ALL-CENTRAL COAST SECTION
Player of the Year
JAKE WOJCIK, BELLARMINE
By ETHAN KASSEL
Jake Wojcik reached heights that few players in the WCAL have ever been able to, and for those successes, he is the Prep2Prep CCS Boys Basketball Player of the Year. In the past two years, he led Bellarmine to a 27-1 record in WCAL play, better than even the likes of Aaron Gordon over any two-year stretch. As a senior, he averaged 17 points per game and made 41.2 percent of his 3-point attempts.
“Jake leaves Bellarmine as the school leader in points, and, if it could be measured, competitive fire,” said head coach Patrick Schneider. “He hates to lose and he refused to back down to any game situation, and he was tremendous in giving his teammates confidence at moments in games where all the momentum was against us.”
Committed to Richmond, Wojcik’s hard-nosed play makes him much more than just a great shooter. He was always willing to defend the toughest opponents, set hard screens and hit the deck for loose balls. In a CCS semifinal victory where the St. Francis defense was dead-set on stopping him, Wojcik scored just five points, all from the line, but still had a significant positive effect on the game.
“It was Jake staying within the system that made a huge difference,” said Schneider after the Bells beat the Lancers for the third time on the season and sixth in the last two years. “He gave himself up to screen people and make good passes. It was so selfless of him, even when we were trying to get him open shots out of specials.”
He set the tone every single night, whether or not his shots were falling – and they usually did. Wojcik opened league play with a 21-point effort, including 9-for-11 at the free throw line, as Bellarmine held off an inspired comeback for an overtime road win over St. Ignatius.
Bellarmine’s memorable January 23 win over St. Francis before a packed home crowd had Wojcik’s mark all over it. He scored just three points until the final play of the third quarter, when he sank a go-ahead three to put the Bells up 48-46, and scored on back-to-back possessions with an up-and-under move and a three to make it 55-51.
He also participated in one of the most special moments of the season, helping escort best friend Logan Johnson during his Senior Night ceremony before the two faced off on St. Francis’ home floor. Wojcik went on to have a career night, with 22 points in the first half and 29 overall.
Regardless of the situation, Wojcik always managed to factor into his team’s achievements, and the Bells’ back-to-back league titles, their first in program history, wouldn’t have happened without him. He finished things off appropriately, dropping 24 on Mitty in the CCS Open Division Championship to erase painful memories of the prior year’s defeat.
Others players considered for this award include Los Gatos' Dylan Belquist, Palo Alto's Max Dorward, and Saint Francis' Logan Johnson.
Coach of the Year
PETER DIEPENBROCK, PALO ALTO
Palo Alto's Peter Diepenbrock is the Prep2Prep CCS Coach of the Year.
By ETHAN KASSEL
Not since John Elway left the NFL with the Lombardi Trophy has there been a better ride into the sunset than Peter Diepenbrock’s 2017-18 season at the helm of the Palo Alto basketball program.
The 26-4 Vikings were consistent, refined and dominant throughout the year, becoming the first public school to ever defeat a WCAL team in the CCS Open Division Quarterfinals and reaching the CIF Northern California Division I Championship Game.
While most powerhouse teams get complacent at times, Diepenbrock’s Vikings never seemed to waver.
“He did a great job preparing them for every opponent, never underselling them,” said assistant coach Rich Forslund. “They always came in ready to go, knowing what their opponent’s strengths were.”
Palo Alto went undefeated in SCVAL-De Anza play with just one close call, a double-OT win at Los Gatos. There was never a letdown in the second round of league play, even against teams that the Vikings had rolled in their first meetings.
Diepenbrock’s crowning achievement came on February 23, when Palo Alto beat St. Ignatius 75-60 to become the first public school to advance to the CCS Open Division Semifinals.
“He rarely changed the system,” said Forslund. “We didn’t play a possession of zone defense all year.”
The only sort of significant changes that were mae came in the state tournament, when the Vikings slowed the pace to beat top-seeded Heritage and used a similar method to push Las Lomas to the brink despite a cold shooting performance.
“The plan was to coerce other teams into making mistakes instead of pushing the tempo and making them ourselves,” said Forslund.
An age gap of nearly 40 years never got in the way of Diepenbrock’s relationship with his players. His team always had a jovial aura, and there was a great sense of camaraderie at every turn.
“He had a great rapport with the kids,” said Forslund. “That’s one of the advantages of being an on-campus coach, you can joke around with the kids and see them all day.”
His position has been inherited by Rodney Tention, whose son, Miles, graduated in 2017 and played under Diepenbrock. Tention has a college coaching pedigree, but has big shoes to fill and quite the legacy to follow. While the future of the Vikings is an uncertain one, with all of this year’s rotation graduating, Tention does come in with a strong blueprint to follow thanks to Diepenbrock’s legacy.
FIRST TEAM ALL-CCS
Dylan Belquist, Los Gatos
The USF commit had a monster senior year, averaging nearly a double-double (26.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg). He opened the year with 44 points against Leigh, dropped 47 against rival Saratoga to avenge an early-season loss and his 26-point performance in a CCS Division I Championship win was his lowest output in his final three games.
