Category: Girls basketball

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In The Lab


In the lab spotlights up and coming soldiers who look to stake their claim as the next big thing.  Staying in the lab – whether it’s on the men’s or women’s end of the court,  shouldn’t matter.  Working on your game should be a number one priority.  The 2017-18 season is just an alley-oop away.  Can you elevate your game to the next level and grab hold of that elusive scholarship?


This week we take a look at a rising star on the campus of Sierra Canyon.  She’s just a Soph., so look for this young stud-muffin to step her game up in the next few years.  Will she be able to put the squad on her back – if needed, catapulting SC to another State Title?  Only time will tell.


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Ashley Chevalier
Class of 2020
5’7 Guard
Sierra Canyon High School
AAU Club: Blessed By God

Good prospect who runs the PG position with confidence, seeing the floor well and making solid decisions with the rock. With her pass first mentality, she’ll definitely keep her teammates happy when dropping dimes in their direction.  Sits on the defensive end of the floor, showing good lateral movement with her on the ball defense. Has the ability to become a good shooter because of her lefty status – showing nice form and rotation on her shot.  Nice size and grit for a PG (5’10) who should only get better as she progresses in her high school career.  Looks to be developing that killer instinct at a rapid pace.  As the daughter of Sierra Canyon Boy’s Head Coach Andre Chevalier, dad should be able to provide some words of wisdom, as this young lady continues to climb the ladder of Cali’s top recruits. Stud-muffin indeed.



Take a look at a few clips from the 2017 AAU Summer circuit as Ashley puts in work for Team BBG.


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Girls basketball

Troy’s Kianna Smith to represent West at 2017 McDonald’s All American Game


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Class of 2017 6’0 Senior Guard Kianna Smith looks to drop a dime during the Championship game of the 2016 Gahr Christmas Tourney against Palisades.  Image by PopScout. 


Cal commit Kianna Smith along with Long Beach Poly Center Ayanna Clark (USC), Bishop’s School Guard Destiny Littleton (USC), and Manteca 6’3 C Loretta Kakala (Louisville), will represent the West in this years 2017 McDonald All American Game.  The game will be played March 29 (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2) at the United Center in Chicago.  What stood out the most about Kianna is the fact that she’s got a basketball IQ that’s off the charts, plays the game on both ends of the court with intensity, passion, and a nice feel for the game. She has that uncanny ability to make players around her better – which is a skillset coaches just can’t teach you feel me.


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This young lady will fit in nicely in Cal’s rotation and be a standout player for the next 4 years. She grabs and goes – showing the ability to rebound and push the rock to start the fast break, has a nice mid-range game with the ability to step out to 3pt. land, and finishes strong the rim with poise and athleticism.  A true joy to watch this year.   ESPN has her a 5 star, 98 Grade recruit.  Yes sir!  PopScout won’t be surprised if she advances to the next level and tests her skills against the best of the best in the WNBA.  A lofty goal but PopScout feels that sky’s the limit for Kianna.  Thanks for playing the game the right way young lady.  We look forward to you having a great collegiate career.


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Girls basketball

HS Girls Hoops: Fairfax wins Legacy Tourney


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Look for Fairfax to be one of the favorites to win a City Section Title.  The Lady Lions are becoming battle tested indeed.


Coaching the right way.  Is there a formula for success these days?  Getting your players motivated to play the game of basketball is a challenge for any coach who’s ever picked up a clipboard.  Nowadays, with so much pressure on coaches to win – at any level from the YMCA, park league, AAU, to the NBA/WNBA, pressure – and stress –  is at an all time high.  How does one keep his/her cool amidst the storm?


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Coach Thomas does a tremendous job of keeping his cool and allowing his players to play through their mistakes.  Then does his teaching and scolding behind closed doors…during timeouts and in the locker room.  What you would label a players coach indeed.


