ALL-NORTH COAST SECTION
Player of the Year
ANYA CHOICE, CARDINAL NEWMAN
In a year in which all the top statewide awards seemed to go to girls from Southern California, a lone Northern California girl prevented a sweep of the six finalists for the
Cal-Hi Sports Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year and that was Anya Choice of Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa.
Now, after leading Cardinal Newman to a 29-4 record, a CIF North Coast Section runner-up finish in the inaugural Open Division playoffs, a semifinal finish in the CIF Northern
Regional Open Division, the No. 2 spot in the final Prep2Prep NCS rankings, and a school second-best No. 11 finish in the final Cal-Hi Sports rankings, Choice has been named
the 2019-2020 Prep2Prep North Coast Section Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
The UC Santa Barbara-committed 5-8 senior guard now adds the top individual honor in the North Coast Section to the Ms. Basketball finalist and all-state first-team selection
by Cal-Hi Sports, the San Francisco Chronicle All Metro Player of the Year and a first-team selection by the Bay Area News Group on its all-Bay Area team.
“It is a blessing to be receiving all the recognition I have gotten this year,” Choice remarked. “All the awards and accomplishments myself and my team have achieved this year
is a credit to the work we put in every day in practice and on our own time. All of the hard work I put in this year definitely paid off.”
Anya was a freshman on what was arguably the best Cardinal Newman team since girls came across the driveway from now the closed Ursuline beginning with the 2011-2012 school year.
That 2016-2017 team went 30-4 in Choice’s freshman year and won the NCS Division IV championship before making it all the way to the NorCal Open title game before losing to
Archbishop Mitty. The Cardinals finished 30-4 and No. 4 in the final Cal-Hi Sports rankings and Anya averaged a respectable 8.2 points per game on a team that including
Choice had seven college-level players on the roster, including two post players currently playing at D1 schools.
The difference is this year Cardinal Newman had some depth and some size, but nowhere near that of the 2016-2017 team, although Choice is by no means a one-girl team.
Besides Choice there is Prep2Prep all-NCS second-team selection and Cal State East Bay-bound senior Christina Bacci, Prep2Prep all-NCS third-team honoree and hard-nosed
defending junior Aysia Dural, and two all-NCS Honorable Mention selections, Point Loma Nazarene-committed senior post Liz Chambers and senior Emma Nordby.
Even so, and even though her stats were not reported to any internet outlets reporting stats, the 24.3 points per game Choice averaged this season was over two points a game
higher than the reported leader in the NCS and the 801 points she scored this season was over 200 points more than the NCS reported total points leader. Choice was also the
leading scorer among all six of the Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year finalists.
Choice also hit the boards this season and her assists and steals were up as well after she finished with 6.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.3 steals per contest.
She made 78 three-pointers this year and 243 for her career to give her the No. 2 all-time spot in school history, but her career 2,206 points is a school record for boys
or girls, and even passes the previous Ursuline girls record of 2,183 points set by 1992 graduate Joy Durand.
This past season Choice also broke the single-game scoring record at Newman, not once but twice, and the second time came in her greatest performance and the most important
game of her career.
It was a Senior Night to remember when she went for 42 points in only three quarters of action in a win over North Bay League–Oak Division cross-town rival Montgomery in early February.
Three weeks later in the NCS Open Division semifinals Choice was blazing in a 64-59 victory over Salesian-Richmond after she went for 43 points with eight three-pointers,
plus six rebounds, six steals and three assists.
Choice had a tough outing in the NCS Open title-game loss to St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda, but followed that up with a game-high 19 points (three three-pointers) with
seven rebounds, six assists and three steals in a 50-48 upset of host St. Mary’s-Stockton in the CIF Northern Regional Open Division quarterfinals. Her season ended in a
NorCal Open semifinal loss to Archbishop Mitty in which she had 14 points.
Choice had other outstanding performances this past season including 29 points in a 61-54 victory over state-ranked Antelope where she got the best of junior all-state star
Jzaniya Harriel. She had 23 points in a 48-43 victory over Colorado No. 6 Regis Jesuit, in two lopsided victories over state-ranked Heritage-Brentwood where her time was
limited, Choice went for 19 and 18 points, and she had 26 points in a 55-42 victory over eventual NCS Division I champion San Ramon Valley
The changes in Choice since she began playing basketball as a youth have been remarkable. At the signing of her letter of commitment to UC Santa Barbara she tearfully
recalled her start as a fifth-grader when she was not very coordinated or fluid, and had no idea about using her left hand. She credited the beginning of her development to
Cardinal Newman Coach Monica Mertle and her assistant coach and father Tom Mertle, when the two began coaching her when she started her career at the North Bay Elite club program.
Now, her game is as smooth as silk, and her left-handed scoop shot that Choice sometimes puts high up on the glass is a thing of beauty. From a shy fifth-grader she has
transitioned into a near complete player and a leader as well.
“Over the years Anya has grown tremendously and also developed into a remarkable leader,” Mertle remarked. “Her basketball IQ is off the charts. She watches hours of film
and would frequently work with me on scout.”
“As she got older she really found her voice,” continued Mertle. “Anya is like a coach on the floor. She would help her teammates with skills and techniques during practice
and gave me great feedback during games. It’s so impressive when players take ownership of their experience. Anya was a fantastic mentor to the younger players in our program.
She will make a great coach some day.”
How does Choice feel about her leadership and mentoring qualities?
