Daily News All-Area boys basketball: Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry is the player of the year

DAILY NEWS ALL-AREA BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM 2023-24

Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry gets by Myles Walker of Roosevelt in the CIF State SoCal Regional Open Division finals March 5, 2024. (Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Trent Perry, Harvard-Westlake, Senior

The Harvard-Westlake boys basketball season was one for the record books.

The Wolverines added a sixth consecutive Mission League title to their collection. They successfully defended their CIF State Open Division championship and claimed their first CIF Southern Section Open Division crown.

@haleymsawyer

Harvard-Westlake boys basketball goes back-to-back in the Open Division at the state championships full story: https://www.dailynews.com/2024/03/10/harvard-westlake-boys-basketball-fights-off-salesian-to-capture-second-straight-open-division-state-title/ #golden1center #journalist #reporter #sports #basketball #highschoolbasketball #championships #studiocity #usc #harvard #championship #privateschool

♬ original sound – Haley Sawyer

And then there was Trent Perry.

His strength was almost indiscernible with just a quick glance, but when he barrels through a defender on his way to the hoop, that power is felt not just by the opposition, but by the crowd.

His demeanor was undisturbed, even in the most urgent situations, until a momentous play by his team had him flexing his muscles and flashing his lively smile.

A four-year varsity star, two-time Mission League MVP and McDonald’s All-American, Perry was the undeniable catalyst for the team.

A threat to record a triple-double on any given night, Perry averaged 18.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. He shot a remarkable 47.2 percent from 3-point range and 86 percent from the free-throw line.

Whether it was hitting a big shot, guarding the opposing team’s best player or getting his teammates in rhythm with good looks, Perry did whatever his team needed him to do.

“There was nothing surprising to things we accomplished this season. We put in the work day in and day out, whether it’s in practice, watching film or in the weight room,” Perry said. “We earned everything that we achieved and what we built over the years can’t be taken away from us.”

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake reacts after defeating Salesian College Prep 50-45 to win a CIF State Division Open Division boys basketball championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 9, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry fouls Kevin “Tochi” Anigbogu of Roosevelt in the CIF State SoCal Regional Open Division finals March 5, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake drives to the basket against Salesian College Prep in the second half of a CIF State Division Open Division boys basketball championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 9, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake reacts after defeating Salesian College Prep 50-45 to win a CIF State Division Open Division boys basketball championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 9, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake hugs a coach after defeating Salesian College Prep 50-45 to win a CIF State Division Open Division boys basketball championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 9, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry tries to get around Roosevelt’s Dominic Copenhagen and Issac Williamson during the CIF State SoCal Regional Open Division final March 5, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Trent Perry #0 of Harvard-Westlake drives to the basket against Zander Jimenez #4 of Salesian College Prep in the first half of a CIF State Division Open Division boys basketball championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 9, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry celebrates as the boys basketball team defeats Roosevelt in the CIF State SoCal Regional Open Division finals March 5, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry, #0, pulls a rebound from Sierra Canyon’s Bryce Cofield, #12, during second period action in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs at Havard-Westlake on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry receives his McDonald’s All-American jersey prior to their game against St. John Bosco Feb. 16, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Harvard-Westlake’s Trent Perry is defended by Brandon McCoy Jr. and Kade Bonam of St. John Bosco during the final round of pool play in the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs Feb. 16, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

This season’s success is forever etched in history. The accolades, both in Perry’s personal collection and in the Harvard-Westlake trophy case, will remain for decades to come.

But this year wasn’t without its share of bumps and bruises.

In the middle of the season, the Wolverines traveled nearly 3,000 miles to Springfield, Mass., to play in the Hoophall Classic. Harvard-Westlake faced off against McEachern on a Monday morning, returned home that evening after earning a one-point victory in a game that required overtime.

The tournament back east happened to coincide with Harvard-Westlake’s toughest stretch of the season, with games against Mission League rivals Notre Dame on Wednesday and Sierra Canyon on Friday of that week.

The Wolverines lost both games, but it served as a turning point for Perry and his teammates.

“That week with the Hoophall Classic, Notre Dame and Sierra Canyon games was probably the most challenging week I’ve experienced mentally and physically,” Perry said. “After losing to Sierra Canyon, it was a wake-up call for us. I remember us feeling devastated like it was our last game of the season. That week really brought us together because we all didn’t want to have that feeling ever again.”

Harvard-Westlake didn’t lose another game the rest of the season, piling on win after win on its way through the Mission League tournament and both the CIF-SS and CIF State Open Division playoffs.

After that rough stretch that took its toll on Perry, he didn’t let it define his team’s season. Instead, he proved why he’s earned everything that’s come his way.

The first Harvard-Westlake boys basketball player to be named a McDonald’s All-American since 1997 — California’s Mr. Basketball, Player of the Year — he elevated his game to another level to make sure his team didn’t experience that losing feeling again.

Perry is a maestro on the court. But more so, he’s the same way off it.

He’s the first to deflect his individual accomplishments. He’s the first to name-drop his coaching staff.

It’s never been about himself. It’s always been about the team.

