MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
When he steps on the basketball court, Bishop Diego’s Caleb Richey plays like he has rocket boosters in his sneakers.
He zooms past defenders on the dribble for layups, pulls up for a mid-range jump shot and knocks down a 3-pointer. His fearlessness on dribble drives often gets him to the free-throw line. If defenders somehow slow him down, he can find an open teammate for shot.
He’s also a demon on defense, using his quick hands to steal the ball and his quick feet to draw charging fouls.
“I do not watch a lot of pro basketball, but Caleb reminds me of the way Russell Westbrook plays,” said Bishop Diego coach Dean Prophet, referring to the dynamic guard of the Oklahoma City Thunder. “Quick, takes care of the ball, plays hard, defends and is not afraid of anybody or any situation. Caleb has a very nice hesitation move, sees the court well and wants to win.”
Presidio Sports has named Richey as the MVP of the All-City Boys Basketball Team.
Richey, a 5-10 senior, led the city in scoring with a 22.8 average. his high-point game was 29 points and he scored more than 22 points in 18 games. He shot 42 percent from the field, 36 percent from behind the 3-point line and 74 percent from the free-throw line. He also led Bishop Diego in defensive rebounds (6.5), assists (3.4) and steals (2.7).
The high school All-City teams are selected by Presidio Sports to recognize the top high school student-athletes competing on the South Coast from Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria.
Based upon on-court performance and team leadership, each All-City selection will receive a special award certificate and be recognized online at PresidioSports.com and in print in the Santa Barbara Sentinel.
The players picked to the All-City team are Emilio Gonzalez of Santa Barbara, Bryce Ridenour of San Marcos, Kevin Hempy of San Marcos, Zach Shugart of Dos Pueblos, Cruz Mertens of Dos Pueblos and Nathan Dutcher of Providence Hall.
The players will be recognized at the Santa Barbara Athletic Press Luncheon on April 1 at Harry’s Cafe.
PRESIDIO SPORTS’ ALL-CITY BASKETBALL TEAM
MVP: Caleb Richey, Sr., 5-10 guard, Bishop Diego
Emilio Gonzalez, Sr., 6-4, Forward, Santa Barbara: “E” was his best in the big games. In the championship of the Dons’ Holiday Classic, he recorded a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead his team to the title. In the Channel League title-deciding game against Dos Pueblos, he shut down DP’s Zach Shugart, scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. In a key league win against San Marcos, he scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half. In a CIF playoff game, he had 26 points and 12 boards. He averaged 15 points and 11 boards for the season and 16 and 11 in Channel League play.
Kevin Hempy, Sr., 6-6, Forward, San Marcos: When Hempy was on, the Royals were tough to beat. He’d beat defenders down court and finish fast breaks, and he could knock down the 3-pointer. “Kevin has great offensive instincts,” said coach Dave Odell. Hempy averaged a team-best 11.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Cruz Mertens, Sr., 6-4, Guard, Dos Pueblos: Defenses always had to be aware of Mertens. He could break a game open with his 3-point shooting ability. He hit three in a row to spark the Chargers to an upset of the fourth-seeded team in the CIF playoffs. Mertens averaged 15.5 points and shot 34 percent from behind the arc. His length and court savvy also made him a tough defender. “He made our team and posts better because of the respect for his shooting ability,” coach Joe Zamora said.
Bryce Ridenour, Jr., 6-2, Guard, San Marcos: Odell calls the Ridenour “the most rounded player on any team in the league.” He averaged 11 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and a team-best 3 steals a game. He was a 73 percent free-throw shooter and was second on the team in 3-pointers. An overlooked part of his game was defense. “He can guard any position and he really disrupts offenses,” said Odell.
Zach Shugart, Sr., 6-5, Forward, Dos Pueblos: Shugart played with toughness and tenacity. He battled inside for points and also hit shots from the perimeter. His one-handed dunk in the first meeting at Santa Barbara is one of the highlights of the season. He showed his defensive prowess in the CIF quarterfinals, holding Tesoro’s 6-8 Washington State-bound center to eight points. He had six blocked shots in a win at San Marcos. He averaged 12.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. “We were 4-0 in the first round of Channel League with him 0-4 in the second round without him (knee injury) and 3-1 in the third round with him,” said coach Joe Zamora.
Nathan Dutcher, Sr., 6-0, Guard, Providence Hall: The point guard averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists and shot 40 percent on 3-pointers in leading the Lions to the quarterfinals of the CIF playoffs. He scored 22, 28 and 17 points in the team’s three playoff games and averaged 4 rebounds and 3 steals. “Nathan led us in scoring and rebounds but handled the ball and ran our offense all game every game,” coach Landon Boucher said “His leadership skills improved every day, and by the post season he practically was my assistant coach at times.”