“Yes, I saw myself as a team leader,” Choice responded. “I was very vocal with my teammates in practice and during games. I tried to make sure everyone was locked in, confident
and ready at all times. From this season I learned the importance of leadership and mental strength.
Like all players at all levels each one has assets, attributes and areas of strength, and things they are still working on improving.
“Anya’s best attributes are her love for the game, her passion for winning and her work ethic,” Mertle said. “She has spent countless hours improving and refining her skill set.
Anya truly loves the game and wants to be the best player she can be.”
One thing that doesn’t always get mentioned is Choice’s defense and rebounding, and sharing the ball. When she had the record 43-point performance against state No. 14 ranked
Salesian she also had six rebounds, six steals and three assists.
“I’d say in my opinion my best attribute is being a complete player,” Choice said. “I feel that I can contribute defensively and offensively in all aspects. Mentally,
my best attribute is being a competitor, always wanting to improve, and hating to lose.”
To be successful at a solid program like UC Santa Barbara will mean taking her complete game to an even higher level, and Mertle, who played Division I college basketball
after graduating from Ursuline in 2003, knows exactly what it takes.
“Size, speed and strength are the biggest factors when you make the jump from high school to college basketball,” observed Mertle. “Anya is working incredibly hard to
get stronger and refine her skill set so that she’s ready to compete at the next level.”
Not surprisingly, Choice sees it in a similar manner as her coach.
“I need to work on preparing myself for the level of play in college basketball,” Choice said. “My focus right now is working on getting stronger, improving my ballhandling,
perfecting my footwork, and getting my shot off quicker. Overall, I am trying to become the most complete player I can be.”
With everyone having had to stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Choice like every other athlete, has had to improvise.
“I’ve been lifting a lot of weights, doing ball handling workouts and shooting on my outside hoop,” Choice responded as to what she is doing to work on her game, staying in
shape and preparing for UC Santa Barbara.
Basketball has been part of Anya’s family, but so has music. Her mother, Andrea Phillips, played basketball at Ursuline and was a 1999 graduate. Her father, Kevin Choice,
who tells Prep2Prep he was a “recreational athlete at best,” is an accomplished musician and singer and recently released a very timely hip hop/rap single titled “Social Distancing.”
Choice has a 9-year old little brother, also named Kevin Choice, and according to Anya “he sees me playing basketball and it has inspired him to play himself.”
How does Choice feel she will fit in at UCSB and what are her expectations?
“I think I will fit in at UCSB perfectly,” was Choice’s answer. “Watching their offense, it complements my style of play. Based off what the coaches have said, I have the
opportunity to come in and make an immediate impact, but in the end that is all up to me and how hard I work to earn it – and I will.”
“Anya has a very bright future ahead of her,” added Mertle. “She is a well-rounded player with the ability to affect the game in a variety of ways, and she also understands
the level of commitment necessary to succeed at a high level, and she plays her best against the best competition.”
Mertle thinks Choice will make a great coach someday, but Anya sees a different career path.
“I eventually want to go to law school, so I plan on studying pre-law,” said Choice, who currently carries a 3.7 GPA in the classroom.
Not only does Choice move on to college as the all-time leading scorer in Cardinal Newman history, and a 110-20 record in her four-year varsity career, but with a lot of
hardware this year.
For her efforts this past season, we are pleased to recognize Anya Choice as the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Player of the Year.
Others players considered for this award include St. Joseph Notre Dame’s Talana Lepolo, St. Joseph Notre Dame’s Makena Mastora, Bishop O’Dowd’s Kennedy Johnson and
St. Patrick-St. Vincent’s Tameiya Sadler.
Coach of the Year
BRIAN SATO, ST. JOSEPH NOTRE DAME
St. Joseph Notre Dame's Brian Sato is the choice for Prep2Prep NCS Coach of the Year.
The 2019-2020 high school basketball season in California had its share of twists and turns, with the biggest being the coronavirus pandemic that curtailed the CIF state
basketball championships and has shut down just about all sporting events for now, including high school spring sports.
The pandemic didn’t really affect the St. Joseph Notre Dame girls basketball team since the Pilots saw their season come to an end shortly before the shutdown in a
69-53 loss to Archbishop Mitty-San Jose, but they had their tumultuousness 12 games into the season when then assistant Sato had to take the helm after the resignation of
affable former head coach Shawn Hipol.
After coming into the head coaching job under some dire circumstances and leading St. Joseph Notre Dame to the inaugural CIF North Coast Section Open Division
championship, and a CIF Northern Regional Open Division runner-up finish, Sato has been named the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Coach of the Year.
When told he was being honored Sato said some of the same things he said when his girls won the NCS Open title.
“I’m truly honored and humbled, and grateful to be honored for coaching this year but it wasn’t me, it was all about the girls,” Sato remarked.
“To be honest, I coach and work with young people to develop their talent and maturity. That’s why I’m an assistant coach,” Sato continued.
Maybe so, but the way things started out for Sato and the Pilots was not anything like the season ended.
Things had been brewing for about a week, and Sato could tell something was wrong with Hipol before he surprisingly resigned despite what Sato says were “all types of tears
and pleas from the players and families.”
Sato, who has a wife and three boys, and is also a middle school PE teacher in the Oakland Unified School District, did not have the immediate availability Hipol had,
and accommodations to his schedule had to be made.
“It was a difficult situation, but there was still hope,” Sato said. “I was talking to the AD and with Coach Hip and there were discussions about who would finish out
the season. The school knew I did not have the level of availability that Coach Hip had and that if I was going to take over and finish out the season, certain logistical
things and scheduling issues had to be resolved and supported.”
