Bolden Brace showed this basketball season that he is more than just a dead-eye shooter. The Santa Barbara High junior expanded his overall game and became a more complete player.
And his versatility helped the Dons post an impresive 29-6 record, win their third Channel League title and advance to the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs.
For all he contributed to his team’s success, Brace has been named the MVP of the Presidio Sports All-City Boys Basketball