CCS Senior of the Year
KARISMA ORTIZ, ARCHBISHOP MITTY
Before this season began, ESPNW ran a story on Karisma Ortiz. Writer Walter Villa pegged her for a “breakout season,” and he ended up being so very right. Ortiz, our CCS Senior of the Year, began the year with a bang versus Bishop O’Dowd with 25 points and one rebound shy of a triple-double. The hits kept on coming: 18 points and 14 boards versus a top out-of-state talent Riverdale at the Nike Tournament of Champions; 26 points, 14 rebounds, and six dimes versus St. Joseph Notre Dame; another rebound short of a triple-double, versus Presentation; double-doubles in three playoff games; and yes, she did pick up a triple-double, with 17 points, 14 assists, and 11 rebounds in a walloping of Valley Christian.
The Penn State-signee and WCAL First Team honoree finished with sparkling averages of 14.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game. She was second in scoring and rebounding and first in assists on a Monarch team rated in the very top tier of teams nationally all season long, finishing No. 1 in our CCS rankings, No. 1 in the MaxPreps ratings, and No.3 in the Xcellent 25 rankings. The 6-0 wing also wreaked havoc on the defensive end for a Mitty team that won 29 straight before finally falling to Pinewood in a heartbreaking triple-overtime loss in the NorCal Open Davison championship game at Santa Clara.
Playing alongside other standouts Haley Jones and University of San Diego-bound Nicole Blakes, helped her game tremendously but also perhaps muted some of her averages, which were still outstanding. Besides being awarded multiple First Team honors from media outlets and making the WCAL First Team for the third straight year, she was invited to attend the U18 USA Basketball Trials in Colorado Springs at the end of May.
Ortiz improved in every major statistical category every year (except for a miniscule blip in blocks, when she dropped from 0.7 to 0.6 from sophomore to junior). This season she netted 57 percent of her field goals and 80 percent of her free throws. For her career she averaged 9.2 points on 53 percent shooting.
According to the ESPNW article, she started playing at the age of 3, is a daughter of a self-described “basketball junkie,” and has a 4.0 GPA. Additionally, she credits coach Sue Phillips for helping develop her leadership skills when she and Blakes went along with the coach’s plan to spend half their freshman campaigns on the varsity team and half on the freshman team. Phillips calls her character and leadership skills “second to none.”
It indeed all worked out great for Ortiz, and this honor is one of many treasures she’ll take away from her Mitty career.
Other players considered for this award include South San Francisco’s Brittney Cedeno, Pinewood’s Brianna Claros, Palo Alto’s Carly Leong, Woodside Priory’s Tatiana Reese, Eastside College Prep’s Kayla Tahaafe, and Presentation’s Ava Williams.