Daily Pilot Girls’ Basketball Dream Team: Sage Hill’s Emily Eadie expanded game, leadership

Sage Hill's Emily Eadie is the Daily Pilot Girls' Basketball Dream Team Player of the Year.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)
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Sage Hill girls’ basketball standout Emily Eadie is a sprawling 6-foot-1, so it’s not often she has to look up to someone on the hardwood.

Eadie developed into a figure that others wanted to follow, but before she took the reins, she had limited time with others to learn a great deal about leadership.

Only months into her high school experience, Eadie was learning valuable lessons from the upperclassmen in the program. Forward Emily Elliott and guard Isabel Gomez, aided by an infusion of young talent, helped guide Sage Hill to its first CIF Southern Section title with a 62-55 win over Ontario Christian in the Division 3AA final in 2021.


As Elliott graduated and headed off to Cal State Los Angeles for volleyball, Eadie’s physicality and tenacity in the paint became even more important in her sophomore season, one that culminated in the CIF State Division II title for the Lightning. Gomez remained a steadying force and a driver of the offense, finishing her career as a two-time Daily Pilot Girls’ Basketball Dream Team Player of the Year.

Sage Hill's Emily Eadie was an All-CIF Southern Section Open Division honoree in girls' basketball this season.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“I always just respected [Elliott] so much for her versatility,” said Eadie, the 2024 Daily Pilot Girls’ Basketball Dream Team Player of the Year. “She’s obviously an amazing volleyball athlete, but she came into our team at the end of the year. Obviously, everything was pushed back, and she just made such a big mark on our team.

“With Isabel, I would say I just loved playing with her. She was such an amazing leader, and I think that’s where I learned a lot. I learned a lot of leadership from her, and that helped me over the next two years, when I sort of had to step into the leader role and captain role.”

Eadie earned Pacific Coast League MVP honors as a senior, as well as All-CIF in the Open Division. She also played in the Orange County All-Star game, where Eadie and Pacifica Christian guard Lauryn Ham were the leading scorers for the victorious South roster with 16 points and 11 points, respectively.

A high school career is now in the rearview mirror, but in the first year, Eadie, Zoie Lamkin, Kat Righeimer and Annabelle Spotts entered with great promise — and with a great weight on their shoulders.

Sage Hill's Emily Eadie has committed to the Princeton women's basketball program.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

As pupils of the late Kobe Bryant in the Mamba Sports Academy, they became sympathetic figures in the hearts and minds of many. They had a huge cheering section across the sport, but it was a storyline they couldn’t shake.

The group came to be defined by resilience, then by a shoot-for-the-stars quality that elevated the program to one of national repute. Sage Hill (25-5, 6-0 in the Pacific Coast League) qualified for the elite, eight-team Open Division for postseason play in each of the last two seasons.

“I think the legacy of this team is a team that just wants to take on challenges,” Sage Hill coach Kerwin Walters said. “They want to be considered amongst the best in the country, definitely best in the state, and I think they’ve strived really hard to do that.

“Emily has definitely done that. That’s why she has all the accolades that she has now, from tournament MVPs to All-CIF to All-State. It’s been a constant for her, and she has been consistent in performing the way she’s been performing.”

Sage Hill's Emily Eadie (1) shoots under the basket against Ontario Christian's defense on Feb. 28.
Sage Hill’s Emily Eadie (1) shoots under the basket against Ontario Christian’s defense in the CIF State Southern California Regional Open Division playoffs on Feb. 28.
(James Carbone)

Eadie expanded her game with a healthier Spotts operating in the low post over the final two years at Sage Hill. Count her final game with the Lightning as a showcase of that ability, as the Princeton-bound forward sank five three-pointers in a 30-point performance in a 71-67 loss at Ontario Christian in the CIF State Southern California Regional Open Division playoffs.

What made her high school team special was the ability of multiple players to come through in key moments, Eadie said. She recalled how close the games were in the Lightning’s run to a state title two years ago, and she also cherishes being part of Sage Hill’s ascendance.

“I think we definitely all had the mindset that there was still definitely more to come,” said Eadie, who averaged 14 points and eight rebounds as a senior. “Obviously, we were never satisfied with what we had. We expected all four years to get back to state, but I’m just really proud of how we did it. Even getting to the Open Division from Division 3, I’m just so proud of how we did that.”