Assistant coach and St. Joseph Notre Dame Athletic Coordinator Jessica De Mesa was a huge factor in Sato’s decision to take over and finish the season. De Mesa handled
all the paperwork, kept a pulse on the team and made sure all the administrative duties were taken care of so Sato could just focus on basketball and the scouting reports.
Sato also had help from parents like Derrick Johnson, parent of sophomore Natalie Johnson, and Pete Mastora, the father UC Riverside-bound senior Malia Mastora, and
budding junior star Makena Mastora.
According to Sato, Johnson, who coaches AAU with the Cal Stars, “was an integral part in helping keep the girls accountable to us and to each other in finishing out the
season the right way.”
Mastora, who gathered his daughters and the other girls after practice that fateful day to tell them Coach Hipol had stepped down, also helped Sato and was present at
practices and would help lead instruction on game preparation.
"I also made it perfectly clear that I would not do it if Coach Hip wasn't one hundred percent in favor of me staying and that I had his blessing and that there were no hard
feelings,” Sato continued.
Not only were there no hard feeling, but Hipol was still there all the way supporting Sato and the girls behind the scenes and fans continued to hold placards with Hipol’s
face on them so his presence was still felt on the team.
Even so, there was pressure on Sato. The naysayers that dogged St. Joseph Notre Dame from the outset of the season, were partially silenced when in his next to last game
as the head coach, the Pilots were a 68-60 winner over Salesian at the Elite Is Earned Invitational.
However after St. Joseph Notre Dame blew out Athenian-Danville in Bay Counties League–East action, and Hipol resigned the next day and the school couldn’t get it together in
one day and it resulted in a league forfeit to College Prep-Oakland, the doubters resurfaced.
“I knew there was talk when the whole switch happened that I was in way over my head and that our situation was going to go south,” Sato said. “But, in my mind I’m thinking, I
know the system, I knew the players and families and I had one hundred percent backing from Coach Hip. So I figured I will go out there, do my best and let the chips fall where they may.”
“I didn't choose the situation, and I was hurt by it, but no matter what, we sacrifice for the team,” continued Sato. “I appreciate that those that recognized the job I did,
know that I did it from a sincere place and literally I probably had no other choice.”
Things got off to a rocky start. Hipol knew he had an elite team and he scheduled accordingly, and Sato not only inherited the team but its schedule as well. In the first
three days he was the head coach the Pilots had MLK weekend games against a Nevada No. 1 Centennial-Las Vegas and a La Jolla Country Day team that would end up not only
No. 1 in the Cal-Hi Sports rankings but No. 1 in the nation in every rankings.
“Honestly, it all happened so fast,” Sato said. “My first game was against Centennial at St. Mary’s in Stockton. That was a huge eye-opener to how intense elite level
basketball is. We didn't do that bad, but still I think the game was mostly played on emotion.”
“That was crazy, but then we had La Jolla Country Day at O'Dowd,” Sato continued. “The highest level of competition playing games at schools considered basketball royalty
in these parts. It was like a crash course without any real time to process it all in.”
Sato and his girls lost 60-48 to Centennial and they were soundly beaten 71-43 by Country Day, and the next weekend they ventured to Los Angeles where they lost to Cal-Hi Sports
No. 3 and nationally-ranked Windward, but from that point on the Pilots won 12 straight games before their loss to Mitty in the NorCal Open title game.
The playoff run for St. Joseph Notre Dame began with a first round bye and then a 54-48 victory over Bishop O’Dowd in the semifinals of the NCS Open playoffs.
Next up was Cardinal Newman in the title game, and a combination of the defense and floor leadership led by NCS Sophomore of the Year Talana Lepolo, and some key contributions
from sixth-girl Randi Harding, as the junior came off the bench to lead the Pilots with 18 points (three three-pointers), with 10 of the points in a fourth quarter of a
67-58 victory where at one point St. Joes trailed 52-49.
Lepolo had 14 points and four steals, blossoming junior star Makena Mastora had 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds, senior Sophie Nilsson had two three-pointers and
finished with nine points and five rebounds, UC Riverside-bound senior Malia Mastora only had seven points, but they all came in the second half, including a key three-pointer
that tied the game at 49-49, plus she played exceptional defense while committing only one foul.
St. Joseph Notre Dame drew a first-round bye in the CIF Open NorCals, and faced state-ranked Clovis West-Fresno in the semifinals. They trailed 30-29 midway through the
third quarter, but they went on a 10-1 run to close out the quarter and then held off Clovis North for a 53-47 victory where defense was once again a huge factor.
In this game it was the Mastora sisters leading the way. Malia had 12 points and seven rebounds and Makena added 10 points.
The parents stepped up, and Hipol was in contact with Sato and offered him behind the scenes help, but it was Sato, who had assisted Hipol for five years at St. Joseph Notre
Dame and at Skyline-Oakland prior to that, who had to run the show. His calm but firm demeanor was just what the Pilots needed to have the season they ended up having.
“Fortunately for us, Coach Sato has been with the team since I was a freshman so he helped us adapt to the changes,” Malia Mastora said. “We had gone through so much and we
soon faced our battles with an ‘us against the world’ mentality, and Coach Sato embraced that idea with us. He re-emphasized this mentality so that we could use it to defeat
our opponents and silence everyone that doubted us.”
