Four of the dominant teams in San Diego high school basketball placed two players each on The Times’ 1988-89 All-County teams.
The Torrey Pines and Lincoln boys and Point Loma and Vista girls each had a pair of players picked, and four of the eight were repeat selections.
Torrey Pines’ Courtie Miller and Kevin Flanagan were named to the boys’ team for the second consecutive year. Lincoln’s Joe Temple and Aaron Wilhite were selected for the first time.
Returners Chris Enger of Vista and Monica Filer of Point Loma led their teams to section championships and into the Southern California Regional finals. Enger was joined by teammate Dana Christofferson, Filer by Tyeast Brown.
Other repeaters were Madison’s Robby Robinson and Mission Bay’s Cristina Willis.
Players and coaches of the year will be announced at The Times’ awards breakfast April 2 at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel and Towers.
Tony Clark, 6-7 junior forward, Valhalla
Clark’s talent was most apparent after teammate Rafid Kiti suffered a collapsed lung and missed several games late in the season.
Clark had been used to relying on Kiti and his 24-point average to take pressure off the inside game. But when adversity struck, Clark got better. He scored 55 points in one game--the highest of any player in the county this season and third on the all-time section lists--and 47 in another. He led county scoring for much of the season and finished with a 30.4-point average, second on the section all-time list.
Clark, who utilizes a strong power game and his rebounding skills, also showed he could score from the outside. He shot 59% from the field and 77% from the line and was named the Grossmont League 2-A player of the year as Valhalla won its first basketball title.
Kevin Flanagan, 6-9 senior center, Torrey Pines
A former teammate called Flanagan “the toughest guy in the world.” Maybe a slight exaggeration, but Flanagan was tough enough, averaging 10.9 rebounds and 18.1 points to help the Falcons to the Division II championship.
Flanagan, a three-year starter, was recently selected to play on the McDonald’s Western All-Star team. In the fall, he will attend Arizona.
Clark James, 6-4 junior guard/forward, San Diego
Control Clark James, and you have a chance to defeat San Diego, or so it was this season. In the Cavers’ four regular-season losses, James averaged just nine points. But in 17 victories, he averaged 26.
James led the young (one senior starter) and talented Cavers to a second-place finish in the City Central League behind Lincoln, which defeated San Diego twice.
He was even more important in the playoffs, leading San Diego to the Division I championship game (a 64-49 loss to Poway) after two regulars were declared ineligible.
Ray McDavid, 6-2 senior guard, Clairemont
Maybe the only guy in town who can polish off McDavid in a one-on-one pickup game is his coach, Greg Lee, who started on two national championship teams at UCLA. But with Lee at courtside, McDavid was virtually unstoppable in the City West League this season, finishing fourth in the county in scoring with a 25.1-point average.
McDavid led his team to the Division III championship game at the Sports Arena, where it lost to Lincoln. A three-sport athlete who also competes in football and baseball, McDavid balanced his game between powerful dunks and a smooth jump shot.
Erik Meek, 6-9 sophomore center, San Pasqual
Meek is the youngest member of The Times’ All-County team but has always performed beyond his years in basketball. He averaged 22.6 points (ninth in the county) and 11.8 rebounds a game. In two years, he has scored more than 1,000 points, and schools such as Arizona and Syracuse have shown an interest.
“He is the most promising basketball player out of San Diego in a long time,” San Pasqual Coach Tom Buck said. “San Diego is in for a treat the next two years.”
Buck said Meek needs to get better defensively but that he has already vastly improved: “He’s starting to get his whole game together.”
Against Madison in the playoffs, he scored 39 points and had 26 rebounds and eight blocked shots.
Courtie Miller, 6-8 senior forward, Torrey Pines
A three-year starter for Torrey Pines, Miller has earned respect from his teammates and coaches for being a team player who places winning before individual accomplishments. John Farrell, the Torrey Pines coach, says he watched a great progression over the last three years.
“Courtie has really matured, not only as a basketball player but as a person,” Farrell said. “He has been a real pleasure to be around.”
Miller was The Times’ boys’ player of the year last season. This season, he averaged 21.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.1 blocks.
He led Torrey Pines to the section Division II championship and the semifinals of the Southern California Regionals, where the Falcons lost to Dominguez despite his 31 points.
Miller, who will play for San Diego State, was chosen a preseason Street and Smith honorable mention All-American.
Robby Robinson, 6-4 senior guard/forward, Madison
Robinson was a man without a position but a master of all this year. As the lone returning starter, Robinson played point guard, shooting guard, low post and even some center. He finished second in the county in scoring (27 points a game) and led the Warhawks in assists as well. And he guarded the opponent’s best player in every game.
“For a while, (not having a position) used to bug me,” Robinson said. “I’d practice at guard all week and then get moved down low in the game, and it frustrated me. But I’ve learned to do what it takes.”
Will Tate, 6-0 senior guard, Southwest
Gifted athletes often must choose the sport for which they will accept a college scholarship.
