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2019-2020 HMG-COMMUNITY NEWS WINTER ALL-AREA TEAMS: Ending of long playoff droughts highlight basketball, soccer seasons

Football and basketball isolated on the white

By Loren Kopf • @LorenKopff on Twitter

The beginning of the new decade will be one that several area basketball and soccer teams will remember for a long time. The Artesia High girls basketball team, Cerritos High and John Glenn High boys soccer team and Gahr High girls soccer teams ended their absences from the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. The Cerritos boys basketball team continued its dominance in the 605 League while the Norwalk High and Valley Christian High boys basketball teams benefited from long winning streaks. Listed are the newest members of the 2019-2020 HMG-Community News All-Area Teams.



Alexander Archer (Cerritos)

Nathan Medina (Valley Christian)

Tyler Miller (Artesia)

Malvin Payero (Valley Christian)

Jaden Pitre (Gahr)


Eric Clark (Cerritos)

Christopher Herrera (Norwalk)

Kenneth Hunt (Gahr)

Mark Onyejekwe (Gahr)

Jagger Uy (Cerritos)


Jonathan Nelson (Artesia)

Ethan Reyes (Cerritos)

Denzel Williams (Valley Christian)

Jayden Williams (Norwalk)

Ethan Woon (Gahr)


Jeremiah Charles (Artesia)

Kevin Garrett (Norwalk)

Miguel Javier (Artesia)

Chanmarafine Som (John Glenn)

Ethan Wong (Whitney)


Matthew Borroto (Artesia)

Troy Linao (Artesia)

Drayven Young (Artesia)

Obinna Ene (Cerritos)

Danny Patton (Cerritos)

William Reed (Cerritos)

Ryan Scammahorn (Cerritos)

Khye Matthews (Gahr)

Gemel Williams (Gahr)

Rashaad Willis (Gahr)

Natanael Jacobo (John Glenn)

Richard Ramos (John Glenn)
Miguel Fernandez (Norwalk)

Luca Caldarella (Valley Christian)

Melian Martinez (Valley Christian)

Micah Sybesma (Valley Christian)

Adetokunbo Adeleye (Whitney)

Dhilan Amin (Whitney)

Jeffrey Fernandez (Whitney)

David Song (Whitney)

Player of the Year:Valley Christian’s Malvin Payero clearly dominated the area’s scoring department by over 150 points from the next guy in the exact number of games played. In fact, his scoring in non-league games alone was more than anyone else. The senior averaged 22.4 points a game for the Defenders and posted a career-high 35 points twice-Dec. 26, 2019 against Arleta High in the first game of the San Pedro Pirate Shootout, and four games later against Whittier High. Payero also averaged 20.9 points a game in Olympic League action.

Coach of the Year:In his first season as Valley Christian’s head coach, Josh Zumkehr compiled one of the best season’s the program has had. The Defenders won the first 11 games of the season and were 17-1 before league play began.  In the end, V.C. had itself a 20-9 record, the fourth time since the 2006-2007 season that the program had recorded at least 20 wins.



Jordan Ebalo (Valley Christian)

Amara Hizon (Cerritos)

Kimberly Hosoda (Whitney)

Sydney McKee (Artesia)

Samerika Young (Artesia)


McKenna Bushong (Valley Christian)

Brianna Flores (Norwalk)

Dominique Harrison (John Glenn)

Layla Lacorte (Whitney)

Jasmine Uy (Cerritos)


Cynthia Almanzar (John Glenn)

Alyson Chang (Cerritos)

Janelle Ho (Whitney)
Mariah Jarnet (Artesia)

Minh-Thy Vo (Cerritos)


Faith Boss (Valley Christian)

Ariel Garate (Norwalk)

Julianna Lee (Whitney)

Kayla Miyake (Gahr)

Alyssa Sarigumba (Cerritos)


Sha’Mira Barnes (Artesia)

Jordan Manning (Artesia)

Priscilla Robles (Artesia)

Esja Shriver (Artesia)

Rachel Tucker (Cerritos)

Brya Arroyo (Gahr)

Cha’nai Richard (Gahr)

Lauren Teramoto (Gahr)

Karina Flores (John Glenn)

Kei’ana Hood (John Glenn)

Sara Mendoza (John Glenn)

Denise Cortez (Norwalk)

Katrina Slaughter (Norwalk)

Makani Kane (Valley Christian)

Gillian Doplemore (Valley Christian)

Eliana Amanuel (Whitney)

Kayla Hamakawa (Whitney)

Rachel Song (Whitney)

Player of the Year:The heart and soul of the Whitney High girls basketball team was Kimberly Hosoda. The junior was one of two area players to reach the 400-point plateau and was the only Lady Wildcat to score in each of her team’s 28 games. Hosoda scored over 20 points five times and posted a career-high 28 points against St. Joseph High on Dec. 6 a Glenn/Norwalk Tournament game.