After all was said and done St. Joseph Notre Dame finished with a section title and a NorCal runner-up spot in the top divisions, a 24-7 record on the court with Sato
finishing 15-4, the No. 1 spot in the Prep2Prep North Coast Section rankings and a No. 9 finish in the Cal-Hi Sports rankings, but remember, according to Sato it was
the girls that provided the horsepower. He was just in the driver’s seat.
"I felt like I had just got handed the keys to Ferrari, and it took me a while to get used to it since I’m more used to driving a Honda or Toyotas,” Sato remarked.
“In some games this year, mostly in league, even though I had a Ferrari I could only drive it 35 miles per hour, and then we play teams like Mitty, Cardinal Newman,
O’Dowd and Clovis West, and I’m back in the Indy 500.”
“Brian was able to continue on with the foundation that we had laid for the last six seasons and kept the ball rolling,” Hipol said. “What Brian and my girls did to finish out
the season in the fashion they did was truly amazing and inspirational.”
Besides being a PE teacher at Edna Brewer Middle School, Sato coached the eighth-grade girls team for a stint, and a few years ago he developed a school-based athletic department,
a first of its kind in Oakland, since most of the middle schools run their sports programs through a third party after school provider. Sato is also on the Competition
Committee of the OUSD Middle School Sports Taskforce to help develop and sustain Oakland youth sports at the middle school level.”
Through it all Sato had to maintain things at home. His wife Kacie had been a stay-at-home mom for the three boys, 13-year old Lennon, 10-year old Owen, and 6-year old
Keenan, had just gone back to work teaching under the premise Brian would cut back, not go in the opposite direction.
“When this all went down there were some definite hard talks about promises, commitments, loyalty and understanding,” Sato said. “It was definitely tough, but in the end, she
was rock solid and supportive the whole time. I can't thank her enough for her devotion and sacrifices she made for our sons and for me so that I could fulfill my commitment
to this team and these girls.”
A little known fact is Sato played for current NCS Commissioner Pat Cruickshank when he was the boys basketball coach at San Leandro, and Cruickshank had a big impact on Sato.
“One thing I learned from Coach Cruickshank was the importance of family,” Sato recalled. “I also think my working with youth and sports started when I was invited by him
to help work at our high school summer camps. I think that's where the interest first started.”
Sato is happy to go back to being an assistant, and was hoping it would be under Hipol at St. Joseph Notre Dame, but that isn’t going to happen. However, Sato’s career might not be over.
Hipol applied for the Berkeley job and it appears he may have it, but it can’t be made official by the administration at Berkeley. An email from Athletic Directors Robin Vegt
and Ross Parker stated the following: “We are prohibited from announcing any hires on our end until they have cleared our district's on-boarding process. Given the shelter-in-place,
we don't have a clear timeline for when that is.”
If and when it is made official our sources tell us it’s a slam dunk that Sato will be on the staff.
To the end Sato has remained humble.
“I am grateful to be honored for coaching this year, and overall I’m quite happy with my five seconds of fame. It still all seems surreal,” Sato said in conclusion. “I
appreciate all the time I spent with all the news reporters, having pictures taken while being handed trophies, medals, plaques and having someone actually interested in
what I have to say, and I’ll never forget all the memories and achievements, but I am happily ready to go back to being an assistant coach once again.”
What’s most interesting is how Sato walked into a hornet’s nest and came away with an NCS Open Division title. And for his efforts this past season, we are pleased to
recognize Brian Sato as the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Coach of the Year.
Others coaches considered for this award include San Ramon Valley’s John Cristiano, Alameda’s Daniel Guy and Heritage’s Rob Ocon.
FIRST TEAM ALL-NCS
Anya Choice, Cardinal Newman
Besides being a pretty obvious selection as the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Player of the Year, the UC Santa Barbara-bound senior ended up being regarded as the top
player in Northern California when Cal-Hi Sports named her as the only NorCal finalist for its Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year award. Choice had a career-high
and school-record 43 points with eight three-pointers, plus six rebounds, six steals and three assists in a 64-59 CIF North Coast Section Open Division semifinal victory
over Salesian-Richmond. Another highlight of her season came in a 50-48 upset of host St. Mary’s-Stockton in a CIF NorCal Open Division quarterfinal victory when Choice
had a game-high 19 points (three three-pointers) with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. This past season she averaged 24.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.1
assists and 2.3 steals with 78 three-pointers. To top things off her 2,206 career points is a school record as well for girls or boys.
Silvia Fonongaloa, Salesian
One of the top young big girls in California and heir in the Pride post to current USC freshman Angel Jackson may be four inches shorter than her predecessor in the
Pride post, but she was the MVP of a team that made it to the semifinals of the inaugural CIF North Coast Section Open Division and ended the season with a runner-up
finish to Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland in the CIF Northern Regional Open Division playoffs. Fonongaloa was the only sophomore on the third team and one of only four freshmen and
sophomores to snag a Cal-Hi Sports all-state selection. On a team with six girls averaging six points a game or more Fonongaloa led Salesian in scoring and rebounding
at 11.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. A perfect example of her season was in two wins against defending CIF NorCal Open Division champion Pinewood of Los Altos Hills,
Fonongaloa had a double-double 12 points and 14 rebounds in a 49-39 victory and in the NorCal D1 semis she had a 20-point effort.
