Basketball talent will abound in 2010-2011 season

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
I wrote in this week’s high school notebook about the abnormal abundance of talented basketball players returning next year. Due to space limitations, the list only included some North Bay League and Sonoma County League teams.
Here’s a more comprehensive rundown:

BOYS
* Analy (29-3, SCL champions, NorCal playoffs): The Tigers will return junior point guard Max Fujii, the SCL MVP, and junior guard Eli Alcantar, the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. In addition, 6-foot-6 freshman Geddy Link figures to play a prominent role in the middle.
* Cardinal Newman (22-8, NBL champions, NCS quarterfinals): The Cardinals will return junior guards Xavier McCall and Bobby Sharp, the league’s co-MVPs. McCall and Sharp combined to average 29.9 points a game.
* Casa Grande (17-11, 2nd in SCL, NCS playoffs): The Gauchos will return eight players, including three starters. Among the returning starters are junior guard Joey Rodriguez, a first-team all-Sonoma County league pick, and junior forward Nick Sherry, a second-team all-SCL selection.
* Montgomery (23-8, 2nd in NBL, NorCal playoffs): The Vikings will return four starters. That group includes first-team all-North Bay League picks in 6-9 junior center Ben Freeland and junior guard Alec Kobre. In addition, junior guard Quentin Mendoza, a second-team all-league selection, was the NBL’s co-Defensive Player of the Year.

GIRLS
* Casa Grande (20-10, 3rd in SCL, NCS quarterfinals): The Gauchos will return sophomores Stephanie Sack and Gretchen Harrigan — both first-team, all-SCL selections.
* Cloverdale (27-3, NCL I South champions, NCS quarterfinals): The Eagles will return four starters, a group headlined by league MVP Whitney Edens. Juniors Sara Gambetta and Mary Cruz Lopez were first-team all-league picks.
* Montgomery (24-8, NBL champs, NorCal playoffs): The Vikings will return junior forward Anandi Jimenez, the NBL MVP, and junior guard Sara Fitzgerald, a first-team all-league pick.
* Rincon Valley Christian (27-4, NCS Division VI champions): The Eagles will return four starters, including NCL II South MVP Arianna Hanson, defensive MVP Claire Bailey and first-team all-league pick Hannah Dolan.
* Santa Rosa (18-10, 2nd in NBL, NCS playoffs): The Panthers will bring back a pair of first-team, all-NBL players in juniors McKennan Bertsch and Shawnee Phillips. They combined to average 23.7 points a game.
* St. Helena (21-8, NCS playoffs): The Saints, who lost to Ursuline in OT in the NCS playoffs, will return junior Maddy Densberger and sophomore Holly Depina, a pair of first-team all-league picks.
* Ursuline (17-12, NCS quarterfinals): The Bears return the NBL’s leading scorer, junior Jordan Henry (18.7 points a game), and second-team all-NBL pick McKenzie Mangino.