Logan Johnson, St. Francis
While getting from one place to another is usually most effective by going in a straight line, Johnson could easily Eurostep his way from place-to-place. He averaged 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds while playing with the defensive intensity that Mick Cronin will value at Cincinnati.
Kendall Stubblefield, Bellarmine
As post players go, 6-foot-6 isn’t typically big enough to convert to the next level, but that’s just how talented Stubblefield is. He averaged 15.4 points per game, shooting over 60 percent in the paint for the back-to-back WCAL champs and will be headed to UC Riverside as a preferred walk-on.
Jake Wojcik, Bellarmine
One of the most successful players in WCAL history, Wojcik did it all for Bellarmine. As a three-year starter, his senior year was his best yet, averaging 17 points and shooting 41.2% on threes. The Richmond commit’s hard-nosed play will fit in with the East Coast mentality.
SECOND TEAM ALL-CCS
Joe Foley, Menlo
The Lehigh-bound point guard averaged 15.9 points per game, but his biggest impact came in how he facilitated the offense for the Knights. He fearlessly led Menlo against up-tempo teams in NorCal road wins over Clayton Valley and Central.
Riley Grigsby, Mitty
Known previously as an outside threat, Grigsby became a monster in the post as a senior, averaging 16 points and nine rebounds. He scored 19 as the Monarchs handed Bellarmine its first league loss in two years, and he put up 30 in a CCS Open Division quarterfinal win over Menlo.
Colin McCarthy, Serra
A double-double threat every night thanks to his ferocity on the glass, McCarthy, who will head to Cal Poly as a walk-on, put up 25 in a road win over St. Francis and hit a three at the end of the first overtime in a double-overtime win at Mitty, one of the Padres’ biggest triumphs on the year.
Ethan Menzies, Half Moon Bay
Menzies averaged 18.3 points and 10.1 rebounds as a senior, his outstanding 38-point showing in the CCS Division IV Championship gave the Cougars their first section title since 1996. In that game, he threw down one of the most vicious dunks of the year over a Santa Cruz defender, setting off such an animated celebration from the bench that it drew a technical foul.
Darrion Trammell, St. Ignatius
The diminutive point guard averaged 19.9 points per game in WCAL play. In wins over Riordan, he scored 24, including 20 in the fourth quarter, to beat the Crusaders on the road, and he shot 6-of-7 on 3-pointers for a home win over the crosstown rivals on Senior Night. He also scored 24 in the Bruce-Mahoney Game and 23 in a Jungle Game win at Serra.
THIRD TEAM ALL-CCS
Devan Sapp, Mitty
Sapp was one of the hottest players in California during Mitty’s playoff run, shooting an outrageous 56 percent on 3-pointers during the postseason and scoring 27 on eight made threes in a CCS Open Division Semifinal win over Palo Alto.
Riley Woodson, Menlo
A reliable presence in the post, Woodson averaged 13.6 points and 11.6 rebounds per game for the 21-4 Knights. In a shocking CIF Division I first-round win over Clayton Valley, he scored 31 and matched his season-high with 19 rebounds.
Adriano Betancourt, Josue Gil-Silva, Sebastian Reynoso
ALMA HEIGHTS CHRISTIAN:
Derek Bumgarner, Diego Sotto, Lucas Sotto
Blake Welle, Rashaun Wooden
Sam Manu, Donaven Robinson
Hekili Jordan, Charles Meng, Joseph Vaughn
James Chun, Je’Lani Clark, Anthony Oropeza
Brandon Anders, Luke Sayre
Lajuan Nelson, Sho Takahashi
J.T. Byrne, Kai Lee
Eric Ortega, Dean Tognetti
DOWNTOWN COLLEGE PREP:
HALF MOON BAY:
Daniel Benjamin, Marquez Costiniano, Rodney Lawrence
KIPP SAN JOSE:
Kyle De Padua
Riley Houser, Jaxon Richards
Sohan Kshirsagar, Shane McKnight
Matt Eberle, Jake Shab
Alex Braken-Guelke, Cade Taormina
Thomas Brown, Cole Kastner
Will Beasley, James Beckwith
Thomas Brown, Cole Kastner
Nick Brouqua, Michael Matsuno, Colby Vazquez
MONTE VISTA CHRISTIAN:
Mohammed Adam, Mohanid Adam, Evans Charles, Tahjae Ordonio
MOUNTAIN VIEW ACADEMY:
Caleb Onuonga, Kai Weber
NORTH MONTEREY COUNTY:
Bryant Jefferson, Spencer Rojahn
Trent Blackshire, Demarri Floyd, Jacquez Walker
SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL:
Elijah Flowers, Bryce Monroe, Amin Oglesby
SACRED HEART PREP:
Eric DeBrine, Ryan Von Thaden
SAN LORENZO VALLEY:
Chris Clark, Jagos Jovanovic
Robert Bishop, Max Dehart
Harrison Fong, Will Turpin
Pedram Attari, Zach Bene
Denzel McCollum, Parker McDonald
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO:
Oscar Pedraza, Roy Yuan
Brandon Beckman, Matt Redmond, Teddy Snyder
Justin Milch, Josh Milch
Jay Allen-Tovar, Cameron Fini, Alton Julian
Deshawn Butler, Franchon Butler
Kevin Mayeda, Max Moody
Ayo Aderoboye, Lucas Harris