Tate is one such athlete. In basketball, he was Metro Conference player of the year this season and co-player of the year in the Mesa League last season. In football, he was named Metro offensive player of the year and to The Times’ All-County team last season.
He will play football for San Diego State.
“Basketball was his No. 1 sport at first,” Southwest Coach Steve Selland said, “but then he came to like football more.”
Tate averaged 16.4 points, 6.4 assists and five steals to help lead the Raiders (21-8) to the section Division I quarterfinals and school’s best record ever.
Joe Temple, 6-3 senior guard/forward, Lincoln
Lincoln Coach Ron Loneski is running out of adjectives to describe Joe Temple, and with good reason.
Temple set section records for steals in a game (15), season (173) and career (301), was third in the county with 25.8 points per game, averaged 11.3 rebounds and three assists and led Lincoln to a 26-1 regular-season record and its second consecutive Division III title.
He scored 30 or more points in eight games and was held under 20 just twice (he had 17 against Madison and 15 against Poway). Despite having never played basketball before the ninth grade, he was a three-year starter for the Hornets, averaging in double figures in points and rebounds all three years.
Temple also is a 6-foot-6 high jumper in track and received a scholarship offer to play tight end for San Diego State’s football team. He has a 3.0 grade-point average at Gompers, a math/science/computer magnet school.
Aaron Wilhite, 6-8 senior center, Lincoln
The only thing bad about Aaron Wilhite this season was timing. Against Christian, Wilhite had 27 rebounds and 31 points, but Temple scored 35 points and set a section record with 15 steals.
In the Hornets’ next game, Wilhite set a section record with 39 rebounds, but that too went largely unnoticed because it was the final game of the regular season and Lincoln already had wrapped up its fourth consecutive City Central title.
Said Loneski of his three-year starting center: “Aaron is the greatest overachiever I’ve ever coached.”
Like Temple, Wilhite averaged in double figures in scoring and rebounding for three seasons. In 1988-89, he was sixth in the county in scoring with a 23.9 average and had 15 rebounds, three assists and 3.5 steals per game.
Rebecca Aase, 5-8 junior guard/forward, Santana
Aase came on strong in the second half and finished as the Grossmont Conference’s leading scorer with 16.9 points per game. She also led the conference in free throw shooting (48 of 64, 75%).
Aase led Santana to a 6-0 Grossmont 2-A League record and was named the league’s most valuable player. She was especially effective when center Stephanie Thompson missed several games with an injury. Santana finished the regular season with a No. 3 county ranking and went to the section Division I semifinals.
Tyeast Brown, 5-11 senior center, Point Loma
Brown had 538 rebounds this season, second most in San Diego Section history.
“She’s probably the best defensive low post player I’ve ever coached,” Point Loma Coach Lee Trepanier said. “Even better than Terri Mann (former Point Loma All-American). Tyeast played against players much bigger than her all year. She had to play good technical defense.”
Brown also averaged 15.6 points.
Dana Christofferson, 5-9 1/2 senior forward, Vista
Although overshadowed by Chris Enger, Christofferson was Vista’s defensive catalyst and went about her business quietly but intensely.
“She was our best defensive player,” Vista Coach Joe DeMaria said. You don’t get a lot of recognition on defense, but she was really effective on both sides of the court.”
She came on strong in the second half and scored in double figures in 17 of the last 18 games. She averaged 12.9 points (14.2 in the playoffs) and 7.8 rebounds.
Christofferson was named to the Palomar League first team and will most likely play basketball at UC San Diego. She has a cumulative 3.9 grade-point average.
Dasheila Dixon, 6-3 sophomore center, Lincoln
Lincoln Coach Dorothy Robinson said before the season, “With all the kids I’ve converted from track to basketball, we’ve got speed.” Robinson also had height in 6-3 Dixon, the only sophomore on the girls’ All-County team despite her having played basketball for just 1 1/2 years.
Robinson said Dixon is far from reaching her potential and is just starting to realize she can dominate. Late in the season, she became only the fifth girl in section history to score 50 or more points in a game, when she had 50, including 26 in the third quarter, against Christian.
Dixon was third in county scoring (26-point average) to go with her 10-plus rebounds per game.
Chris Enger, 6-4 senior center, Vista
More often than not, Enger inside the key meant points for the Panthers. She averaged 28.2 points during the regular season and 32 in the playoffs and was the Panthers’ leading rebounder with a 14.6 average (19.7 in playoffs).
Enger averaged 8.5 blocked shots per game, 9.5 in the playoffs.
“She’s the most talented player in the county,” DeMaria said. “She runs the ball better than most guards. She’s very diversified. She runs, she shoots inside and out and defensively she’s a problem for other teams.”
She might attend Oregon State or the University of San Diego.
For the second consecutive year, Enger was voted the Palomar League player of the year. Vista (28-4) won its first Division II section title and reached the Southern California Regional Division II final before losing to Anaheim Katella.