We love what we see out of Head Coach Corry Thomas, and several other coaches out there on the Cali’ Hoops Girls BBall Circuit.  Coach Thomas has a different approach:  believe in his girls, let them play through their mistakes and not be quick to pull the trigger, as well as not screaming at them when they make miscues out there on the court. He then does his teaching during timeouts and in the locker room. Taking the bitter with the sweet you feel me.


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The guards for the Lady Lions are skilled and crafty. Look for them to continue to develop their togetherness and round out into good playoff form. Image by PopScout.


This was evident when Fairfax lost a very tough game against a powerhouse Windward team, only to bounce back and win the Legacy tournament the next day, beating Legacy by a score of 66-57. BTW… the team took off from the Legacy tourney to play Windward, eventually competing in 5 games in 5 days – with a team that had only been together for a few games.  We don’t like to make excuses  but Good Lord…5 games in 5 days!  They were also able to avenge a previous loss by getting the W over Redondo Union during the Legacy tourney.  We all know how hard it is for NBA teams to win back to back games, let alone 5 games in 5 days.  The Lady Lions went 4-1.  You might want to put an asterisk by this W Windward, knowing now that Fairfax competed in back to back to back games before giving you a run for your money.


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Sr. Guard Fatou Semebene shows true skillsets. She rebounds, blocks shots, pushes the rock, and stops and pops. Being a lefty, her game is naturally smooth as a baby’s booty.  She’s what we refer to as a ‘stocking stuffer’. Filling up the stat sheets you feel me.


Character counts and in the long run, Coach Thomas of Fairfax will be blessed by the basketball Gods for showing patience, staying true to his girls, and developing players who know what to expect from their coach on game day.  So many times you never know what to expect from your coach on game day. It’s like a Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde type of relationship.  Nice to see some coaches who don’t let the stress of the game change who they are as a person, come tip-off time.



Take a look at some highlights of Fairfax as they take on Windward January 5, 2017 during a close and very competitive game. We spotlight Super Senior Fatou Semebene.The lefty has game, going to work on players at will. She pulls the bow and arrow as well as runs the PG position with size.  Scouts will have to have this young lady on the radar when it’s all said and done. Fairfax plays Uni. tonight at 7pm (Jan 11, 2017).  Look out city section ’cause the Lions are for real.  The Lady Lions will get a test this weekend when they go up against Bishop Montgomery 6pm, Jan. 14 at the West LA Showcase (PopScout will be on hand providing media coverage for the tourney) and then travel to Serra High in Gardena Jan. 16 to take on Brea Olinda at 6:25pm.  We know the Fairfax boys team get much props, and deservedly so, but come out and support your Lady Lions as well.  Get some rest young ladies.


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Girls basketball

Senior Spotlight: Kayla Konrad


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Class of 2017 Sr. Kayla Konrad – seen here getting off a pass against Alemany – is the ultimate teammate.  She will play her collegiate ball at UC Davis.  Image taken during the 2016 Palisades Beach Invitational Tourney.  Image by PopScout.


The Valencia Vikings (12-4) take on Palisades (12-5) today (01/07/2017) at 130pm during the Matt Denning Hoops Classic at Mater Dei.  UC Davis commit Kayla Konrad will try to lead her team to victory and cement herself as a candidate for player of the year.  This young lady has learned to play the game the right way and is the ultimate baller on her team, currently ranked #26 in the State by MaxPreps.. Her motor is always going – Premium Unleaded indeed. She runs the court and moves without the ball better than anyone in the Southern Section.  Passes extremely well and does the dirty work for her team – willing to go after loose balls and rebound with authority.  The lefty is as crafty as they come.  She’ll make an immediate impact on the campus of UC Davis.  Whoever taught this young stud-muffin how to play the game of basketball, we want to say thank you, thank you, thank you.  She’s a joy to watch, showing us a passion and feel for the game that the basketball Gods are sure to reward her, every time she steps on the court. They have no choice. There’s one word that sums up her game:  Special.



