MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS
Ivette Gil and Sydney Hedges possessed all the qualities that made them outstanding leaders on their respective basketball teams.
Their skill-set, competitiveness and savvy on the court were a big reason their teams enjoyed successful seasons. Hedges helped Providence Hall make history, leading the school to its first CIF-SS championship and to the second round of the state playoffs. Gil led the Dons to 25 wins, including two over perennial power Buena, and to the second round of the CIF State Tournament.
Presidio Sports is proud to honor seniors Gil and Hedges as co-Most Valuable Players on the All-City Girls Basketball Team.
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.
Named to the squad are Melissa Lemus and Dessy Coleman of Santa Barbara High, Greer Shull of Bishop Diego, Erin Saito of Carpinteria and Lacey Gonzalez of Providence Hall.
The players will be recognized at the Santa Barbara Athletic Press Luncheon on April 1 at Harry’s Cafe.
Besides scoring, rebounding and defending, Gil provided a calming influence to her team.
“She’s an amazing leader and has great character,” said coach Andrew Butcher. “She held together a team with some emotional older players as well as two freshmen starters.”
The 5-6 Gil had all-around game. She averaged 18.4 points and shot 47 percent from the floor; she knocked down 47 percent of her 3-point shots; she grabbed 6.6 rebounds, averaged 3 steals and 1.6 assists per game.
“She achieved her statistics despite being other team’s primary focus and playing a big-time schedule,” Butcher noted. The Dons beat two CIF champions as well as other teams that went far into the playoffs. In the state tournament game against Southern Section 3A Division champion Chaminade, Butcher said Gil “was easily the best player on the court and led with 11 rebounds in that game.
“She led our section in scoring for the regular season and in the playoffs.”
Hedges was the go-to player for Providence Hall. She averaged 21 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. She raised her game to another level during the Lions’ playoff run, averaging 25.7 points and 12.2 rebounds.
“During the playoffs, and through much of the season, Sydney has had to deal with double and triple teams from various teams, but she still managed to perform at a high level,” said Providence Hall coach Ernesto Quiroz. “What doesn’t show up on the stat sheet is that Sydney is a gifted defensive player. She often guarded the best player on the other team.”
Quiroz noted that Hedges led by example and made sure all her teammates were involved and focused for every practice and game.
It paid off with a CIF championship.
PRESIDIO SPORTS’ 2013 ALL-CITY TEAM:
CO-MVP: Ivette Gil, 5-6, Sr., Santa Barbara
CO-MVP: Sydney Hedges, 6-1, Sr., Providence Hall
Melissa Lemus, 5-2, Sr. Santa Barbara: Lemus was the motor of Santa Barbara’s up-tempo attack. She played with tenacity and fearlessness. “No one would press us because of her ballhandling and passing abilities,” coach Butcher said. Lemus averaged 5.2 assists and set a school record with 10 assists in a half against Calabasas in the CIF Division 3AA semifinals. Her scoring average was 11.8 points. She also was a good defender, averaging 3.1 steals.
Dessy Coleman, 5-6, Jr., Santa Barbara: Coleman brought toughness to the Dons. “She always defended the other team’s biggest player,” Butcher said. “A tough kid who did not back down from anyone.” Coleman averaged 13.3 points on 49 percent shooting and shot 47 percent on 3-pointers; she grabbed 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.6 steals.
Greer Shull, 5-7, Sr., Bishop Diego: Shull was a big reason the Cardinals went from 10 wins last year to 19 this season and winning the Frontier League championship. She averaged 15.5 points, 3 assists and 2.3 steals per game. She made 30 3-pointers and set the school career record with 126. She scored 435 points. “Our offense was predicated on having the ball in Greer’s hand to make the best decision for our team, which led us to 19 victories. She made me believe everything was possible,” said Bishop coach Jeff Burich.
Erin Saito, 5-6, Sr., Carpinteria: Saito played in the post and on the perimeter for the Warriors. She scored in double figures in 16 of 24 games and averaged 11.4 points in Frontier League play. “She’s been a model of consistency,” said coach Dan Mercer.
Lacey Gonzalez, 5-6. Sr., Providence Hall: Gonzalez was the facilitator in the Lions’ attack. “Her leadership on offense has been a key to our success because she has been able to maintain a steady demeanor no matter the situation,” said coach Ernesto Quiroz. Gonzalez rarely turned the ball over, averaging just 1.7 turnover per game. She averaged 11.3 points and increased her scoring to 17 points when Hedges was sidelined with an injury for six games.