Watch: New-look Sage Hill girls basketball outduels Buena Park in Cali Live semifinals

Buena Park's returning core – guards Bella Harmon, Gloria Barrera, and Mya Barnes, and forward/center Alanna White – formed one of the state's better quartets last season, and in 2024-25 it should be one of the Southern Section's very best
Photo by Lance Smith

LADERA RANCH, CALIFORNIA – Sage Hill and Buena Park both made statements with their strong work last weekend at Cali Live.

But when they ran into each other in the semifinals in the ABT (top) Division, someone had to lose, and neither team was about to go down without a fight.

Sage Hill prevailed 64-59 to hand the Coyotes only loss either team would sustain all weekend, advancing to a finals meeting with Brentwood School. Amalia Holguin, Kamdyn Klamberg, and incoming freshman Addison Uphoff combined for 47 points in a balanced scoring effort for Sage Hill.


  • Sage Hill digs 'deep'
  • The Lightning just graduated one of the best senior classes in the entire country, and return just one starter, Holguin, plus two impact reserves in Klamberg and Alyssa Cuff. Yet based on their Cali Live performance, they look like one of the deepest teams in California. And they're still filled with long, quick wings in the vicinity of six feet tall. What gives?

    Well, Holguin is one of the top point guards in the state, Klamberg is a burgeoning star as well, Cuff was a force in the starting lineup, and Sage Hill had at least seven new faces that look like solid starting-caliber players right off the bat.

    The rest of Sage Hill's roster at Cali Live consisted of returning reserves Audrey Reynolds and Fin Callero, freshmen Uphoff, Eve Fowler, Aoki Perry, and Leah O'Toner, and high-caliber transfers Mei-Ling Perry (La Jolla Country Day) and Isabella Rose (Northwood). Nearly every one of those players saw the floor, played consistent meaningful minutes, and legitimately contributed to winning throughout the showcase, with several of them getting some crunch-time reps.

    Uphoff led the Lightning with 17 points, Holguin had 16 points, four assists, and four steals, and Klamberg scored nearly all of her 14 points in the second half.

    • Buena Park's 'core four' is among California's best

    This one was more of a reminder or reiteration than an observation from this one game or showcase, but it still needs to be said. Buena Park's returning core – guards Bella Harmon, Gloria Barrera, and Mya Barnes, and forward/center Alanna White – formed one of the state's better quartets last season, and in 2024-25 it should be one of the Southern Section's very best.

    The Coyotes looked like they meant business, taking down St. Mary's (Stockton) and Clovis before giving Sage Hill all it could handle. And on Saturday, Buena Park turned heads with a 71-62 win against Windward for third place.

    Against the Lightning, Alanna White led Buena Park with 23 points and Gloria Barrera added 16, with both grabbing nine rebounds as well.

    • Division I coaches pack the sidelines

    Along with the other ABT semifinal, in which Brentwood School edged out rival Windward, this matchup might've had the most college coaches watching of any all weekend. It may have featured as many as 15 future college hoopers, and scouts might've struggled to stay focused on their assignments with so many high-upside players getting chances in the spotlight.

    During evaluation periods, also known as "live viewing periods", NCAA coaches get rare opportunities to scout players in person at certified events. With dead periods and quiet periods taking up most of the summer, live periods provide the majority of the very few chances for those college scouts to watch players from May through August. No contact between NCAA D-1 or D-2 coaches and recruits is allowed during evaluation periods.

    Other top CIF-Southern Section teams at Cali Live included Brentwood School, Moreno Valley, Windward, Fairmont Prep, St. Anthony, North (Torrance), St. Mary's Academy, Orange Lutheran, Village Christian, Mira Costa, Harvard-Westlake, Redondo Union, Santiago (Corona), Bishop Montgomery, Ventura, San Clemente, and many other prominent programs.

    The showcase was also well-represented by SoCal's other two sections, the CIF-L.A. City Section and CIF-San Diego Section. Six of last season's eight Open Division City selections were in attendance – Birmingham, Palisades, King/Drew, Hamilton, Granada Hills Charter, and El Camino Real. And the CIF-SDS had a slew of representatives across numerous divisions, including Open Division champion Mission Hills, Bonita Vista, Francis Parker, Victory Christian Academy, and Carlsbad.

    Many other big-name programs came from out of the area and even outside the state to play as well, with the CIF-Central Section particularly well-represented by the likes of St. Joseph, Caruthers, Clovis, Central (Fresno), Bakersfield Christian, San Joaquin Memorial, Monache, and Morro Bay. Northern California contenders on-site included Acalanes, Pinewood, McClatchy, Vanden, St. Mary's (Stockton), and Cardinal Newman, and out-of-state strongholds Camas (WA), Jefferson (OR), and Democracy Prep Agassi Campus (NV) also made the trip to Southern Orange County.

    Published |Modified
    Lance Smith