ALL-CENTRAL COAST SECTION
Player of the Year
ASHLEY HIRAKI, ARCHBISHOP MITTY
Coming into the 2019-2020 season most everyone that follows girls basketball in Northern California knew Ashley Hiraki was going to be one of the top players on Archbishop Mitty.
Hiraki was named All West Catholic Athletic League Second Team last season and made Prep2Prep All Central Coast Section Honorable Mention, so some big things were expected from her this season.
Then, junior Hunter Hernandez, who was chosen as a WCAL and Prep2Prep First Team selection last season as a sophomore, injured her knee and was out for all but the final 10 games of the season. Besides Hernandez being out another junior, Marley Langi, who was expected to have a breakout season, strained her Achilles and was hobbled early on and in the Nike TOC, and then missed the West Coast Jamboree, and when she returned was never totally at full strength.
As a result, and with everything that transpired, Hiraki along with junior Olivia Williams became the go-to players, and Ashley embraced the role.
Now, after a shortened season that saw the 5-7 point guard lead Mitty to the CIF Northern Regional Open Division title, the Cal State-Northridge bound Hiraki has been named the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Player of the Year after snagging the same honor in West Catholic Athletic League this season and the top honors from the Bay Area News Group.
“It’s crazy,” remarked Hiraki when asked what it’s like to get this kind of recognition. “I’m very grateful and feel so blessed to receive everything I have gotten. With all the work from preseason conditioning, weight training, beach workouts, and other vigorous activities, I feel that it validates all the work not only that I have done but my teammates as well. Without them and Coach (Sue) Phillips I wouldn’t be where I am.”
Despite being shorthanded the deep Mitty squad was still projected to be the top team in Northern California, and Phillips knew Hiraki, one of only two seniors on the 16-player roster, had the right stuff to lead the team both as the point guard and overall leader on the court.
“I knew coming into this season it wasn’t going to be easy,” Hiraki said. “My teammates and I knew we would have to step it up, and we had to start trying new things to see what would work for us and what wouldn’t.”
“I think in general playing for such a great program with a great legacy behind it is a lot of pressure already, and then once Hunter and Marley were both out, it definitely increased it more,” Hiraki continued. “Also, I knew that being one of the oldest players on the team I would have to help a lot with the younger players. Overall, it was tons of responsibility but with the help of the coaching staff and my teammates I was ready to step up to the challenge.”
According to Phillips Hiraki exemplifies that legacy and long tradition of winning the right way at Mitty. Phillips, who ended the season as the all-time winningest coach in the Central Coast Section and No. 4 all time according to the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book with 718 career coaching victories, started rattling off Ashley’s attributes.
“Ashley was an exceptional teammate and led by example,” Phillips remarked. “She was one of our hardest workers, a relentless worker, pays attentions to detail, student of the game, coachable and makes the immediate corrective measure, held her teammates accountable to the Mitty standard, and mentored the younger players in the program. She was a coach on the floor.”
The numbers Hiraki put up were not off the charts, but on the P2P CCS No. 1 and Cal-Hi Sports No. 2, and a nationally-ranked team with eight players averaging six or more points per game, her 12.4 points a game led the Monarchs, as did her 3.4 steals. Her 56 made three-pointers tied Williams for the team lead, her 2.7 assists per game was second on the team, and 4.3 rebounds was top five as well.
Many of Mitty’s games were blowouts and that limited her minutes but in the big games Hiraki came through right from the start of the season.
Hiraki had a lot of outstanding performances but her best game of the season came in the Nike TOC Joe Smith Division opening round 58-57 victory over perennial Florida power Miami Country Day where Hiraki went for 27 points, six assists, six steals and four rebounds. Following that win Mitty needed every bit of her 19 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists to pull out a 71-70 victory over Nevada No. 1 Centennial-Las Vegas. From there she had 11 points against Cal-Hi Sports state and national No. 1 La Jolla Country Day in a 62-54 loss, and the third-place game of the top division of the TOC she also had 11 points in a 58-50 loss to Maryland No. 2 and national top 20 Riverdale Baptist-Upper Marlboro.
Prior to leaving for Arizona and the TOC, Ashley had her only double-double of the season after registering 19 points and 10 rebounds in a 74-37 drubbing of P2P CCS No. 3 Menlo-Atherton which showed just how superior Mitty was to any other team in the Central Coast Section.
