Junior stars: The top 50 Southern Section girls basketball players in the class of 2021

With the 2019-2020 high school girls basketball season over, we’re taking a look at the best players in Southern California, class by class. The Southern Section was stacked with juniors who put up big numbers on dominant teams. Out of dozens of players who received strong consideration to make our list of the section’s top players in the class of 2021, we narrowed it down to 50.

The list is in alphabetical order by last name. All statistics and other information referenced are from the 2019-2020 season. The main criteria for making the list were individual statistics, team success and strength of schedule.

Email lance@wpsblivest.wpengine.com to submit a photo or nominate a player who isn’t on the list. Check at the end of the post for updates.


Clarice Akunwafo – C – Rolling Hills Prep

The 4-star prospect averaged 20.1 points, 12.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game on 56% shooting.

D’Arrah Allen – G – Leunzinger

Allen led the Olympians with 16.3 points and 3.2 assists per game to go with 2.7 SPG.

Meaali’i Amosa – C/F – Mater Dei

Amosa was one of Mater Dei’s leading scorers and rebounders through their Open Division championship run.

Mailey Ballard – F – Valencia

Ballard was a double-digit scorer and strong rebounder and defender for the Vikings.

Jessie Blaine – F/C – San Clemente

Blaine led the Tritons with 17.2 PPG on a team-high 54.2% FG to go with 11 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.3 steals per game.

Faith Boulanger – F – Burroughs

Boulanger led Burroughs with 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.4 blocks per game to go with 2.1 SPG.

Emily Briggs – F/G – Esperanza

Briggs averaged 14.8 points, seven rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game for the 25-4 Aztecs.

Sydney Brumfield – G – Pasadena

Brumfield helped lead Pasadena to the 2-AA quarterfinals where they took North down to the wire.

Lily Buggs – G/F – Long Beach Poly

The Moore League Player of the Year led Poly with 11.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game on a team-high 48% FG in addition to 1.7 APG and 2.9 SPG.

Kalaya Buggs – G – Long Beach Poly

Buggs averaged 7.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.2 steals, and a team-high 4.3 assists per game.

Angie Choi – G – Oxford Academy

Choi averaged 21.6 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.7 steals per game.

Jayda Curry – G – Corona Centennial

One of the best guards in the section, Curry averaged 22.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 2.1 steals per game.

Brooke Davis – G – Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks)

Davis averaged 11.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and a team-high three assists per game.

Brooke Demetre – F – Mater Dei

Brooke Demetre, Mater Dei girls basketball

The 5-star Stanford commit was named the Southern Section Open Division Player of the Year.

Michelle Duchemin – F – Windward

Michelle Duchemin, No. 15

Duchemin was a major scoring threat for one of the best teams in California.

Liz Elliott – C/F – St. Mary’s Academy

Elliott averaged 19.5 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.6 steals, and 2.9 blocks per game and registered a double-double in 25 out of 28 games she played in.

Sara Eyre – G – Aliso Niguel

Eyre averaged 12.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. She shot a strong 58% from two and 66-194 (34%) from three.

Emily Freeman – G – San Juan Hills

Freeman averaged 13.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, a team-high 2.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. She knocked down 35% of her 239 threes.

Alyssa Frescas – G – Mater Dei

Alyssa Frescas, Mater Dei

Frescas was named First Team All-Open Division.

Brianna Furch – G – Brentwood School

Furch averaged 12.4 points, 3.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 3.3 steals, and a block per game.

Allison Ha – G – Royal

Ha had one of the best stat lines in the section as a junior, averaging 21 points, 6.1 rebounds, five assists, and 2.8 steals per game. She also has one of the best season highlight reels:

Ashley Hawkins – G – Woodrow Wilson

Ashley Hawkins, No. 23

Hawkins averaged 18.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.9 steals per game for 3-A champion Wilson.

Valerie Huerta – G – St. Paul

Huerta averaged 18.4 points, five rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.7 steals per game.

Kiki Iriafen – C/F – Harvard-Westlake

Iriafen was one of the top juniors in not only the section but the country in 2019-2020. She averaged 23.3 points, 15.1 rebounds, and two steals per game on 56% shooting for the Division 1 champion.

Anaya James – G – West (Torrance)

James averaged 18.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, four APG, and 3.1 SPG for the Division 1 semifinalist.

Brianna Lizardi – G – Eisenhower

Lizardi averaged 13.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 2.8 steals per game shooting 37% from downtown.

