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2016-2017 HMG-CN WINTER ALL-AREA TEAMS: Valley Christian girls basketball, girls soccer enjoy wonderful winter season

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

 

It was a championship season for the ages for the Valley Christian High girls soccer team and nearly one for the school’s girls basketball team. The Norwalk High boys soccer team also had a historic 2016-2017 winter campaign and as a result, all three of the teams were handsomely rewarded in the HMG-Community News Winter All-Area Teams.

BOYS BASKETBALL

FIRST TEAM

Marvin Bragg (Gahr)

Destin Flucas (Cerritos)

Jyvonnte Moore (Cerritos)

Aaron Purnell (Valley Christian)

Gary Williams (Gahr)

SECOND TEAM

Heaven Flores (Whitney)

Heder Gladden (Artesia)

Desmond Johnlouis (Norwalk)

Johnny Johnson (Valley Christian)

Devion Smith (Artesia)

THIRD TEAM

Hugo Anguiano (John Glenn)

Gorden Boykins (Valley Christian)

Tony Crosby (Gahr)

Albert Pascual (Artesia)

Jordan Volpei (Norwalk)

HONORABLE MENTION

David Balderas (Norwalk)

Vincent Biscoe (Cerritos)

Cruz Gomez (John Glenn)

Peter Kang (Whitney)

Jarrel King (Gahr)

PLAYERS TO LOOK FOR IN 2017-2018

Reginald Reamer (Artesia)

Nathan Amanuel (Cerritos)

Jason Anigbo (Cerritos)

Dorian Harris (Cerritos)

Byron Sur (Cerritos)

Seth Shaw (Gahr)

Chris Lujan (John Glenn)

Chris Murray (John Glenn)

Cris Cecenas (Norwalk)

Jacob Green (Valley Christian)

Trevor LaParl (Valley Christian)

Julio Martinez (Valley Christian)

Garret Williams (Valley Christian)

Kyle Williams (Valley Christian)

Waseem Asiedu (Whitney)

Jonan Baladjay (Whitney)

Adi Jahic (Whitney)

Daniel Sou (Whitney)

Player of the Year: Every season, Gahr High has some of the best talent in the Southland and this past season was no exception, especially with Marvin Bragg. The senior scored an area-high 547 points and averaged 19. 5 points per game. Bragg was held to single digits just once and scored over 25 points six times in 28 games played.

Coach of the Year: It’s always a grind playing in the San Gabriel Valley League, where it’s tough to go 10-0. But the next best thing is winning league with one loss and that’s what Gahr head coach Ricky Roper did. The Gladiators went 18-10 but more importantly won the first nine league contests before falling to Dominguez High by seven points in the regular season finale. The league championship is Roper’s second in the past three seasons.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

FIRST TEAM

Naomi Ellis (Gahr)

Nicole Lee (Whitney)

Cheyenne McKinnie (Valley Christian)

Ifeoma Okoli (Cerritos)

Cailey Vitug (Cerritos)

SECOND TEAM

Calla Anderson (Valley Christian)

Lindsay Fujihiro (Cerritos)

Ariel Gordon (Valley Christian)

Christine Hamakawa (Whitney)

Alana Soltis (Gahr)

THIRD TEAM

Crystal Lambey (Norwalk)

Sahana Oglesby (Valley Christian)

Bjanka Torres (Norwalk)

Teresa Torres (Cerritos)

Cassidy Valle (Artesia)

HONORBLE MENTION

Angie Aldana (Norwalk)

Dalilah Mendoza (John Glenn)

Tracy Nakamura (Cerritos)

Dezirae Smith (Gahr)

Justine Wu (Whitney)

PLAYERS TO LOOK FOR IN 2017-2018

Cesilia Cabrera (Artesia)

Jessica Tibayan (Artesia)

Hannah Carroll (Cerritos)

Kalea Trias (Cerritos)

Clarissa Heredia (Gahr)

Kimya Oliver (Gahr)

Nori Smith(Gahr)

Dominique Harrison (John Glenn)

Paola Ramirez (John Glenn)

Alyssandra Lopez (Norwalk)

Annie Valele (Norwalk)

McKenna Bushong (Valley Christian)

Kira Smith (Valley Christian)

Janelle Ho (Whitney)

Kiana Sanchez (Whitney)

Player of the Year: The heart and soul of the Valley Christian Lady Crusaders for the past few seasons has been Cheyenne McKinnie and the senior left her legacy as one of the best to have played for a program rich in tradition. McKinnie led the area with 516 points, nearly 200 more than the next best player in the area, and averaged 16.6 points per game. McKinnie scored over 20 points nine times including a career-high 32 against Heritage Christian High on Jan. 6.