Take a look at some footage of Valencia vs Alemany during the 2016 Palisades Beach Invitational Tourney.  Valencia beats Alemany at the buzzer.  Guess who got off the shot in time to win the game for her club?  Like we said, the basketball Gods have no choice but to bless Kayla whenever she steps on the court.


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Girls basketball

Windward Girls Basketball: Cohesion at its best


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 Windward PG pushes the rock during their 61-47 victory over Fairfax.  Image by PopScout.


The Windward basketball team was able to withstand a solid first half by Fairfax but eventually their conditioning, team unity, and execution of plays were just too much for the Lions to overcome.  These girls are in the best conditioning you are going to see from a team that’s currently ranked #5 in the State and #14 nationally per MaxPreps.  It looked as though they were just getting started when the game was over.  They have a pregame ritual that’s off the chain – getting everyone lose and in the mindset to play the game.


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Their ability to run their offensive sets and play as a team will be enough to push them over the hump, during close games, where teams aren’t that polished in those areas.  I was a bit hard on these young ladies (and the referees) from the stands because of my ties with City Section teams (Crenshaw High ’88). After watching Windward perform on the court, you get much props and due respect from PopScout. Coach Nygaard and her coaching staff are doing a tremendous job preparing these girls for battle.  It’s like taking an AP class in basketball you feel me.



Take a look at Windwards’ full game highlights against Fairfax Jan 05, 2017.  I also threw in their pregame warms up to give you an idea where they stand, with regards to pregame preparation. PopScout has seen some of the top teams in the State such as Etiwanda, Alemany, Harvard Westlake, Fairmont Prep, Valencia, and Serra. We’ll be heading out to the Matt Denning Tourney at Mater Dei this weekend to get a birds-eye view of some of these stud-muffins in action. So far, no one comes mentally and physically prepared for a game as Windward.


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Girls basketball

Girls Hoops: Julia Macabuhay is Special


What makes up the characteristics of a true point guard?  Is it their ability to run the team and stay poised under pressure?  is it there ability to break down the defense and make good decisions?  Or is it their ability to play unselfish and make everyone around them better?  Maybe it’s their ability to be a second coach on the floor? It’s all of the above and much more.


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Looking for a true point guard ?  Then look no further than La Salle Jr. PG Julia Macabuhay.  Image by PopScout.


Jr. PG Julia Macabuhay is as close to a pure, true point guard as you are going to see in a long, long time.  This young lady has all the intangibles to be a top recruit for the class of 2018. Her pedigree… (just to name a few good things she does on the floor):  Handles off the chain (and we do mean off the chain).   IQ on the court off the chart (AP classes you feel me). Plays unselfish as they come, showing a willingness to get her teammates involved on every possession  – if need be.  Can put her team on her back and make buckets when it counts.  Has the ability to shoot from 3pt land, pulling the bow and arrow. Stamina that allows her to play an entire game, while still being super effective for 32 minutes of play.


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Julia checks the clock for time while keeping her dribble alive.  Julia has true PG skillsets  with a basketball IQ that’s off the charts.  This young lady understands the role of a PG.

PopScout has seen quite a few games this year on the Women’s CA Bball Circuit (JC and High School).  Julia has to be one of the best of the best at running the show.  She may not get the notoriety  she deserves from playing at La Salle (CA Division 3), but if I were a scout, I would definitely be taking a long look at this young lady. She is the full package indeed.  A true joy to watch for those who appreciate the game and understand the role of a PG.



Here are some highlights of this young lady in action against Flintridge Sacred Heart.  The game was played January 3, 2016 at La Salle.  La Salle was able to come away with the victory by a score of 54-47, primarily because of the play and leadership of Julia.  Keep perfecting your craft young lady.  Game recognize game you feel me.


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Girls basketball

Girls Basketball: Etiwanda wins 2016 West Coast Holiday Festival Tourney in impressive fashion.

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The Etiwanda Girls basketball team showed why they are the #7 Ranked team in the State of CA, knocking off Camarillo in impressive fashion.  Image by PopScout.

