Daily News All-Area girls basketball: Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph is the player of the year

DAILY NEWS ALL-AREA GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM 2023-24

Daily News all-area girls basketball player of the year, Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Mackenley Randolph, Sierra Canyon, Senior

Mackenly Randolph always smiles. Off the court, on the court and especially in front of the basketball world’s growing interest in her.

“Even if I’m having a bad day, you gotta smile,” Randolph said.

There were many reasons for the Louisville-bound Randolph to smile, even in the stresses of the recruiting process, throughout her career at Sierra Canyon.

She set Sierra Canyon records in career points with 2,056 and career rebounds with 1,318. She averaged 16.4 points per game, 11.7 rebounds per game and four assists per game as a senior and was a catalyst in the Trailblazers’ road to a 10-0 Mission League title.

Randolph, a McDonalds All-American, remembers visiting Sierra Canyon in eighth grade, excited about the prospect of moving from Memphis to a SoCal school. Her freshman year was during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t stifle her development, especially in terms of maturity.

Daily News all-area girls basketball player of the year, Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Daily News all-area girls basketball player of the year, Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Daily News all-area girls basketball player of the year, Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Daily News all-area girls basketball player of the year, Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Daily News all-area girls basketball player of the year, Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph, (#4), looks to score against Etiwanda their during the CIF State Open Division girls basketball regional championship game at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., March 5, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph grabs a rebound against Ontario Christian in the Open Division regional semifinals March 2, 2024.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Mackenly Randolph is joined by her teammates on the Sierra Canyon girls basketball team after being presented with her jersey for the McDonald’s All-American Game during a ceremony at the school Friday, March 1, (Photo by Haley Sawyer, LA Daily News/SCNG)

Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph (4) while against Mater Dei’s Kaeli Wynn in the final round of CIF-SS Open Division pool play, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Sierra Canyon School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph (4) is fouled while driving to the basket against Mater Dei’s Amaya Williams and Kaeli Wynn, right, in the final round of CIF-SS Open Division pool play, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Sierra Canyon School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph grabs a rebound against Mater Dei in the final round of CIF-SS Open Division pool play, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Sierra Canyon School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph looks to shoot against Mater Dei’s Jenessa Cotton in the final round of CIF-SS Open Division pool play, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Sierra Canyon School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph slaps hands with teammates during their game against Mater Dei in the final round of CIF-SS Open Division pool play, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Sierra Canyon School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph, left, gets past Etiwanda’s Jada Sanders to score a basket in the CIF-SS Open Division Championship basketball game in Anaheim on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

Sierra Canyon’s Mackenly Randolph puts up a shot against Ontario Christian in their CIF Southern Section Open Division playoff game February 15, 2023.(Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

MacKenly Randolph #4 of Sierra Canyon celebrates after with the trophy after defeating Archbishop Mitty 85-61 to win the CIF State Open Division girls basketball state championship game at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

MacKenly Randolph #4 of Sierra Canyon takes a free throw in the first half of a CIF State Open Division girls basketball state championship game against Archbishop Mitty at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Libby Cline Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

Crystal Wang #31 and MacKenly Randolph #4 of Sierra Canyon defend the basket from Morgan Cheli #33 of Archbishop Mitty in the first half of a CIF State Open Division girls basketball state championship game at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Libby Cline Birmingham, Contributing Photographer)

MacKenly Randolph #4 of Sierra Canyon celebrates after with the trophy after defeating Archbishop Mitty 85-61 to win the CIF State Open Division girls basketball state championship game at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

MacKenly Randolph #4 of Sierra Canyon celebrates after with the trophy after defeating Archbishop Mitty 85-61 to win the CIF State Open Division girls basketball state championship game at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Saturday, March 12, 2022. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Mackenly Randolph #4 of Sierra Canyon chases after the ball during the game against Christ The King during The Chosen-1’s Invitational at Staples Center on December 04, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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“Sierra Canyon has taught me a lot, definitely changed a lot,” Randolph said. “I started seeing the way my name was being held and the way people looked at me.

“I knew I had to straighten up, not necessarily like I was just out of control, but just doing certain things differently and just the way I carry myself in certain situations.”