Coach of the Year: In his three seasons at Valley Christian, head coach Dominic Freeman has improved his win total. This past season, Freeman guided the Lady Crusaders to a 22-10 mark and a berth in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division 4AA championship game against Olympic League rival Village Christian High. At one point in the season, Valley Christian was 17-3 and won 11 straight games in one stretch.

BOYS SOCCER

FIRST TEAM

GK-Kevin Guzman (Norwalk)

F-Rudy Cruz (Norwalk)

F-Noah Silverman (Valley Christian)

F-Andrew Vasquez (Norwalk)

M-Alejandro Amador (Norwalk)

M-Miguel Cabrera (Norwalk)

M-Clay D’Amico (Valley Christian)

M-Francisco Sierra (Artesia)

D-Anthony Galicia (Norwalk)

D-Brent Van Meeteren (Valley Christian)

D-Adrian Rosales (Artesia)

SECOND TEAM

GK-Noah Lange (Valley Christian)

F-Jarrod Chacko (Valley Christian)

F-Jose Ortiz (Artesia)

F-Jorge Pantoja (Artesia)

M-Jose Aguilar (Artesia)

M-Oscar Mijares (Cerritos)

M-Jack Montoya (Valley Christian)

M-Kurtis Vander Meullen (Valley Christian)

D-Cesar Mondragon (Norwalk)

D-Antonio Olguin (Norwalk)

D-Peter Said (Cerritos)

Player of the Year: Norwalk High senior forward Rudy Cruz was a big force for the Lancers as the team had a season to remember. Cruz led the Lancers with 17 goals with nine coming in Suburban League action. He scored twice in the same game three times with one of those coming at Artesia High in a 3-2 overtime victory on Jan. 25.

Coach of the Year: Ever since he took over the head coaching duties for Norwalk for the 2003-2004 season, Vinson Pluma has won the Suburban League five times and taken his teams to the quarterfinals three times. Never had the Lancers advanced to the semifinals, but that was finally accomplished this past season. Pluma guided Norwalk to a 16-7-1 mark and a share of the league title. His team was a minute away from advancing to the Division 2 finals where it would have faced league foe Bellflower High. The 16 wins were one shy of the school record, which was accomplished in the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons.

GIRLS SOCCER

FIRST TEAM

GK-Destinee Montenegro (Valley Christian)

F-Janna Dunk (Valley Christian)

F-Brittany Llanes (Artesia)

F-Julie Sainz (Valley Christian)

M-Lauren Castillo (Valley Christian)

M-Kavitha George (Cerritos)

M-Hannah Lara (Valley Christian)

M-Kennedy Wesley (Valley Christian)

D-Carli Domino (Valley Christian)

D-Marysa Garner (Valley Christian)

D-Alenna Velazquez (Artesia)

SECOND TEAM

GK-Andrea Diaz (Cerritos)

F-Michelle Abarca (Artesia)

F-Jessica Chen (Cerritos)

F-Erika Rizal (Cerritos)

M-Megan Bouma (Valley Christian)

M-Iris Lee (Cerritos)

M-Ashley Mora (Artesia)

M-Christina Pollard (Valley Christian)

D-Kelly McKittrick (Valley Christian)

D-Erin Pierce (Cerritos)

D-Caitlyn Wind (Valley Christian)

Player of the Year: Only a sophomore, Valley Christian’s Kennedy Wesley is already making her mark as one of the best girls soccer players in Southern California. Wesley led the area with 23 goals with 10 coming in Olympic League action and 10 more coming in eight postseason games. She didn’t score her first goal until the seventh game of the season, a 3-1 loss at St. Margaret’s High and had a hat trick against Whittier Christian High on Jan. 17 in a 4-0 victory.

Coach of the Year: To say that Kim Looney has paid her dues is a huge understatement. The longtime Valley Christian head coach, since the 2001-2002 season, capped off a season that will be hard to duplicate. The Lady Crusaders went 24-3-3, won an Olympic League title, won a Division 6 championship, took home the Division 5 state crown and ended the season on a 16-game winning streak and a 23-game non-losing streak. The 24 wins are a school record and the divisional championship was the school’s third and first outright.

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