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2017-2018 HMG-CN WINTER ALL-AREA TEAMS: Cerritos basketball teams leave Suburban League with seasons to remember

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

 

If the Cerritos High boys and girls basketball teams wanted to exit their final season as Suburban League members, they certainly left an impression. While the boys didn’t win a league title, they were on the heels of league champion Mayfair High until the last game of the season. For the girls, it was a season for the ages with a league crown, a five-loss campaign and a well-experienced squad that should make them among the favorites to win the 605 League’s first crown. On the soccer field, the Artesia High boys soccer team was the dominant one in the area while the Valley Christian High girls soccer team had a defense capable of winning back to back California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section divisional championships, but couldn’t make it there again. Here are the members of the 2017-2018 HMG-Community News Winter All-Area Teams.

BOYS BASKETBALL

FIRST TEAM

Destin Flucas (Cerritos)

Heder Gladden (Artesia)

Dorian Harris (Cerritos)

Jaren Johnson (Gahr)

Julio Martinez (Valley Christian)

SECOND TEAM

Heaven Flores (Whitney)

Roman Hernandez (Artesia)

Christopher Herrera (Norwalk)

Jyvontte Moore (Cerritos)

Peter Punsalan (John Glenn)

THIRD TEAM

Vincent Biscoe (Cerritos)

Adi Jahic (Whitney)

Jarrel King (Gahr)

Trevor LaParl (Valley Christian)

Justin Schultheis (Norwalk)

HONORABLE MENTION

Jonan Baladjay (Whitney)

Jacob Green (Valley Christian)

Pablo Juarez (Norwalk)

Reginald Reamer (Artesia)

Seth Shaw (Gahr)

PLAYERS TO LOOK FOR IN 2018-2019

Jeremiah Charles (Artesia)

Leroy Gladden (Artesia)

Princeton Hoang (Artesia)

Joshua Jennings (Artesia)

Carlos Patino DeAnda (Artesia)

Alexander Archer (Cerritos)

Isaiah Knowles (Gahr)

Justin Stephens (Gahr)

Hatem Alawad (John Glenn)

Chris Lujan (John Glenn)

Armando Castellanos (Norwalk)

Christian Bozanic (Valley Christian)

Nick Lamb (Valley Christian)

Joshua Chung (Whitney)

Jeffrey Fernandez (Whitney)

Player of the Year: Not only is he a star on the gridiron as a scrambling quarterback, but Artesia High junior Heder Gladden continues to marvel his peers on the basketball court. Gladden led the Pioneers with 510 points and nearly averaged 20 points a game. He was equally as productive in league as he was in non-league games, scoring 255 points in both areas and his 255 league points were the most by any area player in league competition. Gladden scored a career-high 39 points against Bellflower High on Jan. 22 and reached the 30-point mark two other times while scoring at least 25 points four other times.

Co-head coaches of the Year: This was one of the finest seasons Cerritos has had and co-head coaches Jonathan Watanabe and Kevin Enomoto had a lot to say about it. The Dons, playing in their final season as Suburban League members, went 20-8 and won seven of their first eight league games to stay in the hunt for a league crown. The 20 victories were the most in over 20 seasons and Cerritos, aided by a senior-loaded squad, won seven more games and lost seven fewer games than the previous season.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

FIRST TEAM

Calla Anderson (Valley Christian)

Naomi Ellis (Gahr)

Lindsay Fujihiro (Cerritos)

Christine Hamakawa (Whitney)

Minh-Thy Vo (Cerritos)

SECOND TEAM

Angie Aldana (Norwalk)

Tracey Nakamura (Cerritos)

Dezirae Smith (Gahr)

Bjanka Torres (Norwalk)

Justine Wu (Whitney)

THIRD TEAM

Clarissa Heredia (Gahr)

Dalilah Mendoza (John Glenn)

Kamsi Okere (Cerritos)

Alyxe Tamaki (Cerritos)

Cassidy Valle-Martinas (Artesia)

HONORABLE MENTION

Destiny Goodloe (Norwalk)

Dominique Harrison (John Glenn)

Julianna Lee (Whitney)

Jessica Tibayan (Artesia)

Kalea Trias (Cerritos)

PLAYERS TO LOOK FOR IN 2018-2019

Kathy Gonzalez (Artesia)

Mariah Jarnat (Artesia)

Odalis Ramirez (Artesia)

Hannah Carroll (Cerritos)

Iris Lee (Cerritos)

Kari Orr (Cerritos)

Kayla Miyake (Gahr)

Denise Cardenas (John Glenn)

Paola Ramirez (John Glenn)

Brianna Flores (Norwalk)

Annie Valele (Norwalk)

McKenna Bushong (Valley Christian)

Jordan Ebalo (Valley Christian)

Ariel Gordon (Valley Christian)

Kira Smith (Valley Christian)

Janelle Ho (Whitney)

Kim Hosada (Whitney)

Kiana Sanchez (Whitney)

Player of the Year: Some of the future of Cerritos basketball figures to land in the hands of Minh-Thy Vo. The sophomore, in her first season on varsity, surprised many by leading the Lady Dons with 295 points this past season, averaging just over 10 points a game. Vo, who wasn’t a starter until midway through the Suburban League season, scored a career-high 25 points against Norwalk High on Jan. 17 and since then, scored at least 10 points in seven of the last 10 games of the season.

