Highlights: Amalia Holguin, Kamdyn Klamberg lead Sage Hill past Brentwood for Cali Live championship

Holguin and Klamberg combined for 46 points in to win the Cali Live title, and showed that they'll comprise one of SoCal's top backcourts next season
Photo by Lance Smith

LADERA RANCH, CALIFORNIA – Flash back a few years ago to the start of Sage Hill girls basketball's meteoric rise.

One minute, the Lightning had compiled one of the top young cores in SoCal, filled with long, talented wings. The next, they'd already won a championship.

Well, here we are again, sort of – Sage Hill defeated reigning CIF-SS D1 champion Brentwood School 74-69 to win the title in the Cali Live ABT Division.

While a summer tournament title doesn't exactly compare to winning championships during the actual season, the Lightning had a brilliant 4-0 showing to win one of the more prestigious offseason crowns out there. All four teams they played and beat – Camas (WA), Bishop Montgomery, Buena Park, and Brentwood – are state-ranked programs returning major talent from last year.

In short, the Lightning's performance at Cali Live was a statement that they'll be ready to continue contending among the state's elites.

Amalia Holguin completed an MVP-like weekend with 27 points and four assists for Sage Hill, and Kamdyn Klamberg scored 19 points.



  • Battle of elite back-courts doesn't disappoint

While almost every player on both teams is a guard by trade, we'll zero in on the battle Holguin and Klamberg had against Brentwood's Lev Feiman and Payton Sugar in front of countless college scouts.

Despite the loss, Sugar (27 points) and Feiman (20) combined for 47 points to 46 from Holguin (27) and Klamberg (19). Sugar and Holguin showed why they're known as two of the premier three-point shooters in the Southern Section and beyond, knocking down six and four trifectas, respectively. Both were hitting with high degrees of difficulty as well.

Many of Sugar's threes come in catch-and-shoot situations from way downtown with much larger defenders closing out all over her. And few players anywhere have hit as many dagger threes in big games in recent years.

Holguin hit four threes, one of which was part of a four-point play, and also drained three free throws after getting fouled on a three-point attempt. Not only is she one of the best three-point shooters around, especially off the dribble, but she's also particularly good at both getting her shot off through tight contests and drawing fouls while still getting off a makable look.

After unwavering dominance through her first three games, including a 30-piece against rival Windward in the semifinals, Feiman didn't have as much juice in Brentwood's finale. Despite missing numerous looks she usually makes, and attracting major attention from an opposing defense filled with length and quickness on the perimeter, Feiman was able to manufacture some tough buckets down the stretch. Even on a tough night, she posted 20 points, six rebounds, and a small handful of assists to keep her team in it.

Klamberg was productive in every part of the game for Sage Hill, and once again looked like a sure bet to break out for a huge sophomore campaign.

Outside of Sugar and Feiman, rising sophomore Kelsey Sugar had another efficient scoring game to close a strong weekend for the Eagles. After averaging 3.2 PPG playing in all 36 games as a freshman, she seems like a lock for a breakout season in the winter. As does Lei Tomatsu, who had some strong moments off the bench at Cali Live, and averaged 3.8 PPG in 21 apperanaces as a freshman. Those two along with starting wing Reena White have a good chance to prove next season that Brentwood has one of the top 2027 cores in the section.

  • Unrecognizable Lightning keep recognizable winning ways

In terms of personnel, Sage Hill looked almost unrecognizable at Cali Live 2024 from last season, which ended just a few months ago.

However, based on their performance, it would've been easy to forget that the Lightning had just graduated one of the top senior classes in the country, and were even missing head coach Kerwin Walters. The only familiar faces at the showcase were starting point guard Amalia Holguin and impact reserves/projected starters Kamdyn Klamberg and Alyssa Cuff, all of whom will still be underclassmen in 2024-25.

But Sage Hill still played like Sage Hill, raining three-pointers coming mostly from good ball movement in half-court situations and being opportunistic in transition. Addition to hitting three threes, Klamberg led the charge in regards to rebounding and interior scoring, from both put-backs and iso buckets in the low post, as Sage Hill's wings used their size advantage inside.

Again – different day, different faces, same formidable Sage Hill.

  • Sage Hill's outstanding depth a difference maker

While Brentwood might not be as deep as the last two seasons – despite toting one of the top returning cores around – the Lightning are deeper than ever. The simple fact that they were still relatively physically fresh after a long weekend seemed to help in this one, with multiple units capable of playing effective minutes against Brentwood's starters.

Holguin and Klamberg carried most of the scoring load, but ten or more Sage Hill players made important contributions to the victory in the second half alone, much like in their semifinals victory against Buena Park. Other top contributors included freshmen Eve Fowler and Aoki Perry.


During evaluation periods, also known as "live viewing periods", NCAA coaches get rare opportunities to scout players in person at certified events. With dead periods and quiet periods taking up most of the summer, live periods provide the majority of the very few chances for those college scouts to watch players from May through August. No contact between NCAA D-1 or D-2 coaches and recruits is allowed during evaluation periods.

Other top CIF-Southern Section teams at Cali Live included Buena Park, Moreno Valley, Windward, Fairmont Prep, St. Anthony, North (Torrance), St. Mary's Academy, Orange Lutheran, Village Christian, Mira Costa, Harvard-Westlake, Redondo Union, Santiago (Corona), Bishop Montgomery, Ventura, San Clemente, and many other prominent programs.

The showcase was also well-represented by SoCal's other two sections, the CIF-L.A. City Section and CIF-San Diego Section. Six of last season's eight Open Division City selections were in attendance – Birmingham, Palisades, King/Drew, Hamilton, Granada Hills Charter, and El Camino Real. And the CIF-SDS had a slew of representatives across numerous divisions, including Open Division champion Mission Hills, Bonita Vista, Francis Parker, Victory Christian Academy, and Carlsbad.

Many other big-name programs came from out of the area and even outside the state to play as well, with the CIF-Central Section particularly well-represented by the likes of St. Joseph, Caruthers, Clovis, Central (Fresno), Bakersfield Christian, San Joaquin Memorial, Monache, and Morro Bay. Northern California contenders on-site included Acalanes, Pinewood, McClatchy, Vanden, St. Mary's (Stockton), and Cardinal Newman, and out-of-state strongholds Camas (WA), Jefferson (OR), and Democracy Prep Agassi Campus (NV) also made the trip to Southern Orange County.

Published |Modified
Lance Smith