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2018-2019 HMG-LCCN WINTER ALL-AREA TEAMS: Cerritos boys basketball, girls soccer take advantage of new league with rare championships

 

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

 

This is what schools like Artesia High and Cerritos High wanted-a new league where they could compete for and win a league championship. The 2018-2019 boys basketball season, which was also the first for the 605 League, saw the aforementioned schools finish in the top two of the league, separated by a game. For girls soccer, those two were also at the top of the league. In boys soccer action, Norwalk High had its best season in school history cut short in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. Listed below are the newest members of the 2018-2019 HMG-CN Winter All-Area Teams.

BOYS BASKETBALL

FIRST TEAM

Jarren Bugay (Artesia)

Malvin Payero (Valley Christian)

Jalen Pitre (Gahr)

Justin Stephens (Gahr)

Jagger Uy (Cerritos)

SECOND TEAM

Alexander Archer (Cerritos)

Gavin Carothers (Cerritos)

Christopher Herrera (Norwalk)

Isaiah Knowles (Gahr)

Nathan Medina (Valley Christian)

THIRD TEAM

Leroy Gladden (Artesia)

Chris Saucedo (John Glenn)

Denzel Williams (Valley Christian)

Ethan Xu (Whitney)

Ryan Young (Gahr)

HONORABLE MENTION

Christian Bozanic (Valley Christian)

Donte Burnett (Cerritos)

Joshua Chung (Whitney)

Joshua Jennings (Artesia)

Pablo Juarez (Norwalk)

PLAYERS TO LOOK FOR IN 2019-2020

Jeremiah Charles (Artesia)

Aaron Cleofas (Artesia)

Tyler Miller (Artesia)

Obinna Ene (Cerritos)

Ethan Reyes (Cerritos)

Moses Dollar (Gahr)

Jason Hardrict (Gahr)

Ethan Woon (Gahr)

Armando Castellanos (Norwalk)

Jayden Williams (Norwalk)

Daniel Bradford (Valley Christian)

Luca Caldarella (Valley Christian)

Zaafir Haider (Whitney)

Victor Ufondu (Whitney)

Player of the Year:Each season, Gahr High has produced some of the best area players and once again, the program didn’t disappoint. Senior Justin Stephens, who averaged 6.3 points a game last season, was one of two returning starters but made the most of his senior season, leading the Gladiators with an average of 14.1 ppg. Stephens posted a career-high 25 points against Dominguez High on Jan. 4 and scored at least 20 points four times and at least 15 points another seven times heading into the final week of the regular season.

Co-head coaches of the Year:It was only a matter of time before Cerritos would finally get a league championship in boys basketball and co-head coaches Kevin Enomoto and Jonathan Watanabe can breathe a little easier. With only four returning players, none of whom were starters last season, the Dons capped off a 17-12 season with the school’s first league title since 1997. Cerritos went on a tear just before the midway point of the season and won 13 of its 17 games.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

FIRST TEAM

Lindsay Fujihiro (Cerritos)

Destiny Goodloe (Norwalk)

Kamsi Okere (Cerritos)

Kim Hosada (Whitney)

Justine Wu (Whitney)

SECOND TEAM

Jordan Ebalo (Valley Christian)

Christine Hamakawa (Whitney)

Clarissa Heredia (Gahr)

Iris Lee (Cerritos)

Sydnee McKee (Artesia)

THIRD TEAM

Brianna Flores (Norwalk)

Dominique Harrison (John Glenn)

Janelle Ho (Whitney)

Kayla Miyake (Gahr)

Alyxe Tamaki (Cerritos)

HONORABLE MENTION

Cynthia Almanzar (John Glenn)

Halyne Buycks (Cerritos)

Mariah Jarnet (Artesia)

Julianna Lee (Whitney)

Priscilla Martinez (Norwalk)

PLAYERS TO LOOK FOR IN 2019-2020

Tina Labib (Artesia)

Sei Oriana Monis (Artesia)

Aniiyah Robinson (Artesia)

Dayzhia Young (Artesia)

Alyson Chang (Cerritos)

Amara Hizon (Cerritos)

Kari Orr (Cerritos)

Alyssa Saragumba (Cerritos)

Mia Magno (Gahr)

De’Aja Newburn (Gahr)

Karina Flores (John Glenn)

Perla Santana (John Glenn)

Melanie Camarena (Norwalk)

Ariel Garate (Norwalk)

McKenna Bushong (Valley Christian)

Kailani Kane (Valley Christian)

Makani Kane (Valley Christian)

Kira Smith (Valley Christian)

Eliana Amanuel (Whitney)

Makenna Yokoyama (Whitney)

Player of the Year:Even though her averaged dropped slightly, Whitney High senior Justine Wu was a force for the Lady Wildcats, even when they went through a late season slump. Wu averaged 9.9 ppg, half a point below last season’s total, and scored a career-high 27 points at Artesia on Feb. 5. Wu reached double figures 15 times in 30 games and got to 20 points three times.

