SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE 2017 ALL-AREA GIRLS BASKETBALL PHOTO GALLERY
TRIBUNE GIRLS BASKETBALL ALL-AREA TEAM
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tianna Eaton, Rowland, Senior
The Rowland High School girls basketball team will be remembered as the powerhouse that Tianna Eaton built.
Rowland went 51-5 over the past two years, which included back-to-back CIF Southern Section semifinals appearances and back-to-back undefeated Valle Vista League titles.
At the center of it all was the do-it-all guard who averaged 19.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.1 steals and three blocks per games this past season to help Rowland finish 26-2 and advance to the Division 2AA semifinals, where it eventually lost to Camarillo.
Rowland and Eaton never reached the championship game, but before Eaton arrived, Rowland hadn’t won a league title since 1988, and hadn’t reached the semifinals since 1979.
“It meant a lot to be able to make Rowland a more well known (girls basketball) school,” Eaton said. “The students along with the staff are such great and supportive people. They constantly tell us how proud they are and it’s just great knowing we have such a great support system.”
It was an amazing two years for Eaton, who is headed to UC Riverside on a full scholarship after earning consecutive Valle Vista League player of the year awards and consecutive CIF-SS first team honors.
For her efforts, Eaton has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune girls basketball player of the year for the second straight season, becoming the first player to earn back-to-back player of the year awards since Bonita’s Nikki Wheatley won it three straight years from 2012-14.
Eaton spent her freshman season at Diamond Ranch, and sophomore year at Diamond Bar, where she didn’t play. She transferred to Rowland her junior season, and Raiders coach Quentin Carr helped her develop a total game, particularly her dribbling, and the turnaround was astounding.
“I’ve transferred to quite a few schools,” Eaton admitted. “But out of all of the school’s, coach Carr has been the one coach that has pushed me to be the best I can be. He has helped me grow as a player and an individual by trusting me with the responsibility of leading his team and I cannot thank him enough for that.”
Eaton helped the Raiders win two tournaments and was named MVP of both tournaments, and in the Division 2AA quarterfinals, she helped lead the Raiders’ memorable comeback in a 53-52 victory over Walnut, finishing with 20 points.
And she did all she could in her final game as a senior, scoring a season-high 33 points with nine rebounds in a 70-55 semifinal loss to Camarillo, showing her competitive spirit.
Eaton said she will remember the final two games the most.
“My most memorable game was the game against Walnut,” Eaton said. “Although it wasn’t my best game, it was such a close and intense game and it was just one of those games you never forget. Coming out with the win made it even better.
“But I think my biggest accomplishment was scoring 33 points in my last game. We didn’t come out with the win but the other team all came and congratulated me and it honestly meant a lot. I had to end my high school career with a bang and I believe I did that.”
Coach of the year: Adam Nunemaker, Glendora
In two seasons at Glendora, Adam Nunemaker has turned the Tartans girls basketball program into something to be proud of.
For years the girls lived in the shadow of the hallowed boys program, which had won four CIF Southern Section titles under legendary coach Mike LeDuc, who left to Damien the year Nunemaker arrived at Glendora.
After going 15-12 in his first season, Nunemaker, helped Glendora reach new milestones, advancing to the school’s first-ever CIF-SS championship game, where it eventually lost to Thousand Oaks in the Division 3AA title game.
Glendora finished 25-6, set a school record for victories in a season, and was the only area team to play for a section title. That’s quite an accomplishment for a program that has never won a league title, and for his efforts, Nunemaker has been selected the San Gabriel Valley Tribune girls basketball coach of the year for the 2016-17 season.
Guard: Alexis Lowden, Glendora, Jr.
Lowden was a major reason why the Tartans won 25 games this season and enjoyed a deep run in the playoffs, reaching the championship game. She helped her team by putting up 12.7 points per game and 12.2 rebounds. Lowden led the Tartans in every major statistical category.
