Tag: Girls basketball

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

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

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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Girls basketball

Harvard Westlake wins Palisades Tourney

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Harvard Westlake Jr Forward Jayla Ruffus-Milner grabs a rebound and looks to push against a Serra defender during the 2016 Palisades Beach Invitational Tourney. Image by PopScout.


Harvard Westlake has been crowned Champions of the 2016 Palisades Beach Invitational Tourney, knocking off a very sound Fairmont Prep team by a score of 48-45.  The squad relies on its twin dynamic duo of Jayla (tourney MVP with 21 pts in the Championship game) and Jada Ruffus-Milner (All Tourney Selection – 11pts) to carry the team on its back.


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Twins Jayla and Jayda work very well together on the court, complementing each others’ game.  Image taken at the 2016 Palisades Beach Invitational Tourney.


The Lady Wolverines are poised and ready to capture a Mission league title this year.  The early season Palisades tourney was a very good barometer for teams to see what needs to be tweeked/adjusted and just who will be able to show up and show out on game day.  By no means is basketball a one player sport, but it comes in handy when you have one or several go to players on your team, that you can depend on, when the going gets tough.  Crunch time you feel me.



Take a look at some highlights of Harvard Westlake as they take on a scrappy Serra squad during the Palisades Tourney hosted by the Dolphins and Coach Torino Johnson.  We spotlight Jr. Forward Jayla Ruffin-Milner who appears to be the most talented among the two twins.  Should be some great games in the Mission league this year with Alemany, Chaminade, and Harvard Westlake all showing good team play during the Palisades tourney.


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