When first-year Valencia girls basketball head coach Kevin Honaker heard he could be getting a talented new player from Toronto on his team, he was optimistic. But he needed proof the new girl, Yasmine Allhamara, was good.
“Even with scouting and everything, I want to see it with my two eyes and I can tell pretty quickly if someone is gifted and talented.
“I could tell very quickly that she was going to be somebody that contributed a ton this year.”
The team had talent in nearly every facet of the game, but was still inexperienced and needed a leader. Ahllamara showed up right on time and prepared to take on the point guard position and lead the Vikings to an undefeated Foothill League championship.
“Going 10-0, it was like checking off one of our boxes, it was one of our goals from the moment we started practicing and got to know each other,” Ahllamara said in late February. “We sat down and talked about goals and going 10-0 was one of the big ones. That moment when we actually accomplished it, we were just very excited.”
Ahllamara took over as starting point guard early in the preleague season, learning Valencia’s system from scratch. She used her basketball IQ to run the offense, averaging 9.6 points per game, 1.8 steals per game and 3.5 assists per game in the process.
She also excelled from 3-point range with a 39% shooting percentage, even if she was limited by the point guard position.
“I was pretty comfortable from 24 feet and in shooting the 3-pointer,” Honaker said. “We probably didn’t even give her enough opportunity, sometimes you have to relinquish some of that. I wish she would’ve shot more, but she definitely has a great ability to shoot the 3.”
She was able to lead the team based on her skill, but her maturity played a role as well. The senior, who plans on majoring in business administration and eventually going into corporate law, always had a collective demeanor.
That combination allowed for healthy, friendly competition at practices.
“We preach and talk competition all the time whether you’re a three-year starter or a first-year girl coming from nowhere, every day is a competition and if you compete super hard and earn it, I think everyone is 100 percent happy with it,” Honaker said. “I think everyone earns everything in our program.”
Allhamara plans to play basketball in college. Wherever she ends up in the next phase of her career, she knows she ended her prep career on a high note with Valencia.
“I was just almost overwhelmed with how welcoming everyone was,” Ahllamara said. “Being from literally a different country on the east coast, I was coming from almost nowhere, but practically immediately everyone welcomed me with open arms.”
Emma Allen, Hart, Junior
As one of the league’s most well-rounded players, Allen topped the Foothill League in assists per game with 4.4. She scored at a rate of 8.4 ppg in addition to logging 2.3 steals per game, 1.5 blocks per game and 8.6 rebounds per game.
Mailey Ballard, Valencia, Sophomore
Ballard was one of a handful of young Foothill League girls basketball players who played beyond their years and brought a high compete level every night. Always focused during games, Ballard used her quick ball-handling abilities to average 11.4 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Monique Febles, Saugus, Junior
Febles was one of the most tenacious point guards in the league, constantly driving the lane while also being fearless when it came to shooting. She averaged 12 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals per game. Her speed and physicality never failed to give the Centurions the boost they needed in tough game situations.
Skylar Ingram, Valencia, Junior
Ingram was a powerful presence on the court and in the post and used her height and strength to record 12 double-doubles for the Vikings. She had an average of 10.1 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game. She also tallied 19 blocks this season.
Chidinma Okafor, Canyon, Junior
In her first year of varsity basketball, Okafor gave a young Canyon team the skill they needed. She logged 14 double-doubles on the season and averaged 13.1 points per game. Her 6-foot-3 frame helped her pull down 12.7 rebounds per game. In total, she had 149 defensive rebounds and 104 offensive rebounds this season.
Shyann Franklin, Golden Valley, Senior
Franklin was a leader for the Grizzlies in many ways, despite picking up the sport of basketball shortly after starting high school. She possessed the intangibles to lead her teammates and also had the physical skill to record 13 double-doubles in her senior campaign. She finished the season with 14.5 points per game and 10.8 rebounds per game.
Marissa Howell, Valencia, Sophomore
Howell was fast, tough and played way bigger than her 5-foot-2 frame. She scored 6.7 points per game and was one of the most consistent 3-point shooters, with a 32% shooting percentage.
Libbie McMahan, Saugus, Junior
A dual-sport athlete who competes in basketball and softball, McMahan was focused on sharing the ball as much as she shot it this season. She registered 18 points per game and two assists per game.
Emily Munoz, Hart, Senior
Hart was one of the grittiest, most physical teams in the league this season, and Munoz fit right in with the Indians’ playing style. She ranked second in the Foothill League in terms of steals with 2.2 per game in addition to scoring 11.3 points per game.
Ellie Villavicencio, Canyon, Senior
As the only returning varsity player with playoff experience, Villavicencio was a force the Cowboys could lean on when games got tough. She averaged 5.5 points per game.
Canyon — Kiki Taufaasau, Freshman
Golden Valley — Kimberly Manary, Senior
Hart — Kaleigh Moss, Senior
Saugus — Ashlyn Canel, Senior
SCCS — Kelly Lotz, Freshman
Trinity — Hannah Caddow, Senior
Valencia — Leilani Manuel, Junior
West Ranch — Elora Kawasawa, Freshman