In the semifinals of the Platinum Division of the West Coast Jamboree Hiraki was the only Mitty player in double-figure scoring after getting 14 points in a 47-41 loss.
After the Mater Dei loss the Monarchs won 17 straight games prior to the beginning of the CIF Northern Regional Open Division playoffs, including an 11-0 record in the WCAL, two wins over P2P NCS No. 1 St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda, a win over CIF NorCal Division I champion Bishop O’Dowd, and three easy wins in the CCS Open Division playoffs. During that stretch Mitty beat its opponents by an average score of 72-35 per game.
Hiraki wasn’t called on to score a lot in those games but she did have 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and five steals in a 71-48 WCAL victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco.
In the Northern Regional Open Division semifinals Hiraki had 10 points and six steals in a 64-40 victory over P2P NCS No. 2 and state No. 11 Cardinal Newman-Santa, and finally, in the NorCal Open title game and in a third victory over state No. 9 St. Joseph Notre Dame, Ashley led the way with 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals in a 69-63 victory and the closest margin of victory over a Northern California opponent all season.
“We’ve always had the belief that Ashley could take and make the big shot,” Phillips said. “The plan and vision for our team was for Ashley to be the floor leader. She grew into that role and flourished this year under pressure and with those leadership expectations.”
How disappointing was it the way the season due to the Coronavirus pandemic and not get a chance to play for the CIF Open Division state championship?
“Like many other players, especially other seniors who also had the opportunity to win a state title, it’s upsetting and disappointing,” was Hiraki’s answer. “But I understand it’s for the well-being of everyone. I think one of the hardest things for me is not being able to play with this team one more time.”
“Ultimately this whole experience is something I’m really glad I was able to be a part,” Hiraki continued. “But without my teammates to push me and compete with me I don’t know if I would have been able to accomplish many of the things I have done this year.”
Now, Hiraki will be off to Cal State-Northridge and Phillips remarked “they got a gem” after she signed her letter of intent.
“I am looking forward to continuing my basketball career and being able to make new friends,” said Hiraki, who currently carries a 4.0 GPA and plans on studying kinesiology at CSU-Northridge. “The team and coaching staff are really hard working and supportive so I’m really looking forward to these next four years.”
“As for playing,” continued Ashley. “I want to be able to contribute any way I can, so if that playing tough defense or distributing the ball, I’ll do what is needed of me.”
Phillips sees her star as being an immediate contributor at the next level.
“Ashley will make an immediate impact because she is an unselfish players and willing to do whatever the team needs,” Phillips remarked. “She can impact the game with her defense or knock down the open shot. She will play scouting report defense and she is a quick learner and will pick up the nuances of their system quickly. Ashley will be an asset to CSUN women’s basketball.”
The season is over and there is not going to be any spring AAU basketball but Ashley along with other Mitty players have been conducting online workouts for the younger players on the San Jose Cagers the past couple of weeks and not surprisingly naturally Hiraki was at the head of the class.
“I was one of the first ones to do the workouts and drills for the little Cagers,” Hiraki said proudly.
For her efforts this season, we are pleased to recognize Ashley Hiraki as the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Player of the Year.
Other players considered for this award include Aptos’ Natalia Ackerman, Mitty’s Olivia Williams and Pinewood’s Annika Decker.
Coach of the Year
ANTONIO VELOSO, HALF MOON BAY
Half Moon Bay's Antonio Veloso is the Prep2Prep CCS Coach of the Year.
By HAROLD ABEND
Half Moon Bay coach Antonio Veloso may have had the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Freshman of the Year and one of the top freshmen in Northern California on his 14-girl roster, but Alli Dioli was not a one-girl team on a young group of girls with only one senior, her sister Bella Dioli.
The Dioli sisters were part of the core of the Cougars, and with veteran coach Veloso orchestrating a remarkable 25-4 season, he led Half Moon Bay to an 11-1 record and a first Peninsula Athletic League – North Division championship since 2001, and a second Central Coast Section Division IV title in four years.
For everything he accomplished last season, and in the eight years since he took the Half Moon Bay helm, Veloso has been named the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Coach of the Year.
He joins some very elite company with the previous four selections being Sue Phillips of Archbishop Mitty, the all-time winningest coach in the CCS according to the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book with 718 career victories, Doc Scheppler of Pinewood who has 658 career coaching wins, Buck Matthews, who re-started the varsity program at Woodside Priory for the 2014-2015 season and has built a successful program, and last year’s winner, highly successful John Paye of Menlo School.