Dressed in yellow uniforms, the Etiwanda Girls basketball team looked like killer bees Friday night during the Championship game of the West Coast Holiday Festival Tourney at Burroughs High in Burbank, CA.  Putting on the pressure from start to finish and swarming all over the court, the Eagles came away with a 73-40 victory over a solid Camarillo team that came in ranked #24 in the State with only one loss at 14-1.  Etiwanda showed too much athleticism (thoroughbreds indeed) – starting the game with a 13-1 run and never looking back.  The team has only one loss (11-1), against #9 ranked Alemany of Mission Hills, CA.  Not quite sure how that loss came, but these young ladies have rebounded and look solid as a rock.


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Sr. Forward Mikaylah Wilson (#11) is a beast and should be considered as one of the top players in the State of California when its all said and done.  She currently holds several DI offers from mid-major universities.  Image by PopScout.


Anchoring the way for the Eagles Friday night was 6’0 Sr. Forward Mikaylah Wilson.  She does everything well for her team.  Plays solid defense, rebounds and pushes the rock, scores in the paint on the post while also showing a true mid range game, and can also extend the defense to 3pt land.  What a weapon for the Eagles on a night when they came out firing on all cylinders to defeat Camarillo and their very well coached team.  If you haven’t seen this young lady play the game, then be sure to get a peak at her this season before she vaults to the DI level next year.  PopScout doesn’t like to evaluate players until seeing them for 3 games, but this young lady is a soldier and no doubt will make some noise in years to come at the next level. Her motor is always going and she’s willing to do the dirty work for her squad by banging inside and contesting shots.  Has developed that killer instinct and looks to sting her opponents on every possession  – on both ends of the court you feel me.


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Jr. Guard Daja Hamilton (24) gets some direction from head Coach Anders Anderson during a free throw break in action.  This young lady is a 5 star prospect, no doubt.  One of the top guards in the class of 2018.  Image by PopScout.


If you’re looking for the next big thing in Girls Basketball, then look no further than Jr. Guard Daja Hamilton.  This young lady is as smooth as silk, who’ll be a 5 Star prospect on every major recruiting board come her senior season in 2018.  She has that ability to change the game with her explosiveness and skillsets that are a step above all the rest.  Plays solid on the defensive end – willing to sit and pressure her man from baseline to baseline –  and has that ‘showtime’ about her game you just don’t see too often.  Rarely makes a mistake and willing to step up and carry her team on its back when needing a bucket.  This young lady has been in the lab perfecting her craft indeed.



Take a look at highlights from the Championship game played December 30, 2016 against Camarillo, as we spotlight Daja and Mikaylah. Etiwanda plays Serra (Gardena, CA) at home on January 3, 2017 at 3pm per MaxPreps.  Serra  is the #11 ranked team in the State and should have on their safety belts when going up against The Eagles.  It will be a great game matching two of the premier girls teams from the Sunny State of Cali’ and an indication of just how good Etiwanda can play against another tough opponent.  Or was it just a fluke?  We think not as this team shows too much skillsets at every position with a wonderful coaching staff that keeps them on their toes.


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Girls basketball

Girls High School Hoops: Fairmont Prep

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The Fairmont Prep Girls Basketball team understands the value of playing as a team. Image taken at the 2016 Palisades Beach Invitational Tourney.  Image by PopScout.


Looking for a squad that  distributes the rock and plays together as a unit?  Then look no further than the 2016-17 Fairmont Prep girls basketball team.  During the 2016 Palisades Invitational Beach Tourney, it was a joy to watch them do what they do.  Play together by passing the rock and executing on both ends of the floor. Running their sets like true solders. Their team is a true testament to great coaching and an unselfish style of play.  The team is currently ranked #9 in the State and #54 Nationally by Maxpreps, holding a record of 11-2 with losses coming from a talented Harvard Westlake squad (#3 State, #10 Nationally)  and a defeat at the Nike TOC by Bishop O’Dowd – who went on to win the Nike TOC in their perspective division. With a schedule that will prepare them to be battle tested by years’ end,  look for this team to be on top of its game come playoff time.


