TRIBUNE ALL-AREA PHOTO GALLERY
2013-14 ALL-AREA BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JEREMY HEMSLEY, DAMIEN, JUNIOR
There are very few boys basketball players in the area who are capable of not only leading their respective team in scoring, but can take over a game and do it despite the opposition’s scheme to stop them.
The exception is Damien High School’s Jeremy Hemsley, who proved game after game over the past few years that the not only can accomplish it under those conditions, but also thrive, helping the Spartans to become the area’s elite team.
For his efforts, Hemsely is Tribune Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
“I thought I had a pretty good year,” said Hemsley, who was area player of the year for the second consecutive season, “There are still some things I need to work on, but I think I led my team to the best of my abilities.”
Hemsley played a major role in Damien’s success, which included winning two December tournaments, going 22-7 and advancing two rounds in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs this past season.
The junior, who averaged 22 points a game, was one of three area players to score at least 20 points a contest. But he was also one of the more versatile players in the area, helping the Spartans with five rebounds per game, while also getting five assists and two steals per game. He was All-CIF-SS for the second consecutive season.
Damien, which won the Division 3AA last season, finished short of its goal in repeating, losing to Great Oak, of Temecula, in the second round.
“I don’t think there was more pressure this year,” Hemsley said. “It really came down to having fun, and I don’t think we had as much fun playing the game as last year. I think that played a big part of us not winning games, like we did last year.”
But after tasting the title in 2013 and falling short this season, Hemsley is already looking forward to next season.
“There’s definitely motivation for next season,” Hemsley said. “That (coming up short) always gets me to work harder and do better than the next person.
“I’m improved on my game this season, but I think there’s some things I still need to work on.”
Next season will also be another challenge for the Spartans, who move from the Sierra League to the more highly-competitive Baseline League, which had all of its six teams make the playoffs and now will include powers Chino Hills and Damien. But Hemsley wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I like that a lot,” Hemsley said. “I like the competition. I’m excited (about the move).”
COACH OF THE YEAR: JOSH CAMERON, WALNUT
This was a breakout season for Walnut, which has been an up-and-coming program in recent years, and Cameron has been there from the ground up.
Walnut High School, after making solid runs over the past three seasons, went 22-6 and won their first league title in more than a decade, going 12-0 to claim the Hacienda League title. The Mustangs, led by league MVP Zuri Williams and a quartet of seniors, also won 14 of 15 games over the final two months of the season.
“It was a good year for us, obviously,” said Cameron, whose Mustangs have gone 56-29 over the past three seasons. “We had a good group of kids, a good coaching staff. We had come close (to winning league) a couple of times, but it was very special this year to finally beat everyone else. It was a compliment to the players this year.”
A.J. BIGORNIA, GLENDORA, JUNIOR, GUARD
Bigornia was one of the top guards in the area, capable of running the floor or knocking down 3-pointers. He ranked among the area scoring leaders while helping Glendora to an 18-10 record. He was first team All-CIF-Southern Section Division 2AA and All-Baseline League.
THOMAS RICO, GLENDORA, SENIOR, GUARD
Rico was part of Glendora’s two-guard tandem with A.J. Bigornia. He was Tribune MVP in last week’s 11th Tribune/Star-News Classic, scoring 19 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead the Tribune to an 87-81 victory. He was second team All-Baseline League.
ZURI WILLIAMS, WALNUT, JUNIOR, GUARD
Williams was a key part of the Mustangs scoring their first league title in more than a decade, going undefeated in the Hacienda League. He earned Hacienda League MVP after scoring 10.3 points per game and averaging nearly five assists and four steals, respectively, per game.
ROB HARRELSON, WALNUT, SENIOR, FORWARD
Harrelson was a key factor in Walnut winning the Hacienda League. He ranked among the area leaders in scoring with a 14.5 average and was key inside with 6.5 rebounds per game. He was first team All-Hacienda League for Walnut, which was 22-6. Harrelson scored a game-high 20 points in least week’s all-star game.
JOSHUA ANDARZA, BISHOP AMAT, JUNIOR, FORWARD
Andarza keyed Bishop Amat to a 15-14 record and a trip to the CIF-SS Division 3A quarterfinals, losing to Santa Barbara. The junior averaged 12 points and seven rebounds a game. He was first team All-CIF-SS Division 3A and All-Del Rey League. Anadarza was one of only three area players to earn All-CIF-SS, joining Damien’s Hemsley and Glendora’s Bigornia.
KEVIN PRICE, WILSON, SENIOR, FORWARD
Wilson enjoyed one of its better seasons in recent memory, and Price played a major role in the Wildcats going 12-0 to claim the Valle Vista League title. He averaged 12 points and five rebounds per game and was Valle Vista League MVP.
JOHN PAUL RODRIGUEZ, WORKMAN, SENIOR, GUARD
Rodriguez was the latest star at Workman, which has dominated the Montview League in recent seasons. He keyed the Lobos run to a 21-7 record and another Montview League title. He was league MVP after putting up 21 points and 3.5 assists per contest.
MALIK FITTS, DAMIEN, JUNIOR, GUARD
Fitts was a preseason question mark, which he answered by averaging nearly 14 points and seven rebounds per game to help the Spartans to a 22-7 record and advance two rounds in the Division 1AA playoffs. He filled in nicely as the shooting guard role and was All-Sierra League.
ANDREW BULLOCK, NOGALES, SENIOR, CENTER
Bullock was the top inside player in the area. He was a force in the middle for the Lobos after averaging 14 points and 20 rebounds per game in helping the Nobles to a 14-14 record. He was first team All-Valle Vista League.
ISAIH MENDOZA, MOUNTAIN VIEW, GUARD
Mendoza was arguably the top guard in the Mission Valley League. He led the area with a 22.2 points per game average. He also averaged 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals a game. He was first team All-Mission Valley League.
Guard: Leo Li, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Guard: Ben Reaves, Gladstone, Sr.
Guard: Christian Manalo, Diamond Bar, Senior
Guard: Ryan OCampo, San Dimas, Jr.
Guard: Christian Espinoza, Los Altos, Junior
Guard: Eric Fonseca, Bishop Amat, Senior
Forward: Jacob Estrada, South Hills, Senior
Forward: Dane Hollar, Bonita, Senior
Center: Richie Rycraw, Walnut, Sr.
Center: Jayson Jones, Los Altos, Fr.
Azusa: Carlos Montiel, Sr.
Diamond Bar: Bobby Meshesha, Sr.
Diamond Ranch: Ernest Ugoagu, Sr.
Duarte: Eddie Howard, Sr.
El Monte: Jacob Moran, Sr.
Gladstone: Manny Chavira, Sr.
La Puente: Mathew Arguello, Sr.; Edwin Peraza, Sr.
Los Altos: Michael Barrera, Jr.
Walnut: Lawrence Besong, Sr., Jeff Huang, Sr.
West Covina: Jonah Mendoza, Sr.
FINAL TOP TEN
1. Damien (22-7)
2. Walnut (22-6)
3. Glendora (18-10)
4. Wilson (20-8)
5. Bishop Amat (15-13)
6. Bonita (20-8)
7. Los Altos (17-10)
8. Workman (21-7)
9. Diamond Bar (11-17)
10. San Dimas (12-14)
Del Rey: Serra, Bishop Montgomery
Mission Valley: Gabrielino
Sierra: Chino Hills
Valle Vista: Wilson