“All those coaches have built or are building consistently successful programs, so being named alongside those coaches says that Half Moon Bay basketball, and more importantly basketball on the Coastside, is moving in the right direction over the last eight years,” responded Veloso when asked how he felt about adding his name alongside those four coaches.
When Veloso took over for the 2012-2013 season he inherited a team that only had a handful of winning seasons since 2004 and was 7-17 the season before he came aboard.
His first two years the Cougars went 15-12 and 7-5 in the PAL – North, and 12-15 and 6-6 in league.
From there things started to blossom. In 2014-2015 Veloso guided Half Moon Bay to a 20-8 record and 9-3 in league. They were 18-9 and 8-4 in league action in 2015-2016. In 2016-2017, and in the year of his first Central Coast Section Division IV title, Veloso guided the Cougars to a 23-9 record and 9-3 in league. The 2017-2018 team was 20-7 and 10-2 in the PAL – North. Last season was a bit of a drop-off with a 14-12 record overall, but Half Moon Bay still managed an 8-4 record in league.
That gives Veloso an eight-year record of 147-76 overall and 68-28 PAL – North record with no losing seasons in league in his tenure.
Veloso has done this in a small somewhat isolated coastal community of around 12,000 residents and at a school with one feeder middle school and an enrollment of around 1,000 students.
“At the end of the day, the goal is to build a successful program and a successful program is not defined by championships and winning, but rather championships and winning are byproducts of an environment where girls have a positive sense of responsibility, commitment, and community,” remarked Veloso. “This positive sense of responsibility, commitment, and community is rooted in their knowledge, acceptance and core belief that they control their energy, enthusiasm, and confidence.”
“What we do have is a unique opportunity to instill these core beliefs into our Half Moon Bay community at an early age,” continued Veloso. “This occurs because of the geographic make up of Half Moon Bay as well as us having only one junior high that feeds into the high school. Essentially our program is built totally from within our community.”
Veloso is certainly no stranger in Bay Area basketball circles. The 1992 graduate of St. Ignatius didn’t make it as a player so he decided to try and become a coach.
“I never played basketball at any level because I got cut multiple times,” admitted Veloso. “I knew I wanted to be college basketball coach so when I got cut from the team at SI I had to figure out a way to get there.”
He started his coaching career at St. Monica’s parish school in San Francisco while still in high school, and upon graduation he went on to Santa Clara University where from 1992-1996 he was the men’s basketball team manager. During his time at Santa Clara as a student, Veloso would spend summers traveling the West Coast working various basketball camps. “It would be eight straight weeks of college basketball camps only making a little more than enough to get to the next location. But it was awesome.”
After graduation from Santa Clara he was an assistant at Archbishop Mitty, Menlo College, his alma mater Santa Clara, and he even was the head women’s volleyball coach at Menlo College.
After leaving Santa Clara in 2003, Veloso took a job as the Athletic Director at the University of Great Falls in Great Falls, Montana (now called the University of Providence), and from 2003-2006 he increased participation from three sports to 11 sports and increased the student-athlete population from 36 to 220 which at the time represented about a third of the student body, all the while doing double duty as the head coach of the men’s basketball team.
“I was by far a better athletic director than a basketball coach,” mused Veloso. “I was 22-67 as a head coach.
Veloso returned to the Bay Area after he says he was “burnt out and felt this was the best time in my life for a change.”
When he left Montana, Veloso relocated to Half Moon Bay where his wife Misty Veloso, currently a teacher at Hatch Elementary School in Half Moon Bay, was a 1992 graduate and a star Cougars student-athlete, playing soccer with the boys since there wasn’t a girls soccer team at Half Moon Bay High. Misty played a year of college soccer at Canada College.
Antonio settled into a career in sales and is currently working for STERIS Endoscopy in the sales of medical equipment.
Veloso was content with career in business but it was Misty that re-kindled the fire for Antonio to return to coaching.
“I applied for the job because she came home one day and said ‘you need a hobby’ and handed me a flier for the position. At first I thought nothing of it, almost brushed it off, but then started thinking about what we could build on the coast. How the geographical make-up of Half Moon Bay would lend itself to developing a program because the community was small and close knit.”