Kennedy Johnson, Bishop O’Dowd
The top player on the CIF Northern Regional Division I champion Dragons and the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Junior of the Year was also a Cal-Hi Sports second-team all-state
selection after leading O’Dowd in scoring and rebounding with a double-double 18.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Johnson had some of her best games against top
competition. Her game-high 17 points and seven rebounds with four steals and two blocks and only one turnover in the CIF NorCal D1 title-game victory over Salesian-Richmond
was a high point. In the semifinals and in a 67-50 victory over a Clovis North-Fresno team that had pinned a 65-64 loss on O’Dowd in December, Johnson went for a double-double
14 points and 13 rebounds with six blocked shots. Her most impressive performance may have come in a 43-37 loss to national top 20 Windward-Los Angeles when she went for 19
points and 11 rebounds with five steals and two blocked shots. Johnson has several college offers including San Jose State, UC Santa Barbara, the University of San Francisco,
Florida A&M, and Grand Canyon University.
Talana Lepolo, St. Joseph Notre Dame
Based on being named the only sophomore on the Cal-Hi Sports all-state second team, the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Sophomore of the Year is essentially the de facto No. 2
sophomore in California behind state Sophomore of the Year Isuneh “Ice” Brady of Cathedral Catholic-San Diego. Lepolo can score when needed but it’s her defense that draws
raves from analysts, like when she had a major role in shutting down fellow first-team selection Anya Choice of Cardinal Newman in the Pilots' 67-58 NCS Open Division title-game
victory. In the very next game Lepolo duplicated the effort when she locked down all state selection Nikki Tom in a 53-47 victory CIF NorCal Open Division victory over
Clovis West-Fresno. A perfect example of her overall game was when she had 15 points and picked the pockets of the Salesian-Richmond for seven steals in a 68-60 victory. On
the season the Pilots point guard and floor general averaged 10.4 points, 3.6 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game, but it was her lockdown defense that almost
always came against the opponent’s top perimeter producer that has analysts saying Lepolo is one of the state’s top defenders regardless of their graduating class. Besides
her basketball prowess she carries a 4.28 GPA and her favorite subject is science, and not surprisingly she already has offers from Kentucky, Pacific, San Francisco and Hawaii.
Makena Mastora, St. Joseph Notre Dame
In the past her older sister, senior Malia Mastora, got most of the spotlight but this year Makena also shined, and was a runner-up to Kennedy Johnson for Prep2Prep North Coast
Section Junior of the Year honors while being named third-team all-state by Cal-Hi Sports. It was in the second half of the season that Mastora came on and she was instrumental
in helping lead the Pilots to the inaugural CIF NCS Open Division championship and a CIF NorCal Open Division runner-up finish Makena edged out fellow first-teamer Talana
Lepolo for the Pilots scoring honors after averaging 11.1 points per game on a team that had eight players average over six points per game. She also averaged 3.9 rebounds,
3.3 steals and 1.4 assists per game. A typical performance came in the Pilots' 53-47 victory over Clovis West-Fresno in the NorCal Open semis when she had a game-high 12 points
with four rebounds and two steals. In the Pilots' 67-58 victory over Cardinal Newman in the NCS Open title game, Makena had a steady 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
In one of her top performances of the year on the road at Heritage, Mastora led the way with 17 points, four rebounds and three steals in a hard-fought 60-57 victory.
Mia Mastrov, Miramonte
Mastrov is considered by every analyst to be the top player on a Matadors team that was state ranked and has a lot of girls that can put the ball in the basket and defend.
Mastrov, who was named Cal-Hi Sports Open/Division I all-state, and was a runner-up to Kennedy Johnson for Prep2Prep NCS Junior of the Year, is one of the top underclass
players in all of Northern California, and it has to do with her all-around game. Listed as a 5-11 point guard, Mastrov played every position at one time or another including
guarding the other team’s post player when necessary. She showed improvement in just about every area of her game despite the fact that after a great start she missed
seven games due to illness and then had her time in games limited for several games. On the season Mastrov averaged 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and 3.2 steals
per game, and had 53 three-pointers. It wasn’t her best performance of the season but in the Mats' first match-up with Bishop O’Dowd, and two weeks after returning to action
she had a double-double 13 points and 10 rebounds and helped shut down Johnson in a Mats victory. Her high-water mark was 28 points in a win versus Westmoor-Daly City and
another solid performance came in a win on the road at Washington Prairie-Vancouver when she went for 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Abigail Muse, Heritage
The runner-up to Tameiya Sadler for the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Senior of the Year honor improved every season in her four-year varsity career and her hard work has
paid off in a scholarship for the 6-2 post to Boise State. Muse, who was a Cal-Hi Sports All State Open/Division I third-team selection was unquestionably the top player
on the Patriots and helped lead the team to a 22-7 record and the CIF Northern Regional Division I quarterfinals before they bowed out in a heartbreaking 54-52 defeat at
Clovis North-Fresno. Muse did her part with 14 points and nine rebounds in her final high school game, and on the season she led the Patriots in scoring, rebounding and blocked
shots with 14.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks, plus 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. One of her top games came in a close 63-60 home loss to NCS Open champion St. Joseph
Notre Dame when she went for a double-double 21 points and 12 rebounds with four assists. Another one of her 14 double-doubles was a 24 points and 20 rebound performance in a
win over California-San Ramon. Muse had 19 points and 21 rebounds in a win over state-ranked Lynwood and her high-water mark for rebounds was 23 in a win over cross-town
BVAL rival Liberty.
