ALL-CENTRAL COAST SECTION
Player of the Year
JAKE WOJCIK, BELLARMINE
By NATE SMITH
The 6-foot-4 Wojcik served as the epitome of Bellarmine’s surge to the top of the WCAL this season, someone who possesses an all-around game, yet also came through as a scorer when needed, especially in clutch moments.
One such example was in the Bells’ final game of the regular season, striving for a perfect 14-0 mark in league play against St. Ignatius. Trailing by six entering the final quarter, Wojcik put the team on his back, scoring 15 of his 24 points in the final eight minutes as Bellarmine completed a perfect campaign in the most difficult league in the Central Coast Section.
“He has East Coast roots, and it shows in the way he plays the game,” said Bellarmine coach Patrick Schneider. “He gets after it, in practice and games, and just plays a physical brand of basketball.”
Wojcik, who is committed to Siena, averaged 15.6 points per game for the Bells, along with four rebounds and two assists per game. He may have made an impression on Schneider for his physical nature, but he also showed the ability to shoot the lights out when necessary.
One such opportunity came in a mid-January game against St. Francis, trailing by seven early in the game. Wojcik, whose father Dave is the head basketball coach at San Jose State, then drilled five three-pointers and finished with 21 points, as the Bells rolled to a 17-point victory. The junior standout poured in 21 points once again when the Bells and the Lancers met in the CCS Open Division semifinals.
“He’s a leader by example, and came through in the biggest games, when we needed it most,” Schneider added.
That was an important attribute for a team that faced six league champions during the season, and still posted a 25-win campaign.
“Our leaders, like Jake, played great all season, against great competition. It wasn’t just in league play,” Schneider said. “(Jake) also played a bit more relaxed this season, after having already committed to Siena for his college career.”
Wojcik will return for his senior season, one of eight returners for the Bells in 2018. For now, he is the 2017 Prep2Prep CCS Player of the Year.
Coach of the Year
PETER DIEPENBROCK, PALO ALTO
Peter Diepenbrock led Palo Alto to the CCS Division I title and the CIF NorCal Division I regional final and is the Prep2Prep CCS Coach of the Year.
By NATE SMITH
Homeless for the past couple seasons, that fact did little to deter the Vikings, who won 26 games, captured the SCVAL-De Anza title, the CCS Division I title, and advanced to the CIF NorCal Division I regional final.
With the new Palo Alto gym under construction – it will be done next month – the Vikings found places to practice on a weekly, and sometimes, daily basis.
“It ended up being kind of funny, how the guys had to wait each day sometimes to find out where we were going for practice,” said Palo Alto coach Peter Diepenbrock. “It became one of those things that enabled us to come together as a team.”
Diepenbrock realized early this year that the Vikings could be something special. Even with a floor leader such as senior point guard Miles Tention, Palo Alto’s greatest asset would be its depth.
“At the start of the year, we knew our biggest strength would be our numbers, not any one player who dominated,” Diepenbrock said. “We had a roster filled with really good high school players. That’s why we ran the up-tempo style.”
Palo Alto also prepared for the rigors of the De Anza Division by playing some of the best teams possible in its non-league schedule. The result was a few grueling close losses, two of them by three points each to eventual WCAL champion Bellarmine and to CCS Open Division semifinalist St. Francis. A loss to PAL-South champion Menlo-Atherton likely cost the Vikings a berth in the Open Division playoffs, something that was cemented two games later with a loss to Los Gatos, the only loss in league play for the Vikings.
As a result of those narrow losses – all to elite competition – Palo Alto wound up in a position where it needed to win the CCS Division I title in order to reach the NorCal playoffs.
“Those tough non-league losses were three opportunities where we competed, but didn’t quite get it done,” Diepenbrock said. “We knew we had to make the most of our opportunities late in the season as a result of that.”