Co-head coaches of the Year:Cerritos had Mayfair High as its rival in the Suburban League while Whitney’s arch nemesis has always been Oxford Academy. Now that they are in the 605 League, Cerritos head coach Marcus Chinen and Whitney’s Rachel Nagel just might be the new rivals of the league. While neither won the league this past season, Chinen guided the Lady Dons to a 19-11 mark and a trip to the quarterfinals. Nagel, a former Whitney star shooter who is in her first season as head coach, also guided her team to the quarterfinals as the Lady Wildcats went 20-10. Both teams return a combined 14 players and figure to battle for a league title next season.

BOYS SOCCER

FIRST TEAM

GK-Leonardo Mondragon (Norwalk)

F-Jose Aguilar (Artesia)

F-Sammi Valle (Artesia)

F-Kurtis Vandermuelen (Valley Christian)

M-Diego Albanez (Valley Christian)

M-Devin Carcano (Norwalk)

M-Bryan Gudino (Artesia)

M-Raul Pantoja (Artesia)

D-Romel Burgos (Artesia)

D-Andrew Lange (Valley Christian)

D-Ivan Perez (Norwalk)

SECOND TEAM

GK-Jason Gomez (Artesia)

F-Daniel Felix (Norwalk)

F-Roberto Gudino (Artesia)

F-Erick Velasco (Norwalk)

M-Christopher Martinez (Artesia)

M-Alejandro Romero (Artesia)

M-Matthew Souza (Cerritos)

M-Pedro Ventura (Valley Christian)

D-Derek Laureola (Cerritos)

D-Felipe Morales (Artesia)

D-Tin Trung Pham (Valley Christian)

HONORABLER MENTION

GK-Trevor Hayes (Valley Christian)

F-Benjamin Gonzalez (Norwalk)

F-Noah Leonardo (Cerritos)

F-Abel Marin (Norwalk)

M-Adrian Arrayga (Cerritos)

M-Dominic Colangelo (Valley Christian)

M-Andrew Diep (Cerritos)

M-Josue Gracian (Norwalk)

D-Brendan Fletchall (Valley Christian)

D-Sam Montoya (Valley Christian)

D-Emiliano Segura (Norwalk)

Player of the Year:Artesia has always had great seasons with some of the best players around. But junior midfielder Jose Aguilar just might be the best to wear a Pioneers uniform. Aguilar led the team, and area with a school record 39 goals and was balanced between non-league and league. Aguilar posted a hat trick six times and scored in 18 of the 23 games the team played.

Co-head coaches of the Year:It’s too bad that Octavio Marquez and Vinson Pluma are no longer coaching against each other in the same league because it would have been very interesting to see who would have won their games this past season. Marquez guided Artesia to an 18-2-3 mark and a 605 League championship, the school’s second straight league title while Pluma saw Norwalk High go 18-1-3 and win the Suburban League for the second time in three seasons and third in the past five. Norwalk’s record was the school’s best in over 20 seasons

GIRLS SOCCER

FIRST TEAM

GK-Cassidy Samuelson (Valley Christian)

F-Jayda Anusasnananta (Cerritos)

F-Jillian Beck (Valley Christian)

F-Erika Rizal (Cerritos)

M-Marisa Couto (Cerritos)

M-Persephone Diep (Cerritos)

M-Christina Pollard (Valley Christian)

M-Sophia Schrock (Valley Christian)

D-Bianca Bowen (Cerritos)

D-Hannah Lara (Valley Christian)

D-Celeste Rodriguez (Artesia)

SECOND TEAM

GK-Ashley Correia (Gahr)

F-Shamara Barsana (Cerritos)

F-Janna Dunk (Valley Christian)

F-Nicholette Palomo (Gahr)

M-Megan Bouma (Valley Christian)

M-Ashley Cuellar (Valley Christian)

M-Emily Gomez (Cerritos)

M-Maya Tydor (Cerritos)

D-Julia Couto (Cerritos)

D-Iris Lee (Cerritos)

D-Kassandra Murguia (Artesia)

HONORABLE MENTION

GK-Julia Calderon (Artesia)

F-Michelle Abarca (Artesia)

F-Alexandria Burgess-Allen (Valley Christian)

F-Kylee Castro (Cerritos)

M-Anastasia Cordova (Gahr)

M-Kimberly Flores (Artesia)

M-Alenna Velazquez (Artesia)

M-Carly Wind (Valley Christian)

D-Mia DeKraker (Valley Christian)

D-Asha George (Cerritos)

D-Amanda Saldana (Gahr)

Co-players of the Year:There were so many key components for Cerritos this past season that several players could have won this award. But seniors Jayda Anusasanananta and Erika Rizal share this one. The two speedy forwards led the Lady Dons with 14 goals, each scoring seven in league action. In 24 games, there were only six games in which neither of them found the back of the net.

Coach of the Year:It was 1998 since Cerritos last won a league championship, but head coach Robert Adams finally has one. The Lady Dons went 17-3-4 overall, the school’s best mark since the 1997-1998 campaign when that team went 18-5-0 and did not lose in all 10 league games. In fact, Cerritos outscored the league competition 90-3.

 

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