@haleymsawyer

Sierra Canyon girls basketball player Mackenly Randolph is the second McDonald’s All-American after her dad and former NBA player Zach Randolph. #reporter #journalism #journalist #sports #basketball #nba #grizzlies #trailblazers #sierracanyon #highschoolbasketball #girlsbasketball #womensbasketball #louisville #girlpower #ncaabasketball #collegebasketball #michiganstate

♬ original sound – Haley Sawyer

She now heads into college basketball at a time when the sport has reached a crescendo. ESPN and ABC averaged 476,000 viewers during the women’s college basketball regular season and 18.9 viewers tuned into the national championship game to make it the most-viewed college basketball game (men’s or women’s) on ESPN platforms.

“Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese — they set this stage,” Randolph said. “They put us on the map. Women’s college basketball is in right now. Coming in at this time with fans, NIL, all that’s just gonna be at its peak. So I’m super excited to be a part of that.”

The Sierra Canyon memory that had Randolph smiling the most goes back to her freshman year. Her senior teammates scampered into her class with water guns as part of a senior prank, drenching any girls basketball players in sight at 9 a.m.

The Trailblazers rushed outside, spending the rest of the water-logged day outside together. Water guns have since been banned at Sierra Canyon, but Randolph says she’s been plotting her own senior prank ever since.

“Smiling is a big thing for me,” she said. “I just try and show that I am a regular person, there’s nothing really special. I can just put the ball in the basket a little bit better than some other people can.”

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Izzy Escribano, Canyon

Isabella “Izzy” Escribano quickly made a name for herself in the high school basketball world with her scoring abilities and tenacity. Her scoring average of 17.5 points per game ranked second on the team and her 77% free throw percentage led the team.

Escribano, a member of the 2023 U16/17 Mexican National Team, also averaged 2.8 assists per game and held a 40% shooting percentage.

BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jerzy Robinson, Sierra Canyon, Sophomore

Sierra Canyon’s Jerzy Robinson, (#5), drives the basketball against Etiwanda’s Arynn Finley, (#2),during the CIF State Open Division girls basketball regional championship game at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca., March 5, 2024. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Robinson won a gold medal at the 2023 FIBA Americas U16 Championships with Team USA just prior to joining Sierra Canyon and there was no drop-off in her performance.

The 6-foot-1 guard was nearly unstoppable on the court, averaging 22.5 points and 10.8 rebounds in her first season of Southern California basketball.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Melissa Hearlihy, Harvard-Westlake

Harvard-Westlake girls basketball coach Melissa Hearlihy congratulates Jamie Yue after defeating Notre Dame in the CIF SoCal Regional Division II final March 5, 2024. (Photo by Andy Holzman, Contributing Photographer)

Hearlihy guided the Wolverines to their first CIF state championship since 2010 through perseverance and dedication to defense.

Injuries had prevented Harvard-Westlake from finding consistency during the regular season, but a slow return to health and Hearlihy’s high standards of hard work took the team from a third-place finish to a Division II state title.

ALL-AREA TEAM

Izela Arenas, Sierra Canyon, Senior 

All-CIF Open Division, All-Mission League first team

Kimiko Carmer, Newbury Park, Junior

All-CIF Division 4AA

Mathis Dritz, Westlake, Sophomore

Marmonte League Player of the Year

Mariam Fahs, Burroughs, Junior

All-CIF Division 2A

Lindsay Gould, Oak Park, Senior

All-CIF Division 3AA, Coastal Canyon League co-MVP

Kate Hackney, Alemany, Senior

All Mission League first team

Nat Lopez, Birmingham, Senior

All-City Section Open Division co-player of the year

Morgan Mack, Hart, Junior

Foothill League player of the year

Cara McKell, Valencia, Sophomore

All-Foothill League first team

Destiny Onovo, Saugus, Senior

All-CIF Division 3AA, All-Foothill League first team

Emma Perez, Granada Hills Charter, Senior

All-City Section Open Division first team

Emma Schaaf, Trinity Classical Academy, Senior

Heritage League MVP

Taylor Swanson, Westlake, Junior

All-Marmonte League first team

Maddy Tauro, Calabasas, Senior 

All-Marmonte League first team

Deana Thompson, Harvard-Westlake, Junior

All-CIF Division 1, All Mission League first team

Alanna Topete, West Ranch, Senior

All-CIF Division 4A, All-Foothill League first team

Alyssa Saldana, Chaminade, Senior

All-Mission League first team

Eva Van Lokeren, Louisville, Junior

All-CIF Division 2A Player of the Year

Delaney White, Oak Park, Sophomore

Division 3AA Player of the Year, Coastal Canyon League co-MVP

Amia Witt, Notre Dame, Senior

All-CIF Division 2A, All Mission League first team

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