Austin Larson, playing for Redding Christian as a senior this past winter, is on a couple of teams for the Redding 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament this weekend at the Redding Civic Auditorium. (Photo by Mike Daly/Shasta County Sports)
The Redding 3-on-3 basketball tournament at the Redding Civic Auditorium is a true North State spectacle. From the youngsters to the “old(er)” players, the 3-on-3 marks the passing of not just generations, but the passing of the torch.
In the lead to the this weekend’s tournament, Shasta County Sports – a sponsor of the tournament – is taking a look at three groups of players to keep an eye on. We’re calling them “The Legends,” “The Present” and “The Future.”
“The Legends” are guys and gals who’ve cut their teeth playing 3-on-3 over the years. Not only 3-on-3 veterans, these players have starred in high school, and perhaps college, and continue to bring their A-game to the June courts at 3-on-3.
“The Present” looks at those players currently making a name for themselves on the high school hardwood of the Northern Section. These are the prep players who fill the stories, rankings and photo galleries of Shasta County Sports on a nightly basis.
“The Future,” well, those are the kids who have shown they have game and working on moving up the ladder. These are the boys and girls whose names you’ll start hearing in the next few years.
Austin Larson, Redding Christian: There aren’t many people in California history who scored 1,000 points in a single high school basketball season. Larson is one of them — actually one of 24 ever. He scored 29.8 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished 6 assists every night for the Lions, who won a Northern Section championship. There should always be a crowd around whatever court Larson is on.
Nawoj Cawker, Central Valley: Playing on Team Style Boiz, Cawker was a bright spot for the Falcons. He dropped 11 points per night and was an honorable mention on the Shasta County Sports All-County team. Keep an eye out for the kid who can easily catch fire from downtown in a hurry.
Khristian Clements, Enterprise: Playing on Pink Fluffy Unicorn. The Hornets’ big man was a first-team all section and All-County choice. Headed to play for Kele Fitzhugh at Shasta College, he averaged 13 and 7 for the Hornets last season.
Josiah Hutt, Foothill: Playing on Team Soldiers. Hutt was the Shasta County boys basketball MVP this past winter. He can score anywhere on the floor, using his 6-foot-4 frame to protect himself inside or bury from deep. Give him an ISO situation and look out.
Armal Dhinsa, Shasta: Playing on Team Benchwarmers. Dhinsa joins a few others and looks for a 3-on-3 three peat. In his first year at Shasta, Dhinsa, a sharpshooter, scored 6.1 per night as a junior.
Hunter Edwards, Foothill: Playing on Team Elevate. Edwards, a sophomore played significant minutes in the Cougars’ deep NorCal postseason run. Coming off the bench, the defensive-minded Edwards averaged 3.2 per night and contributed in other ways. He’s also on the 3-on-3 poster.
Sadie Alexander, Redding Christian: The second-team All-Shasta County sharpshooter and relentless defender helped the Lions to the Northern Section title and a deep run in the NorCal playoffs. She averaged 13.4 points as a junior.
Sean Proscher, West Valley: Every 3 on 3 team needs a sharpshooter. Proscher, a first team All-County pick is a true scorer inside and out. He’s on Team Benchwarmers.
Madi Friebel, U-Prep: The Panthers incoming senior is as good at volleyball as she is a basketball player — and that’s saying something as she’s an All-Section setter. Friebel scored 9.2 per night for U-Prep and was a second team All-County basketball player.
Taryn Giacomelli, Shasta: Playing on Trippin Ballz. Giacomelli showed the future is bright for the Wolves, playing varsity as a sophomore (along with fellow sophs Isabelle Smith, Ella Rordriguez, Ginny Kendall and Katie Poletski). Giacomelli scored 4 points per night for Shasta with other stats spread out across the board.
Logan Hawes, U-Prep: Playing on Team Benchwarmers. Joining Dhinsa, Hawes helped the Panthers to their first Section title, the share of the NAL crown and averaged 9.5 points and 7 boards.
Demarreya Lewis-Cooper, Enterprise: The freshman phenom was sensational last winter and the sky’s the limit. He was a third-team All-County choice who averaged 10 for the Hornets but assumed the role as the floor general, playing above his years. His father, Disco Cooper, is also a 3-on-3 veteran.
Jaydn Matthews, Enterprise: The reigning Northern Section MVP is headed to Division I Weber State in the fall to play basketball. A four-year varsity stud, Matthews averaged 21 and 10 last season to help the Hornets to the NorCal Division II title game.
Drew Nelson-Crowell, Redding Christian: Playing on Style Boiz. The Lions’ big fella was a great complement to Austin Larson as Redding Christian made it to the Division VI NorCal championship game. Nelson, a sophomore, averaged 12 and 10 for RC.
Mianna Saechao, Enterprise: The Hornets’ sharpshooter averaged 6.7 and was deadly from beyond the arc. She returns for coach Anthony Williams and will bring experience back, along with rising sophomore Abby Shoff, for the east siders.
Christian Teague, Anderson: Playing on Style Boiz. The scrappy Teague averaged 10.6 for Big Blue. A big moment for Teague was the game-winning putback against West Valley in the Cubs’ own tournament.
Caden Turner, Shasta: Playing on Team Slime Season, Turner is a basketball player through and through. A multiple-time winner at 3-on-3, the graduated Shasta Wolves point guard averaged 13.1 and was named to the All-County second team.
Matteo Mancasola, American Christian: The youngest of the three Mancasola boys (the older two are listed on “The Legends”) scored over 1,700 points in his high school career and helped the Eagles reach the Northern Section Division VI finals this past winter.
Sammie Wunner, Redding Christian: The Lions’ post was a key component in the section title and NorCal postseason as a dominant small school center. Wunner averaged 13 and 7 points per night and was named to the All-County third team.
Dojah Alido, Central Valley: Like many players out at 3 on 3, Alido is on multiple teams. He’s best described as a crafty point guard who can shoot. In a half-court game, Alido’s passing ability comes in handy when you can squeeze a pass between defenders for a layup.
Jordan McCoy, U-Prep: McCoy barely fits into the “The Present” category, finishing her steller freshman year that led to a scoring clip of 10.1 points per night. She was an All-County selection and the future looks bright for the U-Prep Panther.