Mesa Grande Academy girls basketball: my first impressions

I knew Mesa Grande Academy’s marquee athletic team for some time has been theirĀ  girls basketball team. But unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to cover the Cardinals. In fact, I had covered a Mesa Grande softball game and written a Mesa Grande cross country feature before my first Mesa Grande girls basketball team.

I came away from my first Mesa Grande girls basketball game, Wednesday’s 45-24 win over San Diego Ocean View Christian in the State Division V first round, as very impressed.

Mesa Grande has an extremely talented ball handler in Michaela Garcia. They don’t have a ton of size. But they do have other players who are pretty decent at handling the ball, and most importantly, they have players who play great team defense and rebound. On offense, they tend to beĀ  very patient but have players who can finish around the basket.

I have no idea if 5th-seeded Mesa Grande (28-3, winners of 21 straight) can beat its next opponent, No. 4 Sun Valley Village Christian, a road game on Saturday night. Just from talking to coach Bob Walker in recent years, I had respect for how he runs his program, but after watching the Cardinals on Wednesday, I have respect for how they play the game.

All-CIF girls basketball team

Got a couple MVPs and a Coach of the Year, as Rialto’s Janae Sharpe was named the Player of the Year in Division 2AA while Mesa Grande’s Jennifer Dupper did in the same in D6AA. Mesa Grande coach Bob Walker got Coach of the Year in leading the Cardinals to the first CIF title by a Seventh-Day Adventist school.

Division 1AA
Player of the Year – Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Mater Dei (12)
Coach of the Year – Kevin Kiernan, Mater Dei

Jordan Adams, Jr., Mater Dei
Alexyz Vaioletama, Sr., Mater Dei
Justine Hartman, Sr, Brea Olinda
Moriah Faulk, Sr, Santa Monica
Ariya Crook-Williams, Sr., Long Beach Poly
Sheila Boykin, Sr., Long Beach Poly
Jada Blackwell, Sr., Etiwanda
Teara Laudermill, Sr., Canyon Springs
Sophia Ederaine, Sr., Canyon Springs
Chrishae Rowe, So., Corona Santiago

Division 1A
Player of the Year – Bonnie Samuelson, Edison (12)
Coach of the Year – Dan Wiley, Edison

Karlie Samuelson, So., Edison
Gaberiella Hanson, So., Troy
Madalene Barrett, Sr., Troy
Shelby Dougherty, Jr., Troy
Sarah Lipton, So., Woodbridge
Kourtney Ainsworth, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga
Connie Ballestero, Jr., Villa Park
Tyler Woods, Sr., Corona Centennial
Christina Marquette, Sr., Edison
Samantha Doucette, Sr., Woodbridge

Division 2AA
Player of the Year – Janae Sharpe, Rialto (12)
Coach of the Year – David Guenther, Buena

Denae Williams, Jr., Rialto
Lisha Eisenbach, Sr., Burbank Burroughs
Adrianna Dent, Sr., Canyon Country Canyon
Taylor McGuire, Sr., Buena
Kaity Lykins, Sr., Royal
Hanna Burge, Sr., Newbury Park
Alia McCoy, So., Canyon Country Canyon
Keani Albanez, Sr., Buena
Kelsey Minato, Jr., Huntington Beach
Deanna Johnson, Jr., Norco

Division 6AA
Player of the Year – Jennifer Dupper, Mesa Grande Academy (12)
Coach of the Year – Bob Walker, Mesa Grande Academy

Rachel Tohm, Sr., Mesa Grande Academy
Charley Parker, Sr., Rio Hondo Prep
Selina Breshers, Sr., Los Angeles Adventist
Nicole Tweedy, Sr., Lone Pine
Marry Spohn, Sr., Mayfield
Nanor Babian, So., Pasadena AGBU
Jordan Wilson, Sr., California Lutheran
Hannah Martin, Sr., Rio Hondo Prep
Erin Guinan, Sr., Hesperia Christian
Raquel Spencer, So., Orangewood Academy

Division 6A
Player of the Year – Mar-Jana Phillips, Rolling Hills Prep (12); Peyton Langston, Rolling Hills Prep (9)
Coach of the Year – Joe Jackson, Rolling Hills Prep

Jill Webster, Sr., Redlands Adventist
Jordan Ward, Sr., Riverside Bethel Christian
Marissa Lemus, Sr., Big Pine
Maya Machler, Sr., Lake Arrowhead Christian
Taylor Cubas, Sr., Santa Clarita Christian
Allison Dial, So., Calvary Baptist
Cassandra Haro, Jr., Calvary Baptist
Una Hertzog, Jr., Santa Maria Valley Christian
Grace Napier, Sr., Coastal Christian