After finding a style that worked for his team, Diepenbrock recalled the fact that it came down to players making plays in big situations. That started with Tention in the CCS Division I semifinals against Cupertino, scoring 13 of his game-high 29 points in the final four minutes. Next game, in the section championship against Los Gatos, it was another big game from Max Dorward – who posted a double-double against the Wildcats – while Will Schlemmer and Spencer Rojahn came up with huge plays down the stretch. Rojahn’s three-pointer as time expired captured the Division I crown and lifted Paly into the state playoffs.
“I will remember this team as one that fulfilled its potential when it counted at the end of the game,” Diepenbrock said. “We needed to play very well late in those games, and those kids came through.”
The state playoffs brought even more memorable moments for the Vikings. In the opening game against Fremont-Oakland, Paly found itself down by 12 points before catching fire in the second half, while Dorward dominated the final minute of the game for the two-point victory. That pitted the Vikings against top seeded Dublin in the regional quarterfinals.
“The Dublin game will always stand out to me,” Diepenbrock stated. “I said ‘wow’ when I watched them on film. We needed to play our very best game against them, and we did just that.”
The Vikings continued their amazing run one more time, as Diepenbrock’s squad steadily pulled away from St. Mary’s-Stockton in the regional semifinals before seeing their season end in the regional final against James Logan. Regardless, it had become a season for the ages on the Palo Alto campus.
For guiding his team through the everyday uncertainty and a schedule filled with elite opponents, resulting in an amazing level of success, Palo Alto’s Peter Diepenbrock is the 2017 Prep2Prep CCS Coach of the Year.
Other coaches considered for this award: Bellarmine’s Patrick Schneider, Monterey’s Greg Daniels, and St. Francis-Watsonville’s Ed Kelly.
FIRST TEAM ALL-CCS
Jamaree Bouyea, Palma
Bouyea was named MVP of the MBL-Gabilan for the second straight year, averaging nearly 19 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists per game. Palma went 36-0 in MBL-Gabilan play during his three years on the varsity level, during which time he averaged double digits in scoring for all three seasons.
Logan Johnson, St. Francis
The Co-MVP of the WCAL may be leaving St. Francis early, heading to Florida next school year, but he leaves behind a strong legacy. Johnson averaged 18 points, eight rebounds, and four assists per game for the Lancers, who reached the CCS Open Division semifinals. He had 24 points in a NorCal quarterfinal win over Burbank, and scored 29 points in the NorCal regional final.
Angelo Athens, Bellarmine
The first-team All-WCAL selection controlled the backcourt for the Bells, which was arguably even more important than the 13.4 points per game he averaged during the season. In addition, Athens contributed four assists, four rebounds, and two steals per game. He also hit one of the season’s biggest shots, banking in a three-pointer as time expired to down Serra early in the WCAL schedule.
Jake Wojcik, Bellarmine
The 6-foot-4 junior led the Bells in scoring with 15.6 points per game, and earned Co-MVP honors in the WCAL. His 23-point performance against Valley Christian locked up Bellarmine’s first league title in 16 years, and his two late free throws to secure a one-point win over St. Ignatius displayed the ice in his veins. He also went for 21 points in a CCS Open Division semifinal victory over St. Francis.
Riley Grigsby, Mitty
The first-team All-WCAL selection averaged nearly 17 points and over eight rebounds per game. He really produced down the stretch, with 20 points in a CCS title game win over Bellarmine and 28 points in a NorCal Open Division loss to Sheldon. In the season opener, Grigsby dropped 28 points in a win over eventual NorCal Division II champion Moreau Catholic.
SECOND TEAM ALL-CCS
Miles Tention, Palo Alto
Tention was named MVP of the SCVAL-De Anza after leading the Vikings to a CCS Division I title and a berth in the CIF NorCal Division I title game. He displayed multiple aspects of his game as a floor general, registering 10 assists in a NorCal semifinal win over St. Mary’s-Stockton, but also shined as a scorer, especially in a 29-point effort against Cupertino in the CCS semifinals.
Eric Norton, Menlo-Atherton
Norton was named MVP of the PAL-South after leading the Bears to a regular-season division title and a berth in the CCS Open Division playoff bracket. He also led M-A past Oakland Tech in the first round of the NorCal playoffs and nearly carried his team to a comeback against Heritage in the quarterfinals. He had 23 points in a regular-season win over Sequoia to clinch the division championship.