Tameiya Sadler, St. Patrick St. Vincent
The Prep2Prep CIF North Coast Section Senior of the Year and Washington-bound Sadler is not only the highest-rated recruit in the NCS but all of Northern California. Cal-Hi Sports
selected her to its All-State Division III first team after she led the Bruins to a 22-12 record, a runner-up finish in the NCS Division IV playoffs, and all the way to the
quarterfinals of the CIF Division III Northern Regional playoffs. Along the way she was the No. 7 reported scorer in the NCS at 18.4 points per game, and despite being a point
guard her 8.8 rebounds a game was near the top of the NCS for her position, plus her 4.0 assists and 5.7 steals a game were near the top of the list for any position.
Sadler even had 2.1 blocks per game and that was an NCS top 10 reported mark. For Sadler’s four-year varsity career as a Bruin, Tameiya finished with some pretty formidable
numbers. Her 1,689 points, 968 rebounds, 703 assists, 652 steal and 201 blocks translates to per game averages of 14.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 5.6 steals and 1.7
blocks per game.
SECOND TEAM ALL-NCS
Alexsandra Alvarado, Salesian
The point guard in the arsenal of the Pride only got minimal recognition in the various Bay Area post season awards but on a team that graduated a ton of talent she showed
leadership and much improved play over last season, and in fact has shown steady improvement since Salesian Coach Stephen Pezzola raved about her as an incoming freshman. This
past season on a team that had six players average over six points per game she was second in scoring at 9.4 points per game, led the team in assists and steals with 2.9 per
game of each, and she snagged three rebounds a contest. Her top game came at the West Coast Jamboree when Alvarado had 20 points, five rebounds, six assists and five steals
in a win over state-ranked Chaminade-West Hills, or her best performance could be in a loss to NCS Open champion St. Joseph Notre Dame when she went for a season-high 22 points
with seven rebounds and three steals.
Amaya Bonner, Bishop O’Dowd
She’s listed as a guard but the silky-smooth 6-0 Bonner is almost as comfortable down low as she is handling the ball on the perimeter or looking for her mid-range jumper.
This past season she had per game averages of 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in helping first-team selection Kennedy Johnson to lead the Dragons
to a 23-7 record and the CIF Northern Regional Division I championship in a season cut short by the pandemic that wiped out the Dragons opportunity to win a CIF Division
I state championship. She had 16 points and six rebounds in the Dragons 62-60 NorCal D1 title-game victory at Salesian. Another solid performance came in a 55-52 victory over
state-ranked St. Mary’s-Stockton when Bonner went for a double-double 14 points and 15 rebounds with three assists and two steals. Bonner now adds an NCS honor to being
named Cal-Hi Sports Open/Division I all-state third team.
Paige Gerhart, San Ramon Valley
Gerhart was the floor general and provided senior leadership on a team that won an NCS Division I championship and then went on the road and upset state-ranked Antelope in
the NorCal D1 first round. Down the stretch and into the playoffs where the Wolves had a nine-game winning streak snapped in the NorCal D1 second round by Salesian, Gerhart
wasn’t the leading scorer in the last three wins but her leadership and all-around game was a key. She had 14 points against Carondelet in the NCS D1 semis, a near triple-double
10 points and 14 rebounds with eight assists in the title game 60-44 victory over San Leandro. In fact, on the season Gerhart had two triple-doubles and 17 double-doubles
with some including assists, all while leading the team in scoring, rebounding and assists with 15.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game. For good measure she was
ASB President at San Ramon Valley this year.
Lexi Givens, Alameda
When Givens committed to the University of Nevada in early May it didn’t surprise any of the Northern California girls basketball analysts that the Hornets star would be playing
for a solid D1 program at the next level. Some have felt Givens was a bit underrated but after leading Alameda to the CIF North Coast Section Division II championship and a
spot in the CIF Northern Regional Division II playoffs, Givens was chosen both San Francisco Chronicle all-Metro and Bay Area News Group all-Bay Area and Division II Cal-Hi
Sports All-State second team. Her reported stats were only for 21 games plus we had her 26 points (five three-pointers) in the Hornets 58-39 victory over Montgomery in
the NCS D2 title game, and for those games Givens had per game averages of 21.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.8 steals and 2.1 blocks per games. Givens season-high was
32 points in a win over Redwood-Larkspur and in 22 games she had 11 double-doubles including 27 points and 14 rebounds in a 56-52 victory over CIF Sac-Joaquin Section
Division V champion and NorCal D4 runner-up Colfax and 18 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to state-ranked Pinewood-Los Altos Hills.
Kylie Horstmeyer, Redwood
The No. 2 player from the Redwood Empire portion of the North Coast Section was under the radar in some postseason honors and not in others. Now, Horstmeyer gets to add a
Prep2Prep North Coast Section honor to being named Cal-Hi Sports All-State Division II first team. The 6-1 Horstmeyer, who is as comfortable mixing it up down low as she
is on the perimeter, wasn’t exactly a one-girl team, but she was the linchpin on the 24-5 Marin County Athletic League champion Giants, and a huge reason they made it to
the NCS Division II semifinals before bowing out to eventual champion Alameda. On the season Horstmeyer led Redwood in every statistical category and her per game points
and rebounds were double any other teammate. She averaged a double-double 19.8 points (30 three-pointers) and 11.7 rebounds per game with 3.2 steals, 1.8 assists and 1.1
blocks per contest. Horstmeyer had 17 double-doubles on the season including season highs of 31 points and 23 rebounds in a season-opening win over Urban-San Francisco and
20 points and 15 rebounds in the season-ending 61-53 loss to Alameda.