Guard: Faith Castillo, Rowland, Jr.
Castillo showed the Raiders were far from a one-girl show. The junior guard was second on the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game. She also averaged four steals per game as Rowland won 26 games. Castillo was a first-team all-Valle Vista League selection.
Guard: Alyssa Ono, Bonita, Sr.
Ono was key in helping the Bearcats win 18 games and take home the Palomares League championship. The senior finished her career by averaging 12.3 points per game. For her efforts, Ono was named MVP of the Palomares League.
Guard: Jezteni Espinoza, Los Altos, Sr.
Espinoza is best known as the girl who hit the shot of the season when she sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Arcadia in the playoffs. But that was just one sliver of a stellar campaign that saw the senior lead her team in scoring with 19.7 points per game. She also averaged five rebounds and four assists, and was named the Hacienda league MVP.
Guard: Jenna Pitpit, Walnut, Sr.
Pitpit was a key reason why Walnut won 25 game this season and earned a share of the Hacienda League championship. Pitpit averaged a team-high 15.6 points per game and also grabbed a whopping 5.2 steals per game. She was named to the Hacienda league first team.
Guard: Allison Ayala, Covina, Jr.
Ayala was the driving force behind Covina’s 24-win season and second-place finish in the Valle Vista League. Ayala led the Colts in scoring with 17.2 points per game. She also averaged two steals and was a first-team all-Valle Vista League selection.
Guard: Casandra Santos, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Santos played a big hand in getting the Lancers girls basketball program back on track. She averaged 12.8 points per game and 4.2 assists. For her efforts, Santos was a first-team all-CIF Division 3AA and first-team all-Camino Real League selection.
Forward: Juliana Gamboa, Diamond Bar, Sr.
Gamboa’s illustrious prep career came to an end but not before she wound up third on Diamond Bar’s all-time scoring list. She averaged 17.3 points per game along with 7 rebounds and 4.8 assists. Gamboa was a first-team all-CIF Division 1A selection for the second straight year, and was selected to the Palomares league first team.
Forward: Yasmin Dabbous, Walnut, Jr.
Dabbous was a force inside for the Mustangs, who won 25 games and earned a share of the Hacienda League championship. Dabbous averaged 12.7 points per game and pulled down 8.9 rebounds. She was an all-Hacienda League first team selection.
Center: Patricia Morris, Duarte, Jr.
Morris was the force inside for a Falcons team that won 27 games this season. The 6-foot-7 center averaged 17.4 points per game and 12.8 rebounds. She was named MVP of the Montview League and earned all-CIF Division 1A honors.
Guard: Ryley Thompson, Duarte, Sr.
Guard: MyJoi Adams, Pomona, Sr.
Guard: Selena Guerrero, Sierra Vista, Sr.
Guard: Diana Navarro, Covina, Sr.
Guard: Brenda Reyes, Los Altos, Guard
Guard: Kaylin Ngo, Rowland, Fr.
Guard: Delaney Thompson, Duarte, So.
Forward: Andrea Bustillos, West Covina, Sr.
Forward: Daylin Rodriguez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Forward: Briyanna Coleman, Bonita, Sr.
Forward: Mariah Sierra, Covina, Sr.
Forward: Kirsten Winiecki, San Dimas, Sr.
Forward: Jackie Lam, El Monte, Sr.
Forward: Rachel Campinia, Rowland, Jr.
Center: Ulani Wells, Los Altos, Jr.
FINAL TOP TEN RANKINGS
1. Rowland (26-2)
2. Walnut (25-4)
3. Glendora (25-7)
4. Los Altos (24-4)
5. Duarte (27-5)
6. Bishop Amat (20-8)
7. Bonita (18-9)
8. Covina (24-6)
9. Diamond Bar (20-8)
10. West Covina (17-12)
Camino Real: St. Monica
Hacienda: Los Altos, Walnut
Mission Valley: Gabrielino
Valle Vista: Rowland