“I went to the AD and gave him my five-year plan of building a program built on choices,” continued Veloso. “The most important choice is knowing and accepting that we control our energy, enthusiasm and confidence in whatever we do.”
At that point the dye was cast, and while it took some time, Veloso has delivered on his promise to the community, and nurtured along a girls basketball program that is the toast of the coast.
Along the way he’s gotten to coach his stepdaughter, Genevieve Belmonte. The junior turned in some solid numbers last season, and along with the Dioli sisters formed part of the core unit for Half Moon Bay. Belmonte was fourth on the team in scoring and rebounding at 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
At what point did he and his staff, including the Dioli sisters father, Martin Dioli, feel the team was going to be special?
Our kids all come from Half Moon Bay and the Coastside, so we are able to build and see our kids grow,” Veloso answered. “We knew there would be talent but our eyes started to open when we were winning close games and come from behind games with such a young team. Of our 10 wins prior to league, seven were by 10 points or less in which all were come from behind wins, with some we were down by as many as 16 points in the second half.”
How does this team compare to the 2016-2017 that won the first CCS Division IV and included the oldest Dioli sister, Katherine Dioli?
“The 2016-2017 team was similar in terms of they both had a clear goal from the start, to win league and CCS. The 2016-2017 didn’t win league” Veloso responded. “The difference is how they both got there. The 2016-2017 had a group of seniors and juniors who were our first group, and because of that there was this underlying edge that they had to do their part in hanging a banner. This was part of their five-year plan. They were highly competitive kids who made sure every practice was a competition.”
“This season’s group was also highly competitive but rather than everything being a competition and how we are going to win, this group made everything about how we could get better,” continued Veloso. “To get better, we needed our younger kids to open up and be themselves. Our group of older girls (Bella, Maya, Genevieve, Layne), created that type of atmosphere every day in practice.
Beside Bella Dioli and Belmonte, two of the other older girls were juniors Maya Rippberger and Layne Faust.
Veloso had something to say about all of his girls starting with Alli Dioli, who led the team in scoring, assists and steals with per game averages of 13.8 points, 3.1 assists and 2.1 steals, and was second in rebounds with 5.8 per game.
“An obsessive need to keep getting better,” remarked Veloso about his freshman star.
What about his stepdaughter? “Genevieve made the PAL first team this year because she let the game come to her. The previous year she would bring the ball down at times, defend the post, extend out to defend a guard and held a lot of on court responsibilities because she had too. This year she simply began to play and from there she was a defensive rock on the post and a steady hand in those close games.”
Sophomore Abby Kennedy was second on the team in scoring and first in rebounds with 11.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. “Along with Genevieve, Abby made the biggest strides from the previous season. Abby was a first team PAL player her freshman year and in her sophomore year she began the personal development of being a defensive grinder as well as rebounder. She took to heart the two aspects of the game a player does have plenty of control over. She enthusiastically and energetically took it over and from there you could see the confidence in her game grow.”
Freshman Abby Co was third on the team in scoring at 6.9 points per game and second in assists with 2.7 per contest. “Abby started from day one at the point guard spot. She is naturally an introspective kid who puts a lot on her shoulders and if it isn’t perfect she gets down on herself. As she continuous to grow, she has the ability to move this program forward and have us accomplish bigger things.”
Bella Dioli averaged 2.7 points and was third on the team with 4.6 rebounds a game. “A caring selfless leader who is the perfect example of our program and what we want in our program because she puts the opportunity to create/accomplish something bigger than herself self above everything else. She makes everyone comfortable and challenges them to grow for the greater good of the team. She will be missed.”
Rippberger was a spot starter for Veloso. “Maya is another young lady who thinks about the team first and what’s best for the team. She was a defensive grinder for us. Her ability to make open shots and grind it out on defense while being a team first leader set a comfortable tone for the group.”
Ally Co is Abby’s twin sister and averaged 4.9 points per game. “Ally can shoot it and score in bunches. With her continued consistency and defensive awareness, she will be more than a solid piece to our success.”
Sophomore Sierra Young fought through an injury. “Sierra started the season securing a major role in the rotation as an athletic defender/rebounder/driver. Mid way through the season, she got injured but finished the season strong playing significant minutes because of her defensive aggression.”
Faust had her role as well. “One of our more fundamentally sound players. She will be looked at to defend the post as well as stretch defenses out with her ability to shoot.”