Malia Mastora, St. Joseph Notre Dame
Her first three years on varsity Mastora was the go-to player for the Pilots and led the team in scoring, was a Prep2Prep All North Coast Section first-team selection as a
sophomore and junior, and was both the P2P NCS Sophomore and Junior of the Year. This year St. Joseph Notre Dame was loaded to the gills as the top team in the NCS and No. 2
in NorCal to Archbishop Mitty, including her little sister and junior first-teamer Makena Mastora, and NCS Sophomore of the Year and first-team selection Talana Lepolo. That
meant the role of Mastora as a scorer was reduced, but in a year that saw a coaching change a third into the season, her leadership skills were instrumental in the Pilots
winning the inaugural NCS Open Division championship and a CIF NorCal Open runner-up finish. After averaging 14.2 points per game as a freshman, 14.4 as a sophomore, and
14.8 as a junior, she was at 9.3 points per game this past season. Mastora also had 3.3 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 2.0 assists per game. Until the past few years St. Joseph
Notre Dame was known for boys basketball, so it’s not a stretch to say Mastora is off to UC Riverside as the top girls player in school history and leaves with 1,690 career
points and 194 three-pointers.
Audrey Moulton, California
The fact that as a 5-9 combo guard Moulton was able to lead the Grizzlies in scoring and rebounding with a double-double 17.0 points and 10.2 rebounds a game, is quite
noteworthy since teammate Erica Adams was close behind her in scoring and was named the EBAL MVP. One thing that is quite noteworthy about the San Francisco Chronicle
three-time all-Metro and Bay Area News Group all-Bay Area selection, is Moulton’s rebounds were more than twice as many as the next girl on the roster. For good
measure she led the team in assists and steals with 4.6 and 2.9 per game, respectively, and was second with 41 three-pointers. Moulton had 14 double-doubles this
season including two 30-point performances in EBAL victories with 12 rebounds against Amador Valley-Pleasanton and 10 rebounds versus Monte Vista-Danville. For her 4-year
varsity career Moulton will leave California with 1,634 career points, 1,012 rebounds, 578 steals and 427 assists.
THIRD TEAM ALL-NCS
Jordan Allred, Miramonte
The Mats junior star like her other teammates was not flashy but she got the job done, and after all was said and done Allred led Miramonte in scoring and assists at
17 points and 3.2 assists per game, was second in steals at 3.1 per contest, second on three-pointers with 64, and third in rebounds with 6.5 per game. The Idaho-bound
Allred had some very solid performances including taking over in a come from behind 57-56 win over Sacred Heart Cathedral where she had eight of the Mats last nine points
including the game-winning layup at the buzzer. Her top performance may have come in a 79-63 victory over NorCal D1 champion Bishop O’Dowd when she went for 30 points,
six rebounds, five steals and three assists, she had some big plays down the stretch in a 64-61 victory at Pinewood and a double-double 21 points (four three-pointers)
and 10 rebounds in a 67-54 victory over Folsom.
Christina Bacci, Cardinal Newman
A three-year varsity player Bacci seemed to really blossom this year and was an integral part of the Cardinal Newman offensive attack. The Cardinals like to shoot
the three-pointer and Bacci had the green light to launch and she did to the tune of being right behind NCS Player of the Year Anya Choice with 70 made treys. On the
season the Cal State East Bay-bound Bacci averaged 9.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. She had a season-high 27 points with seven three-pointers in a
57-42 victory over state-ranked Heritage-Brentwood, duplicated the seven three-pointers for all 21 of her points in the Cardinals 64-41 victory over cross-town rival
Montgomery in the North Bay League–Oak Division championship game. Bacci only had 13 points in the Newman 50-48 CIF Northern Regional quarterfinal win at St. Mary’s-Stockton,
but the biggest basket of her career came when she took a 50-foot pass from Choice and with two dribbles she made a game-winning layup.
Jayme Blackard, Carondelet
The MVP and senior leader of this year’s Cougars team had a quality season in a year when everyone was looking at Carondelet in a re-building mode after losing a
ton of talent last year to graduation. Despite that and the fact Carondelet played a tough schedule that included the Nike TOC and West Coast Jamboree, Blackard helped
lead the Cougars to the North Coast Section Division I semifinals where their season ended in a four-point loss to eventual champion San Ramon Valley. On the season
Blackard led Carondelet in scoring, assists and steals with 12.1 points, 2.2 assists and 2.5 steals per game, pus she pulled down 4.3 rebounds per contest. One of her
top performances of the season came in the Bishop O’Dowd MLK Classic when Blackard had a double-double 20 points and 14 rebounds in a 42-40 victory over Mark Keppel-Alhambra.
Amira Brown, Salesian
The North Coast Section Open Division finalists and the CIF Northern Regional Division I finalists each had three girls selected to one of the three Prep2Prep all-NCS teams.
On the season Brown averaged 7.3 points per game, was second on the team with 5.5 rebounds a game, led the team in blocked shots and was second in assists and third in steals.
Brown only had one double-double, and it came in a loss, but her 10 points and 10 rebounds were against state and national No. 1 La Jolla Country Day. Brown had 13 points
(five rebounds) in the Pride’s 55-52 win over Bishop O’Dowd and in the NorCal D1 title-game loss to the Dragons she had nine points and a season-high 11 rebounds.
