Andre Henry got plenty accomplished on both ends of the court in spectacular fashion this past season, leading to the St. Francis High basketball team to its successful campaign in program history.
St. Francis took third in the competitive Mission League. It followed that by advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division II-AA championship game and then won a CIF State Division II Southern California Regional championship.
Henry made sure to do his part and the senior guard came through on a consistent basis route to being named the league’s co-most valuable player.
Henry shared the honor with Mason Hooks of Harvard-Westlake. Harvard-Westlake went 25-7, 6-0 in league to capture the title.
The Golden Knights finished a remarkable 30-8, 4-2 in league and reached their first CIF Southern Section championship game since 2014, when they also last appeared in the state tournament.
The UC Irvine-bound Henry averaged an outstanding 24.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.2 blocks, 3.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game to help the Golden Knights advance to the state championship game in Sacramento. Unfortunately, the Golden Knights were not able to play for a state title, as all 12 state championship contests were canceled because of the coronavirus global pandemic.
“He’s such amazing player and fun to coach,” St. Francis coach Todd Wolfson said. “There are some teams that have five superstars and everybody knew about Andre by often double-teaming him.
“He did a great job all over the court and he’s indeed a very special player. It’s great when you can get all-league in our league, which is best league in the state and maybe one of the best ones in the nation.”
St. Francis senior guard Jason Gallant was selected to the all-league first team from St. Francis.
Gallant proved to be another pillar in the lineup for the Golden Knights, averaging 14.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
“Jason was our spot shooter last season,” Wolfson said. “Coming into this season, the big question for our team was who would be our point guard?
“Jason stepped in and handled the role well right away. He got better with his ball-handling skills, plus he provided the team with leadership and experience.”
In the Division II-AA playoffs, St. Francis recorded victories against neighbor La Cañada, San Gabriel Academy, No. 2 Heritage Christian and Roosevelt. St. Francis fell, 61-39, to No. 1 Santa Clarita Christian in the championship game Feb. 29 at Azusa Pacific University.
In the state tournament, No. 1 St. Francis beat No. 16 Carlsbad, No. 9 Birmingham and No. 12 Oxnard to reach the Southern California final, where the Golden Knights posted a 53-44 victory versus No. 6 Roosevelt.
St. Francis was then set to face No. 4 Stockton Weston Ranch, the Northern California representative, in the title game at Golden 1 Center before the contest was scrapped.
“We had a great season and it’s something we’re always going to remember,” Wolfson said.