Every season has its challenges.
“The biggest challenge was getting the group to understand how good they could be if they let themselves go,” Veloso said. “If they let themselves enjoy competing, if they let themselves enjoy the moment, if they let themselves be where their feet were versus worrying about where their feet should be.”
What was the most satisfying thing about the season?
“The most satisfying part of the season was seeing how relationships developed and grew,” Veloso answered. “How our younger girls got out of their shells and began sharing themselves with the group, sharing not only their talents but their personalities, quirks, and stories. This could only take place through an atmosphere of trust which was developed by our more seasoned girls and the girls before them.”
For his efforts through this season, we are pleased to recognize Half Moon Bay’s Antonio Veloso as the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Coach of the Year.
Other coaches considered include Mitty’s Sue Phillips, Woodside Priory’s Buck Mathews and Menlo’s John Paye.
FIRST TEAM ALL-CCS
Natalie Ackerman, Aptos
The Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Senior of the Year led Aptos to a 27-5 season that included an 11-0 record and Santa Cruz Coast League title, and a second straight CIFCCS Division III championship. Along the way the 6-1 forward that can also play the post, and who has signed with Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, averaged a double-double 19.1 points (64-percent from the field), and 10.5 rebounds per game, plus 2.6 assists, 3.1 steals and 2.2 blocks per contest. Every mark except assists led the team and Ackerman also posted 18 double-doubles last season including in some of the Mariners most important games.
Annika Decker, Pinewood
On a talented team that had a very solid starting line-up Decker, who was P2P All CCE Second Team last season, was acknowledged by just about all Northern California girls basketball analysts and media to be the top player on a Pinewood team that went 25-5, won the West Bay Athletic League – Foothill Division with a 9-1 record, and went on to a runner-up finish to Mitty in the CCS Open Division before bowing out to Salesian-Richmond in the CIF Northern Regional Division I semifinals. On the season Decker averaged 10.1 points, 4.8 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals a game and always drew the toughest defensive assignments. One of her top outings was a 23-point, six assist, five rebound, two steal performance in a 73-47 victory by the P2P CCS No. 2 Panthers over P2P CCS No. 11 St. Francis-Mountain View.
Ashley Hiraki, Archbishop Mitty
The Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Player of the Year and Cal State-Northridge-bound Mitty floor general had to pick it up this season with fellow juniors Hunter Hernandez sidelined for all but the last 10 games and Marley Langi nursing an Achilles strain, and that’s exactly what she did in leading Mitty to a 26-3 record, including an 11-0 mark and West Catholic Athletic League championship, a CCS Open Division title and a CIF Northern Regional Open Division title. On a nationally-ranked team with eight players averaging six or more points per game, her 12.4 points a game led the Monarchs, as did her 3.4 steals. Her 56 made three-pointers tied for the team lead with fellow first teamer Olivia Williams, her 2.7 assists per game was second on the team, and 4.3 rebounds was top five as well.
Avery Lee, Menlo
The Knights junior followed up a season in which she was instrumental in leading Menlo to a CIF state Division II state championships, with almost as equal stats that landed her a spot on the P2P All CCS Second Team last season. This past season she helped lead Menlo to a 21-6 record overall and a 7-3 mark in the West Bay Athletic League – Foothill Division. After a semifinal loss to Pinewood in the CCS Open Division, and in a game Lee led the Knights with 12 points, from there, and as the No. 10 seed in the D1 NorCals, Lee led the way with 16 points in a 50-47 upset of No. 7 seed Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills. That earned lee and her teammates a date with eventual NorCal D1 champion Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland, but unfortunately Menlo was the first school to be removed from the playoffs due to the pandemic. Lee finished with per game averages of a team leading 14.2 points, 3.2 assists and 3.2 steals per games, and was fourth in rebounding with 4.5 per game.
Olivia Williams, Archbishop Mitty
The Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Junior of the Year and First Team All West Catholic Athletic League selection picked it up this season after getting acclimated to the Mitty program last season, and in doing so Williams significantly increased her numbers from last season. With junior stars Hunter Hernandez missing all but the last 10 games with a knee injury, and Marley Langi slowed by an Achilles strain, Williams needed to pick it up and along with P2P CCS Player of the Year Ashley Hiraki, she helped lead Mitty to CCS and CIF Northern Regional Open titles. On a team that was loaded even shorthanded and had seven players average over six points a game, Williams averaged an even 12.0 points a game. She tied with Hiraki with 56 three-pointers but her 40-percent from beyond the arc was tops on the team as was her 80-percent free-throw shooting. Her 4.6 rebounds a game was fourth on the Monarchs and she also had 1.8 steals and 1.1 assists per game.
