Sierra's Josh Patton goes up for a dunk against Bear Creek at the Lincoln tournament (CRAIG SANDERS/THE RECORD)
JOSHUA PATTON (Sierra F/C, Sr.)
Patton has been a heavy hitter as an All-Area Player of the Year candidate since the beginning of the year, and has gone out and proved it. Sierra doesn’t post stats online, but he’s a consistent double-double type guy, who can absolutely take over a game.
Case and point: His 16-point, 21-rebound, six-block performance in a 53-51 home win over Weston Ranch in January. He had 13 second-half offensive boards in that game. Jeez.
St. Mary's point guard Devin Williams (left) rises up during his team's lopsided win at Tracy Feb. 6. (CALIXTRO ROMIAS/THE RECORD)
DEVIN WILLIAMS (St. Mary’s PG, Sr.)
Williams has been the heartbeat of the Rams down the stretch. He can take over a game in many ways, with scoring, with his assists and with his opportunistic defense. Williams averages 11 points, four rebounds and three assists, but that’s deceiving.
Weston Ranch's Jaelen Ragsdale (center) goes up for a shot against Sierra during his sophomore year. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD)
JAELEN RAGSDALE (Weston Ranch G, Jr.)
Ragsdale is posting 21 points and three assists per game for the Cougars, who could be a bear of a No. 9 seed in the Div. III bracket. He can take over a game late, leading Weston Ranch’s full-court press and hitting acrobatic, improbable runners and layups.
This is a young team, so while we’re getting a taste of what it can be, 2015-16 might be the section championship run. Same goes for Manteca.
Bear Creek's Andre Green (right) rises up for a shot in the McDonald's Classic. (CRAIG SANDERS/SPECIAL TO THE RECORD)
ANDRE GREEN (Bear Creek G, Sr.)
Green and the Bruins stumbled a bit late in their co-San Joaquin Athletic Association title run, but he’s had a phenomenal senior year. The Bear Creek guard is putting up 21 points and five rebounds per game, shooting 57 percent from two-point range.
Druce Asah, a senior for Tracy boys basketball, hit a game-winning 3-pointer against St. Mary's in January. (PHOTO BY WAYNE THALLANDER)
DRUCE ASAH (Tracy G, Sr.)
Asah has powered the Bulldogs to the Div. I playoffs, and his most memorable moment was a game-winning 3-pointer at St. Mary’s. The Cal State East Bay (NCAA D-II) commit averaged 20 points and five boards, via Tracy’s limited stats on MaxPreps.
Tokay senior L.J. Reed looks to the hoop at Lincoln. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD)
L.J. REED (Tokay G/F, Sr.)
Reed, who began playing after his January transfer sitout period, has been sharp for the Tigers, pouring out 14 points, six rebounds and five assists per game. He’s a UCLA football commit, but if he wanted to, could be playing college basketball, too.
Chavez boys basketball's Lewis Hayes (top) rises to shoot at Tracy last season. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD)
LEWIS HAYES (Chavez F, Sr.)
Hayes, the Titans’ 6-foot-5 senior, has been big-time, averaging 18 points and nine boards. In Chavez’s co-SJAA-title clinching win over Stagg on senior night, he had a whopping 41 points and 15 rebounds. He and the Titans are a dangerous sleeper as the No. 14 seed in the Div. I bracket. If Chavez beats No. 19 Merced tonight, No. 3 Roseville-Woodcreek should not take them lightly.
Manteca junior Anand Hundal (left) nearly had triple-doubles twice in VOL's opening week. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MANTECA BULLETIN)
ANAND HUNDAL (Manteca F/C, Jr.)
Hundal may still be a year away from realizing his full potential, but what he’s found already has been vastly impressive. The 6-8 junior is a shot-blocking machine, among the best in the state with 150 blocked shots, and 5.8 per game. He’s also averaging 14 points and nine rebounds, and has a soft touch on mid-range jumpers.
Sierra senior Hunter Johnson (right) competes at Manteca during his junior year. (CALIXTRO ROMIAS/THE RECORD)
HUNTER JOHNSON (Sierra F, Sr.)
Patton gets much of the Sierra limelight, but Johnson is the Timberwolves’ most versatile player. He can be a banger in the paint, focusing on rebounds, or utilize his 3-point stroke to put Sierra over the top.
St. Mary's senior Lance Coleman goes for a dunk at home at Morelli Gymnasium. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MAXPREPS).
LANCE COLEMAN II (St. Mary’s G/F, Sr.)
Coleman II is a nightmarish matchup for opposing defenses. He’s 6-foot-8 but has the skill set of both a guard and forward. He averages 20 points and nine boards per game, and if he and Williams are clicking, St. Mary’s could be headed to Sleep Train Arena for at least the Div. II semifinals, if not the finals.
NOTE: This list is just a handful of players who are candidates for our All-Area Player of the Year award, and they are listed in no particular order.
MORE NAMES TO WATCH
Robin Hong, Lincoln
Nico Brusa, Tokay
Sean Broker, Ripon Christian
Justice Harris, Chavez
Kameron Vales, Brookside Christian
Peter Van Katwyk, Kimball
Brandon Moss, Bear Creek
Brody Nutting, Lodi
Elijah Tuando, West
Kharyem Watson, Tracy
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