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Meet SBLive's 2021-22 All-State Girls Basketball Teams: Juju Watkins is Player of the Year

Watkins averaged 24.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for the Open Division State champion.

For the first time since the 2018-19 school year, the entire state of California had a full season of CIF high school basketball. That made the selection process harder than ever, but it's time to unveil our California All-State girls basketball teams.

The main criteria for our end-of-season awards are players' overall impacts on winning, with an emphasis on individual statistics and team success relative to strength of schedule. Any other intangible or non-statistical contributions that substantially influenced team success were considered. Awards and achievements such as all-CIF or all-league honors were taken into account as minor criteria, and players' postseason contributions were considered substantially. We also took into account the opinions of coaches from throughout the state.


PLAYER OF THE YEAR: G/F Juju Watkins – Sierra Canyon – JR.

Sierra Canyon girls basketball

The MVP race was competitive for nearly the whole the season, but by the time the dust cleared, it was a no-brainer. Watkins led Sierra Canyon to a 30-2 record playing a national schedule, a Southern Section Open Division finals appearance, and a State Open Division championship. That of course meant a season-end No. 1 ranking atop the state for the Trailblazers, and they also earned a top-three ranking nationally.

In addition to passing the "best player on the best team" test, Watkins aces the numbers test with a line of 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.8 steals, and two blocks per game. And while many are mesmerized by her combination of can't-miss talent and flash, the eye test reveals a laundry list of ways she changes games that some spectators will miss.

Watkins doesn't just feast on passing lanes for steals, but entirely blows up sets with her ball-denial in SC's zone. Offensively, she's always been a deep threat, but her ability to shoot off the dribble from well beyond the arc was on a new level this past season. Defenses that are already geared to stop her penetration now have to bend out 25 feet from the basket at the same time. Watkins' high motor and physical presence set the tone consistently wherever she is on the floor, and it's reached the point where it's not uncommon for opponents to show visible fear.

The Trailblazers's path to No. 1 meant going through the only two teams that had beaten them in the state playoffs. Those were La Jolla Country Day, which defeated them narrowly in January in what might've been Watkins' only truly rough game of the season, and Etiwanda, the unbeaten world-beater that had just beaten them in the Southern Section championship. Watkins was dominant as Sierra Canyon got revenge in both games. She was even more dominant when posting 23 points, 19 rebounds, six assists, six blocks, and three steals in just 24 minutes to cruise past Archbishop Mitty in the State finals. 

Long a generational prospect, Watkins is now a CIF champion, and she's SBLive California's Player of the Year. She'll also enter her senior year as the heavy favorite to repeat the majority of honors she's earned this season – including winning Gatorade State Player of the Year. Naturally, Watkins is also a First Team All-State member.


G Londynn Jones – Corona Centennial – SR.

Jones: #3

Jones: #3

Jones averaged 25.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 steals, and 2.4 assists per game to lead the Huskies to a top-four finish in the Southern Section. The UCLA commit hit 108 threes at a 38% clip as a senior and finished her high school career with 2,713 points.

G Talana Lepolo – Carondelet – SR.

archbishop mitty carondelet norcal basketball playoffs00012

Lepolo, a Stanford commit, led the Cougars to an NCS Open Division title in her only season at Carondelet. She averaged 15.4 points, 8.6 assists, five rebounds, and 4.5 steals per game, and was named EBAL co-Player of the Year.

G/F Elle Ladine – Pinewood – SR.

Elle Ladine

Ladine, a Washington commit, led Pinewood (22-3) to a top-two finish in the Central Coast Section and State Open Division playoff birth. She averaged 23.4 points, 14.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.2 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game, and essentially played every position. 

F Natalie Pasco – San Ramon Valley – SR.

CIF North Coast Section Girls Open Division Championship February 25, 2022. San Ramon Valley vs Carondelet. Photo-Doug Stringer71

Pasco averaged over 25 points and 10 rebounds per game shooting over 45% from three for the second straight season to lead SRV to a State Open Division playoff. She was named EBAL co-Player of the Year and is committed to Boise State.

F Gabriela Jaquez – Camarillo – SR.

One of two McDonald's All-Americans from California, Jaquez averaged 34.2 points, 15.7 rebounds, 4.7 steals, and 2.6 assists per game to lead Camarillo (30-3) to the CIFSS Division 1 title game. The UCLA commit shot career-highs of 50% from the field and 34% from three on 43 makes. It might've been the best season in Ventura County girls basketball history – by arguably the best high school girls basketball player in county history.

F/C Kennedy Smith – Etiwanda – SO.

Kennedy Smith Etiwanda

Smith led the 29-1 Southern Section Open Division champion with 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game to go with over three assists, two steals, and two blocks per game. She also emerged as one of the best defensive players in the state to help anchor one of the best defenses in the country.

