Highlights: Sarah Aldeguer explodes for 38 points, Fairmont Prep beats Mira Costa in Cali Live championship

Aldeguer, Adyra Rajan, and Orangewood Academy transfer Maria Mejia will form one of the CIF-SS' top trios next season
Photo by Lance Smith

LADERA RANCH, CALIFORNIA – Fairmont Prep's performance at Cali Live 2024 was quite the tour de force.

The Huskies went 4-0 to win the Kangaroo Division championship in dominant fashion, and closed it with a 66-47 victory against Mira Costa. And that might've been their closest game of the weekend. Before that, they trounced CIF-NCS powerhouses Cardinal Newman 64-23 and Acalanes 80-45, and cruised past Central (Fresno) 65-48.

After Adyra Rajan scored nearly 40 points in the semifinals against Central, fellow rising junior Sarah Aldeguer stole the show with 38 points in the title game. A smooth, skilled inside scorer in the vicinity of 6-1, Aldeguer showed off her vicious jump hook, ambidextrous finishing, offensive rebounding and ability to run the floor like a wing.

Joining Rajan and Aldeguer to form one of SoCal's top trios is senior Orangewood Academy transfer Maria Mejia, an OC Register First Team All-County honoree like Rajan. Despite graudating a strong senior class, Fairmont Prep is almost a lock to build on last season's strong showing, which including a CIF-SS 2AA quarterfinals appearance and a top-40 statewide ranking.

Meanwhile, Mira Costa toppled some three big names to get to the Kangaroo Division finals, beating St. Francis, Orange Lutheran, and Bishop O'Dowd. And while the outcome was never in doubt, the Mustangs put up a strong effort to remain competitive with Fairmont. Mira Costa is coming off a tremendous 24-6 season but graduated top player Juju O'Brien, making the Cali Live finals apperance particularly impressive for Kylee Yeh and co. Sharpshooting Yeh earned Daily Breeze First Team All-Area honors as a freshman and is already on D-1 radars.

Mira Costa girls basketball


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 Sage Hill, Bishop Montgomery, Moreno Valley, Brentwood School, Windward, St. Anthony, North (Torrance), St. Mary's Academy, Orange Lutheran, Village Christian, Harvard-Westlake, Redondo Union, Santiago (Corona), Buena Park, 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.

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Lance Smith