SECOND TEAM ALL-CCS
Aniyah Augmon, Woodside Priory
The top player on a Panthers team that went 5-5 in the ultra tough West Bay Athletic League – Foothill Division also helped lead Priory to a 21-10 record overall, a CIF Central Coast Section Division V championship and a CIF Northern Regional Division III runner-up finish after they lost in the title game to St. Mary’s-Berkeley. Along the way, the 5-8 point guard that’s unafraid to mix it up in the paint with the big girls, and served notice this past summer her game was coming alive, averaged 14.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.8 steals and 2.3 assists per game. Augmon, who has offers from Colgate, Hawaii, Fresno State, New Mexico and Northern Colorado, had two double-doubles for points and rebounds, and in the CCS D5 semifinals, she had 12 points and 10 steals with seven rebounds and six steals in a 69-28 victory of St. Francis-Watsonville. Even in the all Panthers 68-59 loss if the CIF NorCal D3 title game, Augmon went for 20 points and nine rebounds with five steals and two assists.
Sydney Bourland, Archbishop Mitty
On some teams Bourland would be a standout star, but on Archbishop Mitty she’s still a standout but more of journeyman type player that played hard-nosed defense and scored when called upon. Sydney answered the bell and picked it up big-time with junior stars Hunter Hernandez missing all but the last 10 games with a knee injury and Marley Langi slowed by an Achilles strain. The West Catholic Athletic League only saw her as Third Team but in big games where we saw her Bourland looked sharp. Against a state-ranked Clovis North at the West Coast Jamboree not only did Bourland go for 19 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists, but she played lockdown defense against Long Beach State-bound Savannah Tucker in a huge 75-28 blowout victory. With so many blowouts and Coach Sue Phillips having a lot of players rotating in Bourland had her minutes limited but still managed a team third-best 9.0 points per game, she led the team with 3.0 assists, was third with 4.8 rebounds a game and tied for second with 1.8 steals per contest.
Jael Butler, Valley Christian
After playing on the Warriors JV team last year Butler was stoked when she was informed she was named First Team All West Catholic Athletic League, but when Jael learned she was the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Sophomore of the Year she even more excited. “Oh wow. That’s crazy. That’s wild. It’s like surreal to me,” was Butler’s response when told she was receiving the P2P sophomore honor. “When I made first team (WCAL) I just broke down, and now this. To come from JV last year it’s just surreal. I just worked so hard and now it’s paying off.” The payoff is after averaging a near double-double 11.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, and emerging as not only one of the top big girls in both the West Catholic Athletic League and the CCS, Butler is now a P2P All CCs Second Team selection.
Da’Myiah Lewis, Sacred Heart Cathedral
The top player on the Fighting Irish had very solid numbers and now adds a P2P CCS honor to being named All West Catholic Athletic League First Team. After the early tough Nike TOC and West Coast Jamboree tournaments that saw the team start out 3-10 after losing their first two West Catholic Athletic League games, Lewis helped turn things around with a 5-3 record from that point on to finish 5-5 in league and 11-16 overall after a CIF Northern Regional Division II quarterfinal loss on the road at Del Oro-Loomis. On the season, and despite being 5-8, Lewis averaged a double-double 16 points and 12 rebounds per game while shooting 68-percent from the field. Her top performance came in a heartbreaking 57-56 loss to Miramonte-Orinda at the Bishop O’Dowd MLK Classic when she went for 32 points and 15 rebounds. In a WCAL win over St. Ignatius Lewis had 15 points and 15 rebounds, and in a Nike TOC win over Arizona Chaparral-Scottsdale she had 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Lydian Li, Lynbrook
The top player on the top-ranked public high school in the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section rankings Li helped lead the Vikings to 21-6 record and a SCVAL – De Anza 11-1 record and league title and a final No. 8 spot in the rankings after Lynbrook bowed out in a loss to San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno in the CIF Northern Regional Division II playoffs. Along the way the Lynbrook points guard averaged 16.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 1.9 assists per game, plus she made 58 three-pointers. Li gave an indication of things to come when she had 22 points in a season opening win over Sacred Heart Prep. She had a season-high 31 points with eight rebounds in a win over Los Gatos, and Li didn’t go down without a fight after getting 20 points, eight rebounds and four steals in the season ending loss to San Joaquin Memorial.
