PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Whittier High School senior Jeana Magana is the 2011-12 Daily News Girls Basketball Player of the Year (Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)
For Jeana Magana, it was never a question of talent.
The senior showed her ability the first time she walked into the Whittier High School gym. But refining her skills has been part of her growth and this season she became a complete player, leading the Cardinals to their fifth consecutive Del Rio League title.
For her efforts, Magana is the 2011-12 Daily News Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
Magana, who has been part of a Whittier team that has won 26 consecutive league games, is joined on the All-Area team by teammate Yazmin Acosta; La Serna’s Ruby Nichols; St. Paul’s Priscilla Hidalgo; La Habra’s Kayla Judkins; and Santa Fe’s Jackie Saiza.
La Habra’s Jim Bohn is Coach of the Year.
Whittier coach Willie Pittman on Magana: Jeana came in a very shy, timid, frail, little girl. Now she leaves as a powerful, young woman. Basketball has always been her refuge. She learned as the years have gone on to accept people. For her to be in this position right now, she’s very honored and humbled. She has grown tremendously. She could have easily scored 20 points a game. But we needed her to be more of a playmaker and she did that. She changed her game and showed (her versatility). She was tremendous.”
Jeana Magana: “I just think I became more of a leader this year. I didn’t think about myself. I passed the ball. Even though there were games where I didn’t score a lot, I got my teammates the ball.”
La Habra coach Jim Bohn: “The year before I arrived at La Habra, the Lady Highlanders were 8-20. With all the hard work from my coaching staff and our players, our first year we ended up (13-13) with a CIF bid and this past year finished 18-8 and hosted our first home (playoff) game. It has been great to see the change over the past two years. Our players have shown an interest in working hard during practice and making sure that when they step on the court that they represent La Habra girls basketball with pride. I also wanted to make sure that I share this recognition with all the past and current players, coaching staff and administration. In addition, I wanted to publicly thank my family for all the support they have given me over the years. I am proud to be a Highlander and look forward to having continued success next year.”
ALL-AREA GIRLS BASKETBALL
Player of the Year: Jeana Magana, Whittier, Sr.
Coach of the Year: Jim Bohn, La Habra
Forward: Yazmin Acosta, Whittier, Sr.
Forward: Ruby Nichols, La Serna, Jr.
Guard: Priscilla Hidalgo, St. Paul, Jr.
Guard: Kayla Judkins, La Habra, Sr.
Guard: Jackie Saiza, Santa Fe, Sr.
Center: Holly Shafer, St. Paul, Jr.
Forward: Dijonnae Murphy, Santa Fe, Sr.
Forward: Nanette Bieghtol, La Serna, Sr.
Guard: Allyson O’Brien, La Habra, Jr.
Guard: Khadidja Diakite, El Rancho, Jr.