By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
The El Monte High School girls basketball team might be struggling to a 7-11 overall record and fighting to stay in the hunt for the Mission Valley League title with a 3-1 record, but imagine how worse it could be if not for 6-foot-2 senior center Sandra Gutierrez protecting the lane. (To continue click thread)
Below: Glendora’s Calvin Smith one of four area players to receive prestigious McDonalds All-American nomination.
Gutierrez’s numbers are interesting. She’s flirting with averaging a triple-double for the season by averaging 9.6 points, 13 rebounds and
8 blocks per game.
In Wednesday’s 44-14 victory over Mountain View, Gutierrez had nine blocks to make her the California state leader in blocks with 137. She moved past Lawndale’s Melissa Betty, who is second with 130.
She also recorded the 400th block of her career with the nine-block effort and became one of only a few to reach that career milestone and put her within reach of the top five marks for career blocks in California history.
Harbor City Narbonne’s Ebony Hoffman is fifth all-time in career blocks with 496, certainly within Gutierrez’s reach if she continues at her current pace.
Gutierrez hasn’t had fewer than six blocks in any game this season, and had a season-best 13 blocks in a December loss to San Marino. She’s had 10 or more blocks four times.
“What makes her accomplishment more impressive is that those in the top five were four-year varsity players and she is only in her third,” El Monte coach Brian Tabatabai said.
Only a select few will take part in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American senior boys and girls basketball showcase on March 31 in Columbus, Ohio, but to receive a nomination is quite an accomplishment as well.
Four area players received that honor earlier this week. Damien’s Chris Adams, Glendora’s Casey Smith and Workman’s Bobby Miles-Serrano were three of 45 players nominated in California.
South Hills’ Melinda Gomez was the lone area player to be nominated on the girls side.
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