Only four teams remain in the Southern California bracket of the CIF state girls basketball Open Division. However, there is an abundance of talent between them, including star talent at the top. These are the Top 10 players left on the four semifinalists.
NO. 1 LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY
PG/SG Te-hina Paopao – SR.
One of five finalists for the Naismith High School Player of the Year Trophy, the Oregon commit is averaging 22.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 3.2 steals per game. She's doing it with uncommon efficiency at the high school girls basketball level. Paopao is shooting 47% from the field, 53% two, 37% from three, and turning it over fewer than twice a game.
La Jolla Country Day is the top-ranked team in the country and the favorite to win a state championship, which would really help cement her status as the best player in the country.
C/PF Breya Cunningham – FR.
One of two freshmen on this list having legitimately generational freshman campaigns, Cunningham averages 17.4 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 3.3 blocks per game. Speaking of unreal efficiency, she's doing it on 62% shooting from the field and only 0.6 turnovers per game. And she's still an agile defender in space despite measuring in at 6-3 as a freshman.
PG Jazzy Anousinh – JR.
Another outstanding lead guard for the Torreys, Anousinh averages 8.5 points and five assists per game despite having to spend ample time off the ball. She's also made huge strides as a defender and three-point shooter who helps keep the floor-spacing alive for her co-stars. Next year with Paopao in college, expect a massive jump from her statistically.
NO. 3 WINDWARD
G/F McKayla Williams – SR.
Williams might be the first player I've ever seen who takes the opening tip and then gets the ball back to initiate the offense. Traditionally a wing with a lot of point guard duties, she's a matchup nightmare at four or more positions with a frame of nearly 6-2, great length, and the athleticism of a guard. She's central to Windward's identity of long, athletic slashers who can also shoot, defend, rebound, and move the ball at a high level.
G/F Juju Watkins – FR.
The top freshman in the country this season, Watkins averages in the vicinity of 20 points per game with Windward's brutal schedule in her first year of high school. She's upward of six feet tall with top-tier athleticism and strength, especially for her age. Like Williams, she's a dangerous driving threat who you can't leave alone from the perimeter either, and has a complete game.
SF/PF Michelle Duchemin – JR.
Duchemin is yet another matchup nightmare on the Wildcats with too much athleticism and skill for a six-footer. She's great around the rim both creating and finishing plays, a very strong rebounder, and a defensive Swiss army knife.
NO. 4 ETIWANDA
C/PF Jessica Peterson – JR.
At 6-3 with great strength and surprising skill and agility for her size, Peterson is continuing to develop into one of SoCal's top college prospects. She does the duties of a center but is also a deadly shooter out to at least 18 feet, including off the dribble, and can handle the ball. Peterson has already been offered at the D-1 level, but don't be surprised if she takes another leap into contention as one of the better front-court players in the whole country next year.
PG/SG Joy Campbell – SR.
Campbell is one of the more polished scoring guards in SoCal who also has great passing touch. She can score both efficiently and in volume at all three levels, and is too quick to contain off the dribble.
NO. 7 LONG BEACH POLY
G Lily Buggs – JR.
Buggs is the leading scorer and rebounder for Poly with 11.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Her 11.5 points come on a hefty 48% FG, which is a team-high. She's also an outstanding perimeter defender, one of a handful of Jackrabbits averaging around three steals per game.
C Ashlee Lewis – SR.
Lewis gets the nod as Poly's second-leading scorer and paint anchor. She's a double-double threat with both very good touch inside and the physicality you want in a big.
Part of what makes the Jackrabbits so dangerous is that their offensive attack is so well-balanced. Kalaya Buggs, Iyanna Lamb, Simone Morris, and Nala Williams all average about eight points per game and are all threats to lead Poly in scoring on any given night. Everyone who sees floor time for them is a great defender as well, so all those players deserve mentions here even if Lily Buggs and Lewis are the only two who made our top ten.