For the second consecutive season, Rancho Mirage senior guard Charles Neal was unquestionably the best basketball player in the Coachella Valley, and with that came the De Anza League Most Valuable Player award when the league’s postseason honors were released this week.
Through his career, Neal totaled 2,004 points and averaged 25.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.4 assists during his senior campaign. He also reached 101 wins during his four-year high school career, received his second league MVP award and likely will pick up his second All-CIF first team honor once that is released.
The last two seasons, his Rattlers went an undefeated 22-0 in DAL play and went 32-2 overall in the team’s three seasons in the league. In the postseason, Rancho Mirage made trips each of the last two seasons to the CIF Southern Section semifinals in Division 3A in 2016 and 3AA in 2017.
Three more of the Rattlers’ starting five were named to the first team as well, including junior big man Bryan Talley, junior guard Koby Alvarez and senior guard Matt Barajas-Tiedeman. Talley averaged 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while Barajas-Tiedeman scored 10 points and grabbed 8.3 rebounds per game. Alvarez averaged 8.2 points per contest and hit 58 3-pointers in the Rattlers’ 32 games.
Elsewhere on the De Anza League first team, Coachella Valley senior guard Eddie Gil was the Arabs’ lone member after leading the team in points on the season with 13.2 per game. Desert Hot Springs landed two players on the league’s first team in junior guard Darrell Johnson and senior guard Baylee Carter. Desert Mirage junior center Roberto Ayala also made the list.
All-De Anza League boys’ basketball team
MVP: Charles Neal (Rancho Mirage)
Rancho Mirage: Charles Neal, Bryan Talley, Matt Barajas-Tiedeman, Koby Alvarez
Desert Hot Springs: Baylee Carter, Darrell Johnson
Coachella Valley: Eddie Gil
Desert Mirage: Roberto Ayala
Rancho Mirage: Zack Kroker, Marques Prior
Desert Hot Springs: Joziaha Winfrey, Maurice Wright
Coachella Valley: Ramon Lopez
Desert Mirage: Luis Godinez
Rancho Mirage: Chris Albert
Desert Hot Springs: Kejuan Wyatt
Coachella Valley: Angel Ramos
Desert Mirage: Gerardo Daniels