Katie Springs, Archbishop Mitty
With junior stars Hunter Hernandez out for all but the last 10 games and Marley Langi slowed part of the season, the P2P CCS top-ranked Monarchs looked to Springs to have the kind of breakout season she showed signs of last year, and that’s exactly what happened. Now, after a season in which she was fourth on the team with 8.1 points per game and first in rebounds at 7.3 per contest, Springs adds a Prep2Prep honor to a All West Catholic Athletic League First Team selection. Springs dominance in the paint was never more apparent than in the Monarchs 76-44 victory over P2P CCS No. 2 Pinewood when she had a double-double 13 points and 18 rebounds with four assists. That double-double was one of six Springs posted this past season, including 17 points and 12 rebounds with four blocks, and Mitty needed every bit of it in a 71-70 victory at the Nike TOC over Nevada No. 1 and perennial national power Centennial-Las Vegas.
Courtni Thompson, Pinewood
Most analysts, coaches and media members agree that this flashy 5-5 guard is No. 2 in the pecking order on the Panthers depth chart behind backcourt mate and first team selection Annika Decker. She and Decker both averaged 10.1 points per game. Thompson also grabbed 5.5 rebounds a game, and had 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per contest. Thompson saved her best game scoring wise for the CIF Northern Regional Division I first round when she went for 27 points in a 66-59 victory over Granite Bay. She followed that up with 16 points in a 49-47 upset of Miramonte in the quarterfinals. Another top performance came in an 82-50 blasting of Northern Regional Division II champion Oakland Tech when Courtni had 19 points with six rebounds and seven assists with two steals.
THIRD TEAM ALL-CCS
Fallon Dexheimer, Valley Christian
The Warriors’ senior guard and track standout was only named All West Catholic Athletic League Second team this year after making First Team last season as a junior, but for Prep2Prep honors last year’s Prep2Prep Junior of the Year repeats on the third team. Her numbers were down just a touch from last season but Dexheimer still led Valley Christian in scoring at 12.3 points per game, was third in rebounding and second in assist and steals with 2.3 and 1.9 per game, respectively. Her top efforts came against some of the Warriors toughest opponents. Dexheimer had a season-high of 20 points on three occasions, including hitting the mark in a 76-57 victory by the P2P CCS No. 5 ranked Warriors over P2P CCS No. 8 Lynbrook-San Jose in the CCS Open Division playoffs.
Alli Dioli, Half Moon Bay
The CCS Prep2Prep Freshman of the Year is the only freshman chosen for any of the three teams and secures a spot on the third team after an outstanding season that saw Dioli get the opportunity to play alongside her sister Bella. The duo helped lead Half Moon Bay to 25-4 season, a Peninsula Athletic League – North Division championship and a second CCS Division IV title in three years. Along the way Dioli led the team in scoring at 13.8 points per game, assists and steals at 3.1 and 2.1, respectively, and was second in rebounds at 5.8 per game.
Rachel Harvey, St. Ignatius
Despite not leading the Wildcats in scoring Harvey was the one St. Ignatius selection on the all West Catholic Athletic League First Team. On the season the senior point guard and floor general was second in scoring at 8.8 points per game, averaged 2.7 rebounds per game and led the team in assists and steals with 2.0 and 2.1 per game, respectively. Harvey didn’t have any explosive offensive efforts but was consistent throughout the season. An example is the two games St. Ignatius split with Presentation in WCAL action. She had 15 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 68-45 victory, and 11 points four rebounds, three assists and two steals in a 61-49 loss. She also had a solid game and 12 points in a 51-49 victory over arch rival Sacred Heart Cathedral in the Bruce Mahoney game at the Cow Palace.