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Fairmont Prep Soph PG Izzy Om runs the show for the Huskies.  A true extension of Head Coach David Esparza and his coaching staff.  Image by PopScout.


We get to see just how tough this team is and just how much they can execute under pressure, as they take on Windward (#14 State, #73 Nationally) January 11, 2017 on the road. Whose House?? It will be a good barometer for the Huskies as they look to capture a Championship in the Southern Section Division 1A Division this year.



Take a look at footage from the 2016 Palisades Beach Invitational Tourney where Fairmont Prep was able to execute and play their style of ball against Chaminade.  The Huskies look to capture a title and cement themselves as true ballers on the Cali’ High School Girls Bball circuit during the 2016-17 campaign.


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Girls basketball

Girls Hoops: El Camino Real Conquistadors


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The El Camino Real Girls basketball team before their match up against Harvard Westlake December 7, 2016.  Image by PopScout.


We like what we see out of City section power El Camino Real.  The girls basketball team went into Harvard Westlake and gave them a scare on their home court, eventually losing the game by a score of 54-42.  It was a close game, regardless of the score, coming down to the last minute or two – showing that El Camino can play with the best of them and will be one of the favorites to win the City Section title this year.


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Jr PG Kianna Hamilton-Fisher should be a big time recruit and land at a major D1 university when its all said and done.  Image by PopScout.


The team is well balanced, showing the ability to pressure their opponents while playing an uptempo style of play.  Head Coach Renard Beavers, Jr. has his team sitting at 6-3 during this early 2016-17 campaign and pushes his squad on every play – expecting nothing but the best from his players for 32 minutes of play.  The team has losses against major powers such as Chaminade, Windward, and Harvard Westlake.  They’re doing the right thing, getting that playing experience against top opponents, to help better prepare for City Section play.  Becoming battle-tested indeed you feel me.



Take a look at some highlights from the Harvard Westlake game as we spotlight Jr. PG Kianna Hamilton-Fisher.  The young lady went the full 32 minutes of play and showed why she will be a top recruit come her senior season next year.  The Conquistadors host their own tourney this week,  providing us with some good  high school hoop games and a chance to see these talented group of young ladies in action.  A nice Christmas present.  Thanks Santa.


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Girls basketball

Chaminade Girls basketball developing a new identity.


Image losing two All Americans off your squad. You now have to regroup and develop a new identity among your team – with a target on your back from dismantling so many clubs a year ago.  That’s the dilemma the Chaminade Girls basketball team is faced with, after winning a State title last season with Super Senors Leaonna Odom and Valerie Higgins.  Odom (2016 McDonalds All American) is now a stud at Duke, while Higgins (U-18  USA participant) has cracked the starting line up for the Lady Trojans. Both proving  that they were no flukes.  The girls are playing major minutes for their college teams as Freshmen, as well as proving that CA girls basketball is one of the premiere states with lots of talent.


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5’8 Sr. Guard Melissa Wright has taken some of the focus off of last years team and looks to keep the momentum going.  Image by PopScout


Melissa Wright has jumped center stage and gives the Eagles an immediate punch, with the ability to shoot from 3 point land, play solid defense, and finish around the bucket.  Although the Eagles went 2-2 in the recent Palisades Beach Invitational Tourney, this young lady was a joy to watch as she brings energy and some of that ‘Senior swag’ needed for her team to be successful.  She should be able to lock down a few D1 offers by years end.  Scouts need to keep an eye out on this young lady.



Here are a few highlights of Chaminade as they face Fairmont Prep during the 2016 Palisades Beach Invitational Tourney hosted by the Dolphins and Coach Torino Johnson. Going to be some great basketball played this year in the tough Mission league Conference with the likes of Alemany, Harvard Westlake, and Chaminade all vying to become conference champs and then some.


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