NCS Freshman of the Year
MIA MASTROV, MIRAMONTE
She didn’t have the biggest numbers stat-wise of the girls considered for the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Freshman of the Year award, but the offensive and defensive contributions as a starter on both the NCS Division II and CIF Northern Regional Division I runner-up Matadors are what makes Mia Mastrov our honoree in a very close decision over Bishop O’Dowd 5-11 wing and sometimes post Kennedy Johnson.
Her eight points, five rebounds and three steals per game don’t tell the real story. If Mastrov, who’s listed as a guard or wing, but who Coach Kelly Sopak uses at every position on the court, were on any other than a state-ranked Matadors team that also finished No. 5 in the final P2P NCS rankings, she might have double those numbers or maybe even more.
Even so, on a 28-6 team with Lehigh-bound senior Clair Steele, sophomore sensation Erin Tarasow, senior standout Jordyn Bryant, and a slew of other solid contributors where eight girls averaged over four points a game, Mastov’s points were third on the team, her rebounds were also third, and her steals were second on the Mats.
Her scoring and rebounding numbers were good, and would have been higher if she’d started early in the season, but besides her solid stats Mastrov was even more valuable as a defender after becoming a starter at the Geramoni Invitational at Notre Dame-Belmont the week before Christmas.
Mastrov actually emerged partly due to some Mats girls being banged up. Prior to the Geramoni tournament the 5-11 left-handed freshman guard that can dribble with either hand on the fly or reversing direction to pull up for a jumper, was eighth on the depth chart.
In the Geramoni 75-44 title-game victory over San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno, she had 12 points (three 3-pointers), a team-high seven rebounds, two steals and an assist. Mastrov also had 14 points in a semifinal 51-40 victory over Valley Christian to earn an All-Tournament selection.
“Mia is one of those transcending versatile players that can springboard a program,” Miramonte Coach Kelly Sopak remarked. “Because of her ability to guard multiple positions from the 1 to the 5 we were able to show teams a lot of different looks this year. It’s a rare luxury in high school basketball to have an elite defender like Mia.”
Mastrov and the NorCal fourth-seeded Mats as a whole had a rough outing in the NorCal D1 title-game loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral, but in the previous game she helped shut down senior star Ava Williams of top-seeded Presentation-San Jose.
“This season was just the start for Mia,” continued Sopak. “I’m excited to get to coach her and watch her develop over the next three years.”
Other players considered for this award include Johnson of the Dragons, Jadence Clifton of Del Norte, Kendra Grant of Dublin, Kylie Horstmeyer of Redwood, Rose Morse of Las Lomas, Mykala Pakeman of San Leandro and Joanna Togiai of Hayward.
NOTE: We would like to thank our media partners, coaches, parents, players and fans for contributing photos for our all-section features.
We salute all of the players that have made this a wonderful season of NCS basketball.