Marina girls' basketball coach Daniel Roussel, seen against San Pedro on March 7, 2023.
Marina’s Daniel Roussel, seen against San Pedro on March 7, 2023, is the Daily Pilot Girls’ Basketball Dream Coach of the Year.
(James Carbone)


Daniel Roussel


The Vikings pride themselves on their performance on the defensive end of the floor, pestering ball-handlers to fuel their offense with opportunities in transition. Roussel’s team has reaped the rewards of their defensive work. The backcourt tandem of junior Maria Tejeda and sophomore Rylee Bradley combined for 5.5 steals per game this season, which saw Marina (21-9, 6-0 in the Wave League) win its first league championship in five years. Marina was bumped up two divisions in the section playoffs after its run to the Division V state final last season, and the Vikings’ season ended with a second-round loss to Division 4AA champion Canyon.

Marina's Rylee Bradley (23) shoots from the side of the key against Fountain Valley in a Sunset Conference crossover game.
Marina’s Rylee Bradley (23) shoots from the side of the key against Fountain Valley in a Sunset Conference crossover game on Jan. 5.
(James Carbone)


Rylee Bradley

G | Marina | So.

After leading the Vikings in a surprise run to the CIF State Southern California Regional Division V championship as a freshman, Bradley kept her foot on the gas as a sophomore. Marina went undefeated in Wave League play to win the program’s first league title since 2019. Bradley, who has already surpassed 1,000 career points, averaged 20.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals. She garnered MVP honors in the Wave League.

Sage Hill's Amalia Holguin (10) drives to the basket against Mater Dei in the Troy Classic on Dec. 8, 2023.
(James Carbone)

Amalia Holguin

G | Sage Hill | So.

An electric player with the ball in her hands, Holguin averaged 12.4 points and a team-best 3.5 assists per contest. Holguin, a Pacific Coast League first-team selection, has carried herself with confidence in her first two seasons, and it shows in the way she seeks out her shot. The sophomore sensation made 2.4 three-pointers per game on 35.1% from long distance, while also converting at an 81.7% clip from the free-throw line. She had a team-high 21 points at Portola, as the Lightning locked up the Pacific Coast League title.

The Pacifica Christian O.C. girls' basketball team with the Mama Pittman Tournament finalist trophy.
The Pacifica Christian Orange County girls’ basketball team poses with the Mama Pittman Tournament finalist trophy on Dec. 30 at Whittier High.
(Andrew Turner)

Alexia Valencia

G | Pacifica Christian | Sr.

Pacifica Christian (20-9, 2-4 in the San Joaquin League) got off to a roaring start, boasting a 15-3 record through its tournament schedule. Valencia asserted herself on both sides of the ball, contributing 10.9 points and 2.5 assists per game on the offensive end. She also averaged 4.1 rebounds and a team-best three steals. Valencia banked in a buzzer-beating three-pointer from just beyond halfcourt for a 57-56 win at Capistrano Valley Christian in San Joaquin League play. She was also named the MVP of the El Toro Tournament.

Ocean View's Angelina Bado puts up a shot against Newport Harbor in the Pacifica Mariner Mayhem Tournament on Dec. 8.
(James Carbone)

Angelina Bado

G/F | Ocean View | Jr.

In a trying season for Ocean View (9-18, 3-7 in the Golden West League), Bado kept her team competitive by scoring in bunches. The junior sharpshooter scored a career-high 46 points against Laguna Beach in the Seahawk Winter Classic, surpassing the 30-point mark four times on the season. Bado also scored 33 points against Westminster in the season finale, outscoring the rival Lions by herself in the 44-28 win. A Golden West League first-team selection, Bado also supplied averages of 7.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 steals. Bado also represents Lebanon on the youth national team.

Sage Hill's Annabelle Spotts drives to the basket during a Sage Hill High School girls' basketball game.
Sage Hill’s Annabelle Spotts (15) drives to the basket against Mater Dei in the Troy Classic on Dec. 8.
(James Carbone)

Annabelle Spotts

C | Sage Hill | Sr.

Injuries limited Spotts’ time on court early on in her high school career, but her presence was a vital piece of the Lightning challenging teams in the Open Division. The University of Chicago signee packed a punch in the paint, giving Sage Hill a dynamic duo in the post. Spotts scored 10 points per game, adding 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists on average. She was a first-team performer in the Pacific Coast League.


F/C Sophia Boyer, Los Amigos, Jr.

G Leslie Calderon, Estancia, Sr.

G Lauryn Ham, Pacifica Christian, Sr.

F/C Kaitlyn Leibe, Newport Harbor, Sr.

G Emma Miyai, Huntington Beach, Fr.

G Julia Mork, Corona del Mar, Sr.

G/F Kat Righeimer, Sage Hill, Sr.

G/F Taylor Savage, Edison, So.

C Karley Waite, Fountain Valley, Jr.