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.
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TOP 50 JUNIORS IN SOUTHERN SECTION GIRLS BASKETBALL
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
The 5-star Stanford commit was named the Southern Section Open Division Player of the Year.
Michelle Duchemin – F – Windward
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
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
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.
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.