Kelly Heimburger, Presentation
The top player on the Panthers was also the lone selection for Presentation on the All West Catholic Athletic League First Team. On the season the Azusa Pacific-bound Heimburger averaged a team-high 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks per game, was instrumental in leading Presentation to a 19-9 record that included winning the Emerald Division of the West Coast Jamboree and a CCS Division II championship before Presentation bowed out in the CIF D2 NorCals. Down the stretch Heimburger had 17 points and nine rebounds in a CCS D2 semifinal 47-31 victory over Leland, and upped that performance in the 46-37 victory over St. Francis-Mountain View in the title game when she went for 22 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
Sabrina Ma, St. Ignatius
The lone sophomore on the Third Team and one of only two sophomores to snag a spot on any of the three teams was the statistical leader on the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding with per game averages of 10.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and while she joins her teammate Harvey on the P2P CCS Third Team the WCAL had her behind teammate on the Second Team despite the statistics. Her top performance came in a heartbreaking 86-83 loss in Spokane, Washington to a local University team where she went for 27 points and eight rebounds. Ma had 26 points in a 58-55 victory at Valley Christian in the CCS Open Division quarterfinals and that was a week after she pinned 24 points on Valley Christian in a WCAL finale. She had two double-doubles including 11 points and 10 rebounds in the Bruce Mahoney rivalry game with Sacred Heart Cathedral at the Cow Palace.
Amelia Scharpf, Archbishop Mitty
Scharpf had a great season and is one of the top defenders on the Monarchs, and while as a First Team selection the WCAL saw her a little higher in the pecking order than we have her based on some of their other selections, a spot on the P2P CCS Third Team is a significant accomplishment for a player that wasn’t even on the radar screen of anyone when the season started. Of the five starters she had the lowest points average at 7.6 per game, but Scharpf was second in rebounding at 5.0 per game. She only had one double-double, but it was against the No. 2 team in Northern California when she went for 12 points and 10 rebounds in a 60-39 win over St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda. Her 18 points with seven rebounds and six steals in a WCAL shellacking of Presentation was arguably Scharpf’s top outing of the season.
Denise Stine, Sacred Heart Prep
Stine might only be 5-4 but the Gators point guard stood tall while also assuming the role of floor general on a Sacred Heart Prep team that finished No. 7 in the P2P final CCS rankings after a 16-10 season overall, a tie for second place in the West Bay Athletic League – Foothill Division, a selection to the CCS Open Division playoffs, and a CIF Northern Regional Division II quarterfinal finish. Along the way Stine led the Gators in points, assists and steals with per game averages of 10.2 points, 2.8 assist and 3.5 steals per game, and she was third in rebounding with 6.3 per contest. Stine had a season-high 19 points with five rebounds, five assists and seven steals in a big win over Mills, but more importantly she had a very solid 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 56-52 upset win on the road in San Leandro in the Northern Regional Division II opening round. Even in the 69-65 loss at Clovis in the next game that ended the season, Stine had 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Jasmine Ackerman, Emma Stefanini, Gabby Guiffre
Lydia Manu, Jordan Beaumont
Hunter Hernandez, Marley Langi
Jaisa Gamble, Hailey Hoff
Kat Javier, Mia Ledesma Old-Elk
Sierra Cameron, Nicole Santiago
EASTSIDE COLLEGE PREP:
Christine Nguyen, Sophia Williams
Jada Nguyen, Angela Futch
HALF MOON BAY:
Abby Kennedy, Genevieve Belmonte
Izzy Sathy, Kendra Wong
Dulce Jacobo, Angelina Garcia
Karli Mukai, Simran Bagri, Ericka Sangco-Lidgey
Adrianne Gomez, Raegan Kirk
Maison Yee, Sara Ho
Coco Layton, Sharon Nejad, Maeia Makoni
MONTE VISTA CHRISTIAN:
NORTH MONTEREY COUNTY:
NOTRE DAME-SAN JOSE:
Shaade Williams, Melissa Felix
PACIFIC POINT CHRISTIAN:
Carly Martin, Elif Turgut
Una Jovanovich, Maia Garcia
Mia Bodnar-Cohen, Kaelie Nakamura, Erin Tan
RANCHO SAN JUAN:
SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL:
Nya Epps, Dylan Benitez
SACRED HEART PREP:
Megan Norris, Kennedy Anderson, Charlotte Levinson
Natalija Grizelj, Jessica Oakland, Sydney Stewart
Bella Samatua, Logan Jew
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO:
ST. FRANCIS SCP:
Angie McAdams, Claire Untalan
Kailey Clymo, Rhea Cosand
Nina Barry, Jessie Barry, Daryanna Hall
Madison Odam, Eva Correjo
Binetta Diatta, Annabelle North