Girls basketball: Mater Dei's Mosqueda-Lewis honored by Gatorade [UPDATED]
Mater Dei standout Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has been named the Gatorade California girls basketball player of the year. The 6-foot sophomore guard is one of the top players in the state, guiding the Monarchs to a Southern Section Division II-A title and a 31-0 record. Mater Dei is favored to win the CIF State Division II title next weekend in Sacramento (provided it gets past a tough Edison squad in tonight's SoCal regional semifinal).
Mosqueda-Lewis averaged 24 points during the regular season along with 6.4 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 3.0 assists. She is already a two-time Trinity League MVP and she took home MVP honors at each of the three tournaments the Monarchs played this season.
She tied a school record with 41 points in an 81-42 victory over Beverly Hills in the Southern Section Division II-A title game. Then, in the Southern Section Division II regional quarterfinals, she collected 29 points, nine rebounds and three assists, leading her team to a 85-26 victory over Garces.
"She's the best high school player I've ever seen," said Curtis Ekmark, head coach of Arizona power Phoenix St. Mary's, which played Mater Dei in the Nike Tournament of Champions. "We've got five Division I-caliber kids and we threw everything at her and couldn't slow her down. Her footwork is unbelievable, she's got tremendous poise and she shoots it so well, even off the dribble. She's a matchup nightmare. Just an amazing player."
Mosqueda-Lewis is the first female basketball player from Mater Dei to win this award. In addition, she boasts a 3.53 grade-point average and volunteers at local youth basketball camps and homeless shelters.
With the honor, Mosqueda-Lewis becomes eligible to be named the Gatorade national girls basketball player of the year later this month.
-- Austin Knoblauch and Melissa Rohlin
Photo: Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis grabs a rebound against Huntington Beach on Dec. 12, 2007. Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times