One of my favorite parts of The Record’s All-Area high school awards, is we’re not the MLB, NBA or NFL press. We most certainly include postseason performance and clutch moments into consideration. With that in mind, here’s my latest All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year Watchlist, focusing on a handful, and with a few more names to keep in mind.
These are not done in any particular order. Those who are more closely examined are still in the postseason. You’ll notice names that have been consistently on this list, and are now in the lower section. This is only a distinction from the teams in the playoffs, it’s not saying they’re out of the running.
Let’s take a look:
LANCE COLEMAN II (St. Mary’s G/F, Sr.)
Coleman II is key, as always, as No. 4 St. Mary’s hosts No. 5 Dublin in a NorCal Div. II quarterfinal at 6 p.m. Saturday at Morelli Gym. He paced the Rams with 20 points in the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II quarterfinal win over Antelope, and again with 13 in the loss to Modesto Christian in the semis at Sleep Train Arena.
He and the Rams are at their best when Coleman II is not only scoring, but making plays with his length on defense and whipping the ball around from the high post or after driving into the paint.
JOSHUA PATTON (Sierra F/C, Sr.)
Patton is the kind of player who, just when you’ve think he’s peaked, finds another speed to add to his already impressive high school resume. The 6-foot-8 senior fulfilled a two-year old promise to his coaching staff, leading Sierra to its first-ever section championship with a whopping 24 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocks in a 67-51 win over Weston Ranch Friday night.
He and the Timberwolves will try and make history again, as they look for the program’s first state playoff win, in a 6 p.m. home game Saturday.
HUNTER JOHNSON (Sierra F, Sr.)
Johnson hasn’t been talked about nearly enough, perhaps because Patton has been on varsity for longer and is headed to Sacramento State to play basketball, but he’s vital for the Timberwolves. Johnson is a double-double machine, and although Sierra doesn’t post stats on MaxPreps, his would surely be impressive.
ANAND HUNDAL (Manteca F/C, Jr.)
A healthy Hundal is the best way for No. 13 Manteca to stand a chance at fourth-seeded Palo Cedro-Foothill in tomorrow’s NorCal game up north. The 6-8 junior is the second-leading shot blocker in the state of California, and has an ever-improving array of post moves and a mid-range game.
JAELEN RAGSDALE (Weston Ranch G, Jr.)
Ragsdale has been the man for the Cougars in the playoffs, averaging 19 points in four section games, and is a huge reason why Weston Ranch earned the 8 seed and a home game in the NorCal Div. III bracket. The most fun time to watch him is when Weston Ranch has the ball with a quarter about to end, he can score even when the defense knows it is indeed him who’s shooting.
DAVID LERMA (Elliot Christian G, Sr.)
Lerma and Brookside Christian’s Williams need to be here, they are both legitimate talents who back their numbers, even if they are from smaller-school programs. The senior Lerma has an unbelievable 3-point touch, even when double-teamed, and scored 31 points in the section title game loss to Brookside Christian.
KENYON WILLIAMS (Brookside Christian G, Sr.)
Williams is fast, he can dish, he can shoot, and he could be an underrated college prospect. He dropped 26 points and 10 rebounds in the championship win, and has well over 1,000 points in his career. Senior Kameron Vales could easily deserve this spot, too.
NOTE: All photos here are via The Record’s photography staff and contributors, including Clifford Oto, Calixtro Romias and Craig Sanders.
MORE NAMES IN THE MIX
Kameron Vales, Brookside Christian
Devin Williams, St. Mary’s
Fred Lavender, Weston Ranch
Druce Asah, Tracy
Andre Green, Bear Creek
Lewis Hayes, Chavez
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