Coach of the Year:The feel-good story of the season comes from Artesia where Shontya Pouncey got the Lady Pioneers into the playoffs for the first time since 2012. For added measure, Artesia won the Division 5 AA championship, the first for the program since 2003 and fourth in school history. Artesia won its first 13 games of the season and went 26-8, the program’s best record since the 2001-2002 campaign when that team went 26-6. In addition, Artesia, which had gone four straight seasons without a league win, went 3-7 in the 605 League.



GK-Juan Pablo Camacho (Norwalk)

F-Jose Aguilar (Artesia)

F-Ezekiel Alcantar (Cerritos)

F-Erick Velasco (Norwalk)

M-Diego Albanez (Valley Christian)

M-Jose Gudino (Artesia)

M-Christopher Guijarro (Norwalk)

M-Christopher Peregrina (Norwalk)

D-Josue Gracian (Norwalk)

D-Andrew Lange (Valley Christian)    

D-Eric Portillo (Artesia)


GK-Michael Van Wijgaerde (Artesia)

F-Noah Leonardo (Cerritos)

F-Joshua Lizarraga (Artesia)

F-Abel Marin (Norwalk)

M-Juan Carbajal (Norwalk)

M-Raul Pantoja (Artesia)

M-Juan Prudencio (John Glenn)

M-Pedro Ventura (Valley Christian)

D-Brendan Fletchall (Valley Christian)

D-Enrique Mayen (John Glenn)

D-Matthew Sousa (Cerritos)


GK-Trevor Hayes (Valley Christian)

F-Juan Galvan (John Glenn)

F-Nicolas Garcia (Artesia)

F-Edgar Ramirez (John Glenn)

M-Edgar Barajas (John Glenn)

M-Brayan Gudino (Artesia)

M-Lucas Paz (Norwalk)

M-Sebastian Zambrano (Cerritos)

D-Andrew Diep (Cerritos)

D-Sam Montoya (Valley Christian)

D-David Zamarripa (Artesia)

Player of the Year: Jose Aguilar has been the face of the Artesia boys soccer program the past few seasons. The senior forward scored 36 goals this season, twice as many as the next area player, and outscored three area teams. Aguilar scored in 18 of the team’s 23 games and had four hat tricks.

Coach of the Year:Glenn’s program is in a safe place and head coach Hugo Enciso-Rojas has a lot to do with it. The Eagles advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2012 and the team’s 8-9-3 record is the program’s best since the 2013-2014 campaign when that team went 8-11-2. In addition, Glenn, which finished in second place in the 605 League, won a home playoff game. 



GK-Ashley Correia (Gahr)

F-Alyssa Menjivar (Whitney)

F-Nicholette Palomo (Gahr)

F-Alyssa Serrano (Whitney)

M-Megan Bouma (Valley Christian)

M-Persephone Diep (Cerritos)

M-Kimberly Flores (Artesia)

M-Sophia Schrock (Valley Christian)

D-Kate Alcaino (Gahr)

D-Mia DeKraker (Valley Christian)

D-Asha George (Cerritos)


GK-Cassidy Samuelson (Valley Christian)

F-Shamara Barsana (Cerritos)

F-Jillian Beck (Valley Christian)

F-Kayla Berneal (Gahr)

M-Kylee Castro (Cerritos)

M-Ashley Cuellar (Valley Christian)

M-Emily Gomez (Cerritos)

M-Dalia Luckhardt (Whitney)

D-Athena Sanchez (Whitney)

D-Natalie Villa (Cerritos)

D-Makayla Wade (Gahr)


GK-Shelby Dykes (Cerritos)

F-Maya Alcantar (Whitney)

F-Janna Dunk (Valley Christian)

F-Emely Soto (Norwalk)

M-Camryn Camacho (Cerritos)

M-Stephanie Flores (Artesia)

M-Genesis Mendoza (Gahr)

M-Angelina Prieto (Valley Christian)

D-Amanda Saldana (Gahr)

D-Riona Shiek (Whitney)

D-Maya Tydor (Cerritos)

Player of the Year:The Gahr girls soccer program is back on the map and the leader of the Lady Gladiators is forward Nicholette Palomo. The junior led the area with 27 goals, which was 55 percent of Gahr’s scoring. Palomo found the back of the net in 15 games and scored four times at Dominguez High on Jan. 28. 

Coach of the Year:In his fifth season at the helm of the Gahr girls program, Martin Henry has improved the win total the past three seasons. Henry guided the Lady Gladiators to a 15-8-2 mark, the program’s best record since the 2006-2007 season when Gahr went 11-5-2. The Lady Gladiators also went to the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Two seasons ago, Gahr finished 6-13-2 and last season, the team was 7-11-2.