N’Jai LeBlanc, Jr., Sequoia
LeBlanc led the Cherokee to a 25-win season, including a win over Menlo-Atherton in the PAL tournament championship, and wins over both M-A and Serra in the CCS Open Division playoffs. He averaged 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game, including a season-high 33 points against Westmoor and 28 points in a CIF NorCal regional loss to Folsom.
Dylan Belquist, Los Gatos
The 6-foot-6 junior averaged nearly 19 points and eight rebounds per game for the Wildcats, who reached the CCS Division I title game. He had seven double-doubles during the year, including a 21-point, 10-rebound performance against Piedmont Hills in the section semifinals, and a season-high 29 points and 19 rebounds in a regular season win over El Camino.
Kendall Stubblefield, Bellarmine
Stubblefield was the force down low for the WCAL champion Bells, including a team-high 20 points in a one-point win over St. Ignatius. He added a tough 12 points in a CCS Open Division win over Menlo-Atherton, and earlier had 17 points in a big win over St. Francis during the regular season.
THIRD TEAM ALL-CCS
Kobe Ordonio, Monterey
The first-team MBL-Gabilan selection led the Toreadores to their first-ever CCS basketball title, beating Saratoga to capture the Division 3 crown. Ordonio played his best when it mattered most, pouring in 29 points in a semifinal win over Jefferson, and topping that with a 34-point, six-rebound performance against Saratoga. For the season, he averaged 17 points per game.
Darrion Trammell, St. Ignatius
The explosive first-team All-WCAL guard nearly carried the Wildcats past Mitty in the CCS Open Division semifinals, with 17 points, and had one of the best quarters of any player in the state this season, when he scored 19 of his game-high 22 points in the third quarter of a win over Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Sean Orr, Westmoor
The Most Valuable Player in the PAL-North Division, Orr averaged 18.8 points per game, and had a season-high 40 points in a win over Monta Vista. He also averaged over 10 rebounds per game, and posted 10 double-doubles during the season.
Eugene Liao, Mountain View
The Most Valuable Player in the SCVAL-El Camino, Liao led the Spartans to a CCS Division II title, averaging 16.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. One of his top performances came in the CIF NorCal playoffs against Beyer, with 26 points and four blocks. He scored in double digits every night during the post-season, including a 16-point, eight-rebound, three-block performance in a title game win over Valley Christian.
Jacob Mihanovic, St. Francis
The first-team All-WCAL selection was able to take over inside when needed for the Lancers, evidenced by a monster 32-point, 11-rebound performance against Serra during the regular season. His best performance, however, likely came in the CIF NorCal playoffs, when he exploded for 35 points in a win over Grant-Sacramento.
Rene Hurtado, Adriano Betancourt
CRYSTAL SPRINGS UPLANDS:
EASTSIDE COLLEGE PREP:
Dominick Simpkins, Vreesh Neralagi
Mrad Abrha, Christian Futch
HALF MOON BAY:
Ethan Menzies, Andrew Saffold
Jordan Ishimaru, Jadrien Ishimaru
Daniel Benjamin, Rodney Lawrence
Collin Hill, Dylan Johnston
Josh McMillan, Doug White
Joe Foley, Riley Woodson
MONTE VISTA CHRISTIAN:
Ausage Siamu, Brennan Goulding
NORTH MONTEREY COUNTY:
Se Jin Kim
Nikhil Manimaran, Cameron Jones
Goose Persin, Demarri Floyd
SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL:
Emmett Neal, Jr.
SACRED HEART PREP:
SAN LORENZO VALLEY:
Jackson Turner, Tanner Murray
Jack Wilson, Parker McDonald
Kenzeddie Williams, Luke Walton
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO:
ST. FRANCIS CCC:
Sandor Rene Rodriquez, Jason Gallo
Brandon Beckman, Matt Redmond
THE KING'S ACADEMY:
Jamez Booker, Vincenzo Mola
TC Wegner, Adam Brockett
Turner Meeker, Mikel Henry