Kimiko Katzaroff – G – Harvard-Westlake

Katzaroff averaged 9.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game with one of the harder schedules in the country. She brought it in many of the Division 1 champion Wolverines’ biggest games.

Rayah Marshall – G/F – Lynwood

The 5-star prospect averaged over 18 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and two steals per game.

Diara McBroom – F/G – Gardena Serra

McBroom averaged 10.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, and a team-high 4.1 assists, and 3.8 steals per game.

Rayshanti McNeal-Price – F/C – Lancaster

McNeal-Price led Lancaster to a CIF Division IV Southern Region title with a team-high 15.8 PPG and 9.3 RPG.

Alexis Mead – G – M.L. King

Mead was arguably the best player on King, a CIFSS Division 1 semifinalist and state Division I quarterfinalist.

Claire Nguyen – G – Oaks Christian

Nguyen was a consistent scorer and playmaker for 20-5 Oaks Christian.

Alyssa Norada – G – Tustin

Norada averaged 18.9 PPG, 3.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 2.6 steals per game.

Jaachi Nwanevu – F/C – Roosevelt

Nwanevu averaged 15.8 points and 14.9 rebounds per game.

Endigo Parker – C – Troy

Parker averaged 7.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game for the Division 1 finalist.

Khylee Pepe – G – Bishop Montgomery

Pepe averaged 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals per game against some of the best competition in California.

Jessica Peterson – C – Etiwanda

Etiwanda was a double-double threat for one of the best teams in SoCal.

Mya Pierfax – G – Paloma Valley

Pierfax averaged 17 points, 3.9 rebounds, three assists, and 2.3 steals per game for the state Division III SoCal champion.

Bella Ramirez – G – Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks)

Ramirez led the 27-6 Knights with 15.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.1 steals per game. She also led Notre Dame in field goal percentage and blocks.

Alyssa Real – G – Huntington Beach

Real was named the Surf League co-MVP.

Maya Rush – F – Covina

Rush put 22.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 3.4 steals per game.

Trinity San Antonio – F – Corona Centennial

San Antonio averaged 8.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 4.3 steals per game on 46% FG.

Tyreshia Sessions – G/F – Hesperia

Sessions only played in 15 games last season, but she averaged a whopping 20.3 points, 6.6. rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 6.1 steals per game.

Vanessa Smith – F/G – Millikan

Smith averaged 10.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.9 steals, and a block per game for the 26-4 Rams.

Calli Stokes – F – Redondo Union

Stokes had some injury issues in 2019-2020, but when she was healthy she was one of the most well-rounded juniors in the section.

AnLing Su Vera – G – Fairmont Prep

Su Vera averaged 11.2 points, three rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. With nearly all of Fairmont Prep’s offensive firepower returning in 2020-2021, she will have a shot at leading the section in APG.

Briliyah Taylor – G – Lynwood

Taylor averaged 10.4 points, 1.9 steals, and a team-high 4.8 assists per game.

Sydney Woodley – F – Paloma Valley

Woodley averaged 15.4 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 4.2 steals per game for the CIF Division III Southern Region champion.

Mia Yamamoto – F – Fairmont Prep

Yamamoto averaged 15.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, two assists, and 1.6 steals per game on 51.5% shooting.

Melissa Zozulenko – G – Harvard-Westlake

Zozulenko averaged 12.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.


Late additions:

These are players we missed who belonged in our initial post.

Kimberly Hosoda – F – Whitney

Hosoda averaged a 14-point double-double plus four SPG and was named the Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community Newspaper Player of the Year for their region.

Athena Saragoza – G – Santa Barbara

Saragoza averaged over 24 PPG and shot 37% from three.

Freda Tafuna – G – Villa Park

Tafuna averaged 11.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.9 steals per game. She was named MVP of the North Hills League.


These players were are also among the top juniors in the section and received strong consideration for the top 50.

Trasara Alexander – G – Corona del Mar

Karina Cabrera – G – Aliso Niguel

Makaila Glynn – F – Fairmont Prep

Keslyn Henson – G – Linfield Christian

Arielle Hines – F – Woodrow Wilson

Kayla Ishibashi – G – Fairmont Prep

Jordan Johnson – G – Hueneme

Eden MacKenzie – G – Saugus

Simone Morris – G/F – Long Beach Poly

Andie Payne – F – Huntington Beach

Riley Phipps – F/G – Saugus

Jasmine Stone – F – Woodrow Wilson

Kayla Wrobel – F – Burroughs

Thank you for joining the discussion on SBLive!

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