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Artesia, La Mirada boys, Cerritos girls headline banner seasons for area

basketball teams

March 9, 2022

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter


The uncertainties of the first full on-time high school basketball season since the pandemic began, which included cancellations and postponements, were capped off by a trio of area teams advancing to the CIF State Southern California Regionals. For the La Mirada High boys and Cerritos High girls, it was a historic first-time trip to the CIF-Southern Section finals while the Artesia High boys came within a basket of a spot in the finals. It was also a memorable season for the John Glenn High boys, which made history for other reasons. Here are the members of the 2021-2022 HMG-Community News All-Area Teams for basketball.



Aaron Banks (Artesia High)

Dillon Chelsea (Gahr High)

Julien Gomez (La Mirada High)

Nathan Medina (Valley Christian High)

Zion Staples (Artesia High)


Jacob Bayla (Valley Christian High)

Sean Cervantes (La Mirada High)

Richard Ramos (John Glenn High)

Ethan Wong (Whitney High)

Kane Young (Gahr High)


Isiah Kalaj (La Mirada High)

Daniel Okoro (Gahr High)

Zack Powell (Norwalk High)

Alec Reyes (Cerritos High)

Jayden Thomas (Gahr High)


Miles Jennings (Artesia High)

Aidan Nasser (La Mirada High)

Michael Saucedo (John Glenn High)

Armand Soriano (Cerritos High)

Micah Sybesma (Valley Christian High)


Steve Anderson Jr. (Artesia High)

Dontaye Hardy (Artesia High)

Andrew Noquez (Artesia High)

Osinachi Agaranna (Cerritos High)

Dominic Dela Cruz (Cerritos High)

Andrew Hartman (Cerritos High)

Dayvon Gates (Gahr High)

Evan Spurlin-Renfroe (Gahr High)

Sebastian Figueroa (John Glenn High)

Seyharmony Somchan (John Glenn High)

Jarrett Cole (La Mirada High)

Yahir Martinez (Norwalk High)

Kaleb Nakano (Norwalk High)

Alec Reyes (Norwalk High)

D.J. Harrington (Valley Christian High)

Myles Harvey (Valley Christian High)

Michael Wright (Valley Christian High)

Sakeef Sekender (Whitney High)

Joseph Whittaker (Whitney High)

Player of the Year: From his first high school varsity basketball game against Whitney High on Nov. 14, 2018, when he scored 22 points to his last game on Feb. 11 at Los Altos High when he scored 27 points, Valley Christian High’s Nathan Medina has been simply spectacular. All he did was become one of the best players in school history and he capped off four remarkable seasons on varsity with 649 points, averaging 24 points a game as a senior. His total was more than 200 points ahead of the next area player, and he leaves V.C. with over 2,000 points scored. He had a career-high 40 points on Dec. 2 against Carlsbad High in the second game of the Mission Viejo Tournament and had at least 12 points in 26 of 27 games played. He also had five games of at least 30 points and accomplished that feat six other times.

Co-coaches of the Year: For over two decades, people laughed and mocked the Glenn boys program. But in one season, first-year head coach Sam Abebe silenced a lot of those people, taking the Eagles to their first trip to the playoffs since the 2013-2014 season. When Glenn kicked off the Division 5A playoffs with a victory at River Springs High, it was the first postseason win in school history. When the team of eight players defeated Hawthorne Math and Science Academy four days later, it was the first home playoff game in school history. Oh, for added measure, the team’s 14-13 record was the program’s best on over 25 seasons.

History was also made at La Mirada as Randy Oronoz, in his fifth season at his alma mater, took the Matadores to the CIF-SS Division 2A championship game. It was the first time any La Mirada boys basketball team had reached the finals. La Mirada ended the season with an 18-15 mark, which included a 10-game winning streak and a win in the Southern California Division III regionals.



Amara Hizon (Cerritos High)

Layla Lacorte (Whitney High)

Sydney McKee (Artesia High)

Onyeka Nwanze (Cerritos High)

Jasmine Uy (Cerritos High)


Denise Cortez (Norwalk High)

Keilani Ganancial (Norwalk High)

Katrina Slaughter (Norwalk High)

Kylie Wang (Whitney High)

Samerika Young (Artesia High)


Gillian Doplemore (Valley Christian High)

Keiara Harvey (Valley Christian High)

Jordan Manning (Artesia High)

Madhuri Suresh (Cerritos High)

Haylie Wang (Whitney High)


Ruby Chavez (John Glenn High)

Jirah Domingo (La Mirada High)

Makayla Moore (Norwalk High)

Rachel Song (Whitney High)

Lauryn Teramoto (Gahr High)


Alana Pascua (Artesia High)

Francine Carrillo (Cerritos High)

Emily Hosoda (Cerritos High)

Alexa Mina (Cerritos High)

Mia Rivera (Cerritos High)

Kim Gutierrez (Gahr High)

Alyssa Miyake (Gahr High)

Maritza Corona (John Glenn High)

Emily Garcia (John Glenn High)

Janessa Leal (John Glenn High)

Aaliyah Ramirez (John Glenn High)

Jael Arreguin (La Mirada High)

Mira Shadban (La Mirada High)

Areli Gonzalez (Norwalk High)

Amanda Rangel (Norwalk High)

Chayse Chambers (Valley Christian High)

Carissa Kamstra (Valley Christian High)

Meghan Patterson (Valley Christian High)

Katherine Theberge-Torres (Valley Christian High)

Kayla Hamakawa (Whitney High)

Anika Kasula (Whitney High)

Alyssa Truong (Whitney High)

Player of the Year: Onyeka Nwanze has been a big time treat for a Cerritos program that is not known for its height. The sophomore led the area with 450 points, averaging 16.7 points a game and led the Dons in rebounds and blocked shots. Nwanze’s high-scoring game was 39 against Segerstrom High on Nov. 24 in the third game of the season during the Corona Del Mar Tournament and reached at least 20 points seven other times.

Coach of the Year: After three straight second round exits, followed by two trips to the quarterfinals then two straight first round exits, Cerritos head coach Marcus Chinen finally reached the championship game. It was the first time in school history either boys or girls had advanced to the finals and even though the Dons lost to La Salle High in the 3AA title game, plus the first round of the Southern California Regionals to Carlsbad High, he finished with a 20-9 mark and has managed to win at least 20 games for the third time in his eight seasons at Cerritos.




  • Robert Martinez says:

    Maybe you should look into the academic fraud by the John Glenn Boys varsity basketball coach by forcing one of the players to do the school work for 2 other players so they can be eligible and the cover up by the admin and ad.