Coach of the Year: It was only a matter of time before Cerritos won an outright league championship without a loss. That’s what head coach Marcus Chinen did, becoming the first Cerritos coach to go 12-0 in league competition since Ann Dena Sjoredsma accomplished the feat in 1998, the last season that the Lady Dons were in the Mission Valley League. Chinen guided Cerritos to a 24-5 mark and a trip to the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section 3A quarterfinals. At one point, Cerritos won 17 straight games and of the five losses, three came by eight points or fewer.

BOYS SOCCER

FIRST TEAM

GK-Kevin Guzman (Norwalk)

F-Alejandro Amador (Norwalk)

F-Martin Razo (Artesia)

F-Kurtis Vander Muelen (Valley Christian)

M-Jose Aguilar (Artesia)

M-Josh Akrofi (Valley Christian)

M-Andrew Luna (Artesia)

M-Allen Perez (Norwalk)

D-Romel Burgos (Artesia)

D-Javier Gonzalez (Artesia)

D-Andrew Lange (Valley Christian)

SECOND TEAM

GK-Trevor Hayes (Valley Christian)

F-Christian Bolanos (Norwalk)

F-Chris Dupuy (Valley Christian)

F-Sammy Valle (Artesia)

M-David Martinez (Norwalk)

M-Sam Montoya (Valley Christian)

M-Tin Trung Pham (Valley Christian)

M-Alejandro Romero (Artesia)

D-Anthony Gonzalez (Norwalk)

D-Felipe Morales (Artesia)

D-Brian Valente (Norwalk)

Player of the Year: With Martin Razo, there was simply no competition with the rest of the area. The senior forward led Artesia with 30 goals, 18 of which came in Suburban League action. The 30 goals are believed to be a school record for a single season, eclipsing the mark of 26 set by Alejandro Martinez during the 2011-2012 season. Razo scored a season-high four goals at Cerritos High on Jan. 26 and had four other hat tricks.

Coach of the Year: After going 13-12 last season and not making the playoffs, Artesia had one of its best seasons as head coach Octavio Marquez guided the Pioneers to a 19-8-1 mark and a second place finish in the Suburban League. The 19 wins are the most since the Pioneers won 22 games during the 2012-2013 season and the second place finish, albeit a tie with Norwalk High, is his third. His girls soccer teams came in second place twice (2010-2011 and 2012-2013).

GIRLS SOCCER

FIRST TEAM

GK-Destinee Montenegro (Valley Christian)

F-Janna Dunk (Valley Christian)

F-Kavitha George (Cerritos)

F-Julia Sainz (Valley Christian)

M-Megan Bouma (Valley Christian)

M-Lauren Castillo (Valley Christian)

M-Brittany Llanes (Artesia)

M-Kassidy Valtiera (Cerritos)

D-Marysa Garner (Valley Christian)

D-Iris Lee (Cerritos)

D-Caity Wind (Valley Christian)

SECOND TEAM

GK-Shelby Dykes (Cerritos)

F-Michelle Abarca (Artesia)

F-Erika Rizal (Cerritos)

F-Tyra Wiley (Cerritos)

M-Marisa Couto (Cerritos)

M-Kimberly Flores (Artesia)

M-Hannah Lara (Valley Christian)

M-Celeste Rodriguez (Artesia)

D-Carli Domino (Valley Christian)

D-Sylvia Garcia (Norwalk)

D-Asha George (Cerritos)

Co-players of the Year: The future continues to go in the right direction if a pair of Valley Christian sophomores continue to produce the way they did this past season. Midfielder Megan Bouma owned the first half of the season, scoring 15 of her team-high and area-high 17 goals in non-league action. Janna Dunk, a forward, scored half of her 14 goals in Olympic League action and was tied for second in goals scored by an area player. Bouma scored a pair of goals four times and had a hat trick at St. Anthony High on Dec. 13 while Dunk scored two goals in three games.

Coach of the Year: Cerritos may not have had an earth-shattering record, but head coach Robert Adams can see nothing not better results from the Lady Dons in their new league next season. While Cerritos finished at 11-10-2, Adams coached the team to a third place finish in the Suburban League, the highest finish since the 2010-2011 campaign. Cerritos won at least 10 games for the fourth straight season and Adams has gone from fifth place to fourth and now third in his third season with the Lady Dons, who had five seniors on this past season’s team.

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