Chiara Brown, American
Prior to last season, American had not won the MVAL and now with four-year varsity player Brown leading the way they have now had back-to-back 14-0 seasons. Even though the
Eagles' season ended in a heartbreaking 61-60 quarterfinal loss in the CIF NorCals to eventual Division II champion Oakland Tech, it was the first CIF Northern Regional
appearance in school history for either girls or boys. Along the way Brown was second on the team in scoring to junior Dawson Bell and first in rebounds after averaging 15.4
points and 10.2 rebounds per game with 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks. One of her top performances both on offense and defense came early in the season in a 74-60 victory at NCS
D1 champion San Ramon Valley when she had 19 points and 10 rebounds. In a NorCal first round 53-51 victory over Christian Brothers-Sacramento, she outplayed UC Davis-bound
Bria Shine and finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds with two steals.
Aysia Dural, Cardinal Newman
Prep2Prep North Coast Section Sophomore of the Year Talana Lepolo may be the top defender in the NCS and Northern California, and one of the best in the state, but Dural
is not far behind and was always matched up defensively with the opponent’s best guard. She could score when called on, but it’s her lockdown defense that earns Dural
an all-NCS honor. She had 11 points in a 55-42 win over NCS D1 champion San Ramon Valley while at the same time holding second-teamer Paige Gerhart to eight points. In
the Cardinals 50-48 CIF NorCal Open quarterfinal win at St. Mary’s-Stockton Dural only had seven points, but she had 10 rebounds and her defense on the perimeter
was superb as she held all-state sophomore guard Tai Sherman to six points. Only one guard or player had 20 or more points against Newman all season and that was
Stanford-committed Antelope junior Jzaniya Harriel, and Dural made her work for every one of her 26 points in a 61-54 Newman victory.
Skylar McGlockton, Bishop O’Dowd
Kennedy Johnson and Amaya Bonner got just about all the ink for the CIF Northern Regional Division I champion Dragons, but McGlockton went about her business without
a lot of fanfare. However her excellent all-around game and ability to come up clutch in big games earns her the third O’Dowd spot for the Prep2Prep All-NCS honors. On the
season, McGlockton had per game averages of 8.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per games but an example of her stepping up against a top-notch opponent was
when she had a double-double with a team-high 16 points with 10 rebounds in a 55-52 victory over St. Mary’s-Stockton. Another double-double came against Miramonte in a
57-50 NCS Open Division victory when McGlockton had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and finally, in the CIF Northern Regional semifinal 67-50 over a state-ranked Clovis North
team that bested O’Dowd at the West Coast Jamboree, McGlockton went for 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Amanda Muse, Heritage
The Prep2Prep North Coast Section Freshman of the Year joins her sister and first-team selection Abby Muse as an all-NCS selection, and also becomes the only
freshman to make any of the three Prep2Prep all-NCS teams. She also adds an NCS honor to being named Cal-Hi Sports all-state first team for freshmen. This past
season, Muse averaged 8.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game, and while her top performances didn’t always come in Heritage victories, they did come
against the toughest teams on the Patriots schedule. Her top performance was at the MLK Classic against host and CIF Northern Regional Division I champion
Bishop O’Dowd after Muse nearly helped produce an upset in a 54-48 loss where she went for a season-high 17 points with six rebounds and five blocks.
Kayla Rosemon, Saint Mary’s
She was anything but a one-girl team since the Panthers had three players average over 10 points per game, but it was Rosemon who led St. Mary’s in scoring plus
rebounding with 13.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game averages. After helping lead St. Mary’s to a 22-7 record, a North Coast Section Division IV championship
and a CIF Northern Regional Division III title, Rosemon now adds a Prep2Prep All-NCS selection to her being named first-team all-state Division III by Cal-Hi Sports.
The only thing she couldn’t do was lead St. Mary’s to a CIF state championship as the pandemic ended that opportunity, or help get a Tri-County Athletic League–Rock
Division win over Salesian as they went 8-2 in league, but in one of the losses, 66-61 at home, she gave it her all with a double-double 17 points and a season-high
15 rebounds. On the season Rosemon had 17 double-doubles, including 19 points and 16 rebounds in a 58-50 NorCal D1 victory over Vanden-Fairfield, and 12 points
and 15 rebounds in the Panthers Northern Regional Division I 68-59 title game victory over Priory-Woodside.
Kaylee Pond, Grace Gebhardt
Isabella Mauricio, Jenny Yang
Dawson Bell, Natalie Kao
Peyton Holcomb, Nyla Prestly
Ta’Jenai Spencer, Jade Brewer
Jenna Kilty, Kali Myers
Jaliyah Wiggins, Hannah Golan
Erica Adams, Kelly Tumlin
Emma Nordby, Liz Chambers, Mariah Harris
Trinity Merwin, Emma Reese
CLAYTON VALLEY CHARTER:
Ysobelle Eustaquio, Aminata Barry
Charlotte Carroll, Gracie Betts
McKenna Nolasco, Micah Williams
Anna Greenthal, Natalie Craig
Isabella Fabricante, Julie Ramirez
Annabel Schneiberg, Ava Grey
MISSION SAN JOSE:
Sheriene Arikat, Rose Nevin
Trinity Zamora, Nakilah Johnson
Makaela Smith, Briana Travalini
Keyonne Neal, Leslie Bejarean
Olivia Victa, Anela Thomas
Daylee Dunn, Alyssa Jackson, Anissa Rillo
SAN RAMON VALLEY:
Audrey Bayston, Anne Marie Santich
Kaliyah Hensic, Kennedy Midgley
ST. JOSEPH NOTRE DAME:
Randi Harding, Sophie Nilsson
ST. PATRICK-ST. VINCENT:
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL:
Heaven’Lee Loans Arrow
Darolonie Sykes, Leniyah Fulson