High schools: Patterson named Sierra Valley Conference’s MVP

Liberty Ranch guard Jalen Patterson (2) tries to slip past Sonora's Austin Patterson (20) and Cole Edwards (3) in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV boys basketball title game at Golden 1 Center on Feb. 27.

Jalen Patterson has his college plans all wrapped up after signing last month to play basketball for Arizona Western College, a junior college in Yuma, Ariz.

Now the Liberty Ranch senior and Sierra Valley Conference MVP has one more accolade to add to the list after CalHiSports named him to the Division IV All-State First Team this week.

“It’s a cool honor, but it wouldn’t have happened without my teammates,” Patterson said. “I think everybody takes part in it. They all helped me in practice to get better. The more winning we did, the more attention I got.”

Liberty Ranch went 18-15 in the 2019-20 season, and 7-3 in the SVC, before a strong postseason run that saw the Hawks advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section final (a loss to Sonora) and the NorCal playoffs (a loss to Hoover of Fresno).

All this happened in the team’s first season after Josh Williams stepped down and Brian Chavez took over. That is what Patterson will remember most about his senior season.

“That playoff run, and everybody doubting us all summer, and then we get back to the Golden One Center,” Patterson said. “All the adversity we fought through in month of December, it was pretty tough in December with all of our injuries, and then we started off 2020 with a 5- or 6- game win streak.”

Patterson averaged 28.1 points per game this winter, along with 6.6 rebounds and 6.3 assists, as the Hawks went 18-15 overall, and 7-3 in the SVC.

In his four-year high school varsity career, Patterson racked up 2,933 points — including 264 3-pointers and 551 free throws — 561 rebounds, 673 assists and 277 steals.

Several other players from the area were named to the All-State teams. Another from the SVC is Bradshaw Christian’s Jaylen Patterson, a junior who was named to the Division 5 first team. From the Tri-City Athletic League, Modesto Christian senior Michael Pearson was named to the Division I/Open fourth team, and St. Mary’s senior Jamar Marshal was named to the Division II first team.

From the Central California Athletic Alliance, Brookside Christian junior Geronimo De La Rosa joined Patterson on the Division IV first team, as did Hoover of Fresno’s Alfred George, who helped knock Liberty Ranch from the state playoffs.

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