C Ice Brady – Cathedral Catholic – SR.

Brady: #25

Brady: #25

The McDonald's All-American and UConn commit registered career-highs of 20.7 points, 3.3 assists, and 1.5 steals per game to go with 12.8 RPG and 1.8 BPG against one of the hardest schedules in the state. Brady helped lead Cathedral to a State Open Division postseason birth. 

C Breya Cunningham – La Jolla Country Day – JR.

Photo by Justin Fine

Photo by Justin Fine

Cunningham helped lead LJCD to a San Diego Section Open Division title and top-10 ranking in the country. She averaged 18.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game on over 64% shooting.


G Teagan Brown – Oak Ridge – SR.

Brown averaged 20 points, eight rebounds, and three assists per game to lead the Trojans to a Sac-Joaquin Section title and the Open Division State quarterfinals. She's also a top-flight defensive player, and is committed to Washington.

G Kaylee Byon – Rosary Academy – SR.

Byon led the Royals to a Trinity League co-title, Southern Section Open Division playoff birth, and CIF Division I Regional semifinal despite dealing with injuries in the playoffs. The Utah Valley commit and Trinity League MVP averaged 19.3 points, a career-high 6.9 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game.

G/F Morgan Cheli – Archbishop Mitty – SO.

Cheli broke out as one of the top players in the state regardless of class to lead the Monarchs to a CIFCCS title and State Open Division finals appearance. She averaged 14.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 3.3 steals per game on 48% shooting and 38% 3FG.

G/F Destiny Agubata – Etiwanda – SO.

Agubata was second on the CIFSS Open Division champion with 16.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game to go with 2.7 SPG.

F Etoyah Montgomery – Clovis West – JR.

The top player in the Central Section this season, Montgomery led Clovis West to its third CIFCS Open Division championship in her three years there (and its 10th straight section title overall). She averaged 15.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game.

F/C Chloe Williams – Bishop Montgomery – SR.

Williams, a Tulsa commit, carried a heavy load to help get the Knights back into the Southern Section Open Division. She totaled 23.5 points, 10 rebounds, 2.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game.

F/C MacKenly Randolph – Sierra Canyon – SO.

Randolph was the leading rebounder and the second-leading scorer and shot-blocker for the State Open Division champion. She averaged 15 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, and emerged as a standout defensive player as well.


G Skye Belker – Windward – JR.

Belker, a Princeton commit, scored 18 points a game to lead the Wildcats to a CIFSS Open Division playoff appearance and CIF Division I Southern Region title.

G Jessica Grant – Mission Hills – SR.

Grant had career-highs of 17.1 points, 3.1 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game to lead Mission Hills to the San Diego Section Open Division finals and a fifth seed in the CIF State Open Division playoffs. The UCSB commit's 162 made threes was by far the most (reported) in the country, it put her atop the all-time CIF state leaderboard for made threes at 486, and she did it knocking down a career-high 41.5% of them. Grant was also the only (reported) player in the country to hit five threes a game in mass (5.1). Her ability to make plays without even touching the ball affected games much more than box scores could measure.

G/F Alyssa Jackson – Vanden – JR.

Jackson led the 26-4 CIFSJS Division 3 champion and Northern Region Division I quarterfinalist with 19.7 points and 4.8 steals per game to go with 5.7 RPG and 2.6 APG.

G/F Ahhray Young – Laguna Creek – SR.

Young led the 26-3 Cardinals in every statistical category on their way to a Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 title. The Tulsa commit finished with a line of 21.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 4.6 steals, and 1.7 blocks a game.

G/F Chloe Briggs – Ontario Christian – JR.

With 9.1 APG and a total of 283 assists that led the nation (reported), and 22.7 PPG, Briggs was one of the most prolific playmakers in the state in 2021-22. Very few players have averaged double-digit assists in CIF history, and when you factor in her 11 rebounds per game, Briggs may have just come the closest in CIF history to averaging a triple-double with APG in the mix. She also averaged 2.3 steals and a block per game this season. In addition to stuffing the stat sheet, Briggs led the Knights to a 31-5 record, the CIFSS 2-A finals, and the Division II Southern Region semifinals.

F Lani White – Mater Dei – SR.

White, a Utah commit, helped lead the Monarchs to another top-four finish in the section with a team-high 15.8 points per game on 48% shooting (53% EFG). She also averaged 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 2.4 steals per game, and was one of the best defensive players in the state. 

F/C Meadow Roland – San Joaquin Memorial – JR.

Roland led the Panthers to a 27-7 season and dominant playoff run through the Central Section Division 1 finals and to the CIF Division II State finals. She put up a gaudy line of 19.2 points, 11 rebounds, 3.4 steals, three blocks, and 1.7 assists per game on 49% shooting.