ALL-SAN DIEGO SECTION
Player of the Year
JAYLEN HANDS, FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN
By NICK SHOOK
With a signed letter of intent to attend and play for UCLA, Foothills Christian’s Jaylen Hands is the most notable name to come from the San Diego Section in 2016-17, but the section named Taeshon Cherry the Player of the Year after the 6-foot-9 junior led the Saints to the San Diego Section Open Division title in a three-point win over Torrey Pines. Cherry averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds in 2016-17, and has another year of high school to look forward to, as he’s only a junior.
Hands, meanwhile, is off to Westwood after registering just one season at Foothills Christian. Hands’ Knights fell to Cherry’s Saints in the San Diego Section Open Division semifinals, but the guard was the section’s leading scorer at 29.2 points per game, shooting 52 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc. Hands took it a step further, scoring 14 points in the McDonald’s All-American Game, in which he was teammates with fellow first-teamer Brandon McCoy.
Coach of the Year
CHAD BICKLEY, SANTA FE CHRISTIAN
Chad Bickley is the Prep2Prep SDS Coach of the Year.
By ERIC HE
He led a basketball team in a school with an enrollment of 400 students to its first CIF Title since 2006, and he did so with a roster consisting of no Division I scholarship players. For leading Santa Fe Christian to a turnaround season, Chad Bickley is Prep2Prep’s San Diego Section Coach of the Year.
“It was unbelievable,” Bickley told Prep2Prep. “A dream season.”
After going 11-19 last season, the Eagles went 21-11, overcoming a six-game losing streak to roll through the San Diego Section CIF playoffs and even advancing a round in the Division III CIF State playoffs, beating Vista Murrieta in the first round.
Bickley credited his players for buying into the team’s vision to propel the K-12 school to a section title.
“We don’t get a lot of kids who come to our school from the outside,” he said. “We don’t get that. We had a vision, a goal to just compete.”
Santa Fe Christian battled through a six-game losing streak late in the year, all of which were close losses.
“The fact that we knew we were playing the top teams in San Diego and we were right there,” said Bickley, who noted his team had one of the toughest schedules in the section. “Through that whole process, we came closer together and we really focused on the little details.”
And they did, winning five of their last six games to enter the playoffs hot. For a team lacking in standout talent, Bickley said it was all about players committing to the team.
“It says a lot about team, a lot about guys buying into their role,” he said. “It was amazing to watch, especially down the stretch. Everybody did their job.”
FIRST TEAM ALL-SDS
JJ Overton, Rancho Bernardo
Overton led a two-year turnaround at Rancho Bernardo, when the team improved from 16-13 in 2014-15 to 21-9 in 2015-16, and 21-6 in the regular season in 2016-17, good for a Palomar League title,
their first since 2004.
Though the Broncos’ season ended early in an upset loss to Westview, Overton heads to college with his head high after a season the Broncos’ faithful won’t soon forget.
Robby Robinson, Kearny
Robinson’s Kearny Komets had a rough season, going 14-13 in the regular season and losing in the first round of the section’s Division I playoffs, but his individual performance during the season merited selection to the section’s first team.
SECOND TEAM ALL-SDS
Taurus Samuels, Vista
Samuels led Vista on a 10-game win streak that ended in a loss to Torrey Pines in the Open Division playoffs, but he had his highlights before the defeat. Samuels scored 19 points in the win over Mission Hills in the tournament’s quarterfinals, and has another season to look forward to before graduation.
Otto Taylor, St. Augustine
Taylor was an integral part of a St. Augustine team that won the Open Division section title before falling to Mater Dei in the state tournament. Taylor went 105-24 in four years at St. Augustine under head coach Mike Haupt, including a 45-3 mark in the Western League. The Saints upset Sierra Canyon, which featured Marvin Bagley III and Cody Riley, in the state playoffs before the loss to Mater Dei.
Miles Norris, Helix
Norris is garnering all of the attention on the national scene, attracting scholarship offers from a number of programs, including UCLA, St. John’s, Arizona, Washington, Oregon and USC, among others. The 6-foot-9 forward is the third-ranked power forward in California according to Scout, and has another season left to play at Helix before graduating.
Jake Gilliam, Torrey Pines
Gilliam has been lauded by his coach for having great hands and footwork and being the leader of the Falcons, despite his going overlooked on the major basketball scene. No matter for
the forward, who scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in an Under Armour Holiday Classic win over Los Angeles power Fairfax.
Lions coach Steve Baik told the San Diego Union-Tribune: “Are (college recruiters) nuts? That kid can play. He can help someone.”
Help he did for Torrey Pines, which finished 28-5, with their season-ending losses coming against eventual champion St. Augustine in the San Diego Section playoffs, and to state champion Bishop Montgomery. Gilliam
recently announced on Twitter that he has accepted a preferred walk-on spot at the University of San Diego.
THIRD TEAM ALL-SDS
Owen Aschieris, Santa Fe Christian
Aschieris was part of a Santa Fe Christian team that won the CIF Division 1 title over Lincoln. The guard averaged 22 points per game and had a season-high of 41 points during a memorable season in which the Eagles won their first state championship since 2006.
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