Monica Filer, 5-7 senior guard, Point Loma
Point Loma finished 32-2 this season, largely because of the play of this slick point guard. Filer dished out a state-record 390 assists this season, pushing her career total to 773. She also averaged 22.1 points.
“Having Monica on the court is like having six players on the court,” Trepanier said. “She took care of the other girls, making sure they were doing their jobs. She was a true captain--a real leader.”
Mesega Johnson, 5-6 senior forward, Southwest
Johnson kept the Raiders from self-destructing after they lost four starters during the course of the season. She finished as the county’s No. 4 scorer (25.6 average), behind three other All-County selections.
Southwest finished 15-9 and tied for third in the Metro Conference, and “that was directly attributed to Mesega and her stabilizing influence,” Coach John Boone said.
Her best game was against Morse, where she set a school scoring record (48) and pulled down 21 rebounds.
Johnson is strong and quick--she was the league 100-yard dash champion her freshman year--and still learning. “We haven’t even scratched the surface yet with her potential,” Boone said.
Rochelle Johnson, 5-11 senior center, Patrick Henry
Johnson averaged better than 20 points and about 16 rebounds a game for an 18-8 team.
“She probably has more raw talent than anyone I’ve ever coached,” Patrick Henry Coach John Ferguson said. “She was the team most valuable player, high point and rebound person, and she was a real team leader. She worked real hard.”
Susie O’Brien, 6-0 senior forward, San Marcos
O’Brien finished with a 29.9 average to lead the county in scoring but had pushed that average to 30.5 at midseason. She also averaged 15 rebounds.
She led San Marcos (21-7) to the Avocado League championship and the section Division II title game (won by Vista) and was the league player of the year. She is a three-time first-team all-league selection.
Cristina Willis, 6-1 senior forward, Mission Bay
Willis started for three seasons for her father, Larry. She finished this past regular season fifth in county scoring with 24.4 points per game.
Willis also averaged 12 rebounds and four assists. Teams figured out quickly she was the player to stop and often triple-teamed her.
“That was just typical,” Larry Willis said. “When she had the ball, she had three people on her. She got used to that.”
Willis led the Buccaneers to the semifinals of the Division II playoffs, where they lost to San Marcos.
Rick Hazeltine, Jim Lindgren, Scott Miller and Don Patterson contributed to this story.
Name: Tony Clark School: Valhalla P: F Hgt.: 6-7 Yr.: Jr. Key Stats (per game): 30.4 points, 59% field goals Name: Kevin Flanagan School: Torrey Pines P: C Hgt.: 6-9 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 18.1 points, 10.9 rebounds Name: Clark James School: San Diego P: F Hgt.: 6-4 Yr.: Jr. Key Stats (per game): 17.3 points Name: Ray McDavid School: Clairemont P: G Hgt.: 6-2 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 25.1 points Name: Erik Meek School: San Pasqual P: C Hgt.: 6-9 Yr.: So. Key Stats (per game): 22.6 points, 11.8 rebounds Name: Courtie Miller School: Torrey Pines P: F Hgt.: 6-8 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 21.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, 4.1 blocks Name: Robby Robinson School: Madison P: G Hgt.: 6-4 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 27.0 points Name: Will Tate School: Southwest P: G Hgt.: 6-0 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 16.4 points, 6.4 assists, 5 steals Name: Joe Temple School: Lincoln P: F Hgt.: 6-3 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 25.8 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.7 steals Name: Aaron Wilhite School: Lincoln P: C Hgt.: 6-8 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 23.9 points, 15 rebounds, 3.5 steals ALL-COUNTY GIRLS
Name: Rebecca Aase School: Santana P: G Hgt.: 5-8 Yr.: Jr. Key Stats (per game): 16.9 points, 75% free throws Name: Tyeast Brown School: Point Loma P: C Hgt.: 5-11 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 15.6 points Name: Dana Christofferson School: Vista P: F Hgt.: 5-9 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 12.9 points, 7.8 rebounds Name: Dasheila Dixon School: Lincoln P: C Hgt.: 6-3 Yr.: So. Key Stats (per game): 26 points Name: Chris Enger School: Vista P: C Hgt.: 6-4 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 28.2 points, 14.6 rebounds, 8.5 blocks Name: Monica Filer School: Point Loma P: G Hgt.: 5-7 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 22.1 points, 11.5 assists Name: Mesega Johnson School: Southwest P: F Hgt.: 5-6 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 25.6 points, 12 rebounds Name: Rochelle Johnson School: Patrick Henry P: C Hgt.: 5-11 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 20 points, 16 rebounds Name: Susie O’Brien School: San Marcos P: F Hgt.: 6-0 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 29.9 points, 15 rebounds Name: Cristina Willis School: Mission Bay P: F Hgt.: 6-1 Yr.: Sr. Key Stats (per game): 24.4 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists