Saturday. All higher seeded teams are hosting each game.
Later this week, we will do a deeper dive on all divisions to come up with state rankings by divisions, which we’ve done in boys and girls basketball for 40-plus years. It will be even harder to mix in teams from Northern California that are not having regional playoffs, but not doing it at all and leaving the season blank in our archives is just not an option. The only CIF section in the north that had section playoffs was the Central Coast, which ended on Saturday night.
Boys Open Division
Torrey Pines as expected picked up the top seed on Sunday and also gained a first round bye. The Falcons (29-0) won the San Diego Section Open Division title on Saturday night over Cathedral Catholic on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by senior Nick Herrmann. CIF Southern Section Open Division runner-up Sierra Canyon is the No. 2 seed with victorious team Corona Centennial opting out of the regionals. Sierra Canyon probably should have gotten a bye, too, instead of getting a game vs. nearby Birmingham, which won the L.A. City Open Division title. Why the CIF insists that Open winners from the Central and L.A. City section have to “play up” in the SoCal Open doesn’t make sense and only makes it easier for CIFSS Open teams to win out in D1AA.
The CIF was nice to Westchester of Los Angeles and head coach Ed Azzam, who announced after the loss to Birmingham that he would be retiring at the end of this season. It gave the Comets the top seed in this bracket plus a first-round bye (even ahead of CIFSS Open teams like Harvard-Westlake and St. John Bosco). The most interesting matchup on Tuesday may be San Marcos of the San Diego Section (which was 25-0 until it lost to Cathedral Catholic in the SD Open semifinals) playing Ribet Academy, which has been top five ranked in the state.
More Boys No. 1 Seeds
Chaminade of West Hills (D1A), Crean Lutheran of Irvine (D2AA), Long Beach Poly (D2A), Aquinas of San Bernardino (D3AA), Glendora (D3A), Pasadena Poly (D4AA), Coronado (D4A), Roosevelt of Fresno (D5AA), Kingsburg (D5A) and Fowler (D6AA).
Chaminade and its 1-2 punch of K.J. Simpson and Keith Higgins as a No. 1 for D1A seems like a good spot for the Eagles.
Sorry, but Long Beach Poly as a D2-A just never seems right. The Jackrabbits should not be D2 in just about any sport.
Watch out for Bakersfield Christian as the No. 4 seed in D3AA. That’s a team that has wins over Clovis West in the its section and has played teams like Modesto Christian and Heritage Christian.
Pasadena Poly wasn’t given any favors playing Hoover of Fresno in a No. 1 vs. No. 8 matchup in D4AA. Hoover features one of the best players in Northern California, A.J. George, and sure seems a lot better than teams from D3AA or D3A.
Coronado and Orange Glen just played in a San Diego Section final with the Islanders winning 51-48. Kudos to the CIF for not making Coronado a lower seed in a higher division and making the Patriots a No. 1 seed in the lower division when the two just played.
Girls Open Division
The big question for our main analyst, Harold Abend, was what the CIF was going to do with the San Diego teams. Well, they put all three of them (Cathedral Catholic, Bonita Vista and La Jolla Country Day) in the Open Division and only picked three from the CIF Southern Section Open Division. CIFSS Open Division winner Mater Dei, of course, is seeded No. 1 and has a bye on Tuesday. Bonita Vista was the team chosen that has to go up to Fresno to play Clovis West in the first round. There was no travel considerations for that. Chula Vista to Fresno is about as far as possible for the SoCal region.
The biggest head-scratcher for us boys or girls was Mission Hills as the top seed for D1AA, chosen in front of CIFSS Open teams such as Etiwanda, Orangewood Academy and Lynwood. There just isn’t a result or ranking or anything that would seem to justify Mission Hills that high. If Lynwood were to win in the first round on Tuesday at Mission Hills and anyone calls that an upset, that person just doesn’t know anything. Etiwanda is traveling to play No. 3 Clovis as a No. 6 seed and that is another matchup that would actually be a stunning upset to us if the higher seeded team won.
Mire Girls No. 1 Seeds
Long Beach Poly (D1A), Righetti of Santa Maria (D2AA), St. Joseph of Santa Maria (D2A), Nipomo (D3AA), Bakersfield (D3A), Los Angeles CES (D4AA), Bakersfield Christian (D4A), St. Joseph Academy of San Marcos (D5AA), San Fernando (D5A), Victory Christian Academy of Chula Vista (D6AA).
It sure would have been a lot more fun if LB Poly was in the D1AA mix instead of D1A where it looks like a big favorite.
Caruthers is a small school team clearly playing up in D1A and not only that but is traveling to play Esperanza of Anaheim. Small schools like Caruthers just continue to get screwed by competitive equity seeding in the CIF.
Don’t see why Alemany wasn’t top seed in D2AA over Righetti. The only two losses for Alemany were to Harvard-Westlake and Sierra Canyon and the Sierra Canyon loss by just three points.
Top seed St. Joseph of Santa Maria in D2A happened to open the season with a 70-69 overtime win over Westlake of Westlake Village. Guess which team St. Joe is playing on Tuesday? It’ll be the Warriors again.
Note that if Bakersfield, Ayala of Chino Hills or Buchanan win the CIF SoCal D3A title that the schools are going to get virtually zero points toward a State School of the Year resume. This is a clear-cut case of big schools benefitted from competitive equity seeding and being able to drop down into lower divisions.
With some of these teams not even playing 10 games, seeding them had to be a nightmare. Don’t know what the CIF could have done differently with a team like 8-0 San Fernando.