“The legacy we left at Harvard-Westlake means everything to me. It wasn’t just me that accomplished winning those championships,” he said. “Especially with my best friend and teammate Robert Hinton, we had a journey together from middle school to being on varsity our freshman year to now winning everything we could’ve dreamed of. We left our mark on the program and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Mercy Miller, Notre Dame, Senior

Mercy Miller #25 of Notre Dame slam dunks against Louis Bond #23 of Windward in the first half of a CIF-SS Division 1 boys championship basketball game at the Toyota Arena in Ontario on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

There wasn’t a superior bucket-getter in the state of California than Mercy Miller. In fact, he might have been the best scorer in the country. The University of Houston-bound guard averaged nearly 30 points per game (29.8) and shot 51 percent from the field. Miller scored from everywhere on the court. He managed to score against double teams, in transition, in halfcourt sets. He scored 30 or more points in 16 games and recorded a 68-point performance.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Peyton White, Crespi, Junior

Crespi’s Peyton White, #5, drives to the basket as Harvard-Westlake’s Nikolas Khamenia, #4, defends on the play during the Mission League boys basketball tournament final at Harvard-Westlake on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The anchor in the middle for Crespi, Peyton White epitomized hustle and determination for the Celts this season. The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 0.9 steals per game. He sacrificed his body night in and night out, diving for loose balls, guarding bigger players and absorbing punishment down low for the betterment of his team. Crespi head coach Derek Fisher described White as the “glue” of the team. “What we’re doing starts with his physicality and presence in the middle,” Fisher said.

BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Justin Pippen, Sierra Canyon, Senior

Sierra Canyon’s Justin Pippen, #1, drives the ball as Harvard-Westlake’s Christian Horry, #15, defends during the second round of the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

What a difference a year made for Justin Pippen, who nearly quadrupled his scoring average from his junior year to his senior year. Pippen went from averaging 4.5 to 16.5 points per game, adding 4.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 steals per game. On a team that boasted several explosive athletes, Pippen stood out as the operator of Sierra Canyon’s offense and a vital on-ball defender. The 6-foot-3 guard displayed his excellent passing skills as a point guard and also showed his scoring prowess as an off guard. Pippen recently announced his commitment to the University of Michigan.

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Grayson Coleman, Calabasas

Calabasas got off to a 7-0 start this season behind stellar play from Grayson Coleman, who was named the MVP of the West Valley Tip-off Classic. The freshman point guard showcased his dribbling skills to find his way to spots on the floor and unleash his smooth jumper. He displayed his ability to score from downtown, from midrange and in the paint. Coleman averaged 14.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

ALL-AREA TEAM

Alijah Arenas, Chatsworth, Sophomore

The sophomore sensation led Chatsworth to the CIF State Division IV final, breaking the division scoring record in a championship game with 44 points. Arenas’ scoring total is second all-time in any division.Arenas also scored 53 points in a playoff game. He averaged 33 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Anto Balian, Pilibos, Junior

The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 30.1 points per game, helping lead his team to a 21-8 overall record. Balian was just a hair shy of averaging a double-double, recording 9.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game.

Elias Chin, Thousand Oaks, Senior

Mr. Do-It-All for Thousand Oaks, Chin nearly averaged a triple-double on the season with 22 points, 9.9 rebounds and 7 assists per game. The Marmonte League MVP led the Lancers to a share of the league crown and a deep run in the CIF Southern Section Division 2AA playoffs. Chin is the all-time Thousand Oaks leader in career points, rebounds and assists.

James Evans, West Ranch, Senior

He led his team in scoring and helped guide West Ranch to the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs. Evans was selected to the All CIF-SS Division 1 team and will be playing at UNLV next year.

Robert Hinton, Harvard-Westlake, Senior

The Harvard commit was the steady hand that guided the Wolverines this season. Arguably the smoothest midrange shooter in the state, Hinton held averages of 16 points and five rebounds per game and was Harvard-Westlake’s leading scorer in the CIF State Open Division championship game with 19 points.

Nikolas Khamenia, Harvard-Westlake, Junior

Khamenia continues to improve year after year. His offensive patience in the post was crucial for the Wolverines as he was often looked upon to settle things down when things got hectic. Khamenia averaged 14 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4 assists per game. Khamenia joined his teammate Hinton as an All-CIF-SS Open Division team selection.

Lino Mark, Notre Dame, Junior

The junior guard attacked the basket with fervor. Mark averaged 15.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2 steals per game for CIF-SS Division 1 champion Notre Dame. He was named to the All-CIF-SS Division 1 team.

Mazi Mosley, St. Francis, Junior

The 6-foot-5 guard made scoring look effortless, using his athleticism and length to elevate over defenders. Mosley was named the MVP of the King’s Academy tournament early in the season and was selected to the All-CIF-SS Division 1 team.

Dillan Shaw, Heritage Christian, Junior

The Warriors made deep playoff runs in both the CIF-SS Division 2AA playoffs and the CIF State Division II playoffs thanks in large part to major contributions from Shaw. The 6-foot-7 versatile wing averaged 21 points and 7 rebounds per game.

Joe Sterling, Crespi, Sophomore

Sterling exhibited his long-range ability night in and night out. The sophomore averaged 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game on his way to an All CIF-SS Division 2AA team selection. Sterling made a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to upset Sierra Canyon in overtime in the Mission League tournament.

Related Articles

High School Sports |


Calabasas, Royal wrestlers earn Scholar All-American recognition

High School Sports |


Hart baseball gives coach Jim Ozella a meaningful victory in his final Foothill League game

High School Sports |


Westlake baseball shuts out Oaks Christian to win first league title since 2011

High School Sports |


Oaks Christian softball beats Westlake to win third straight league title

High School Sports |


Daily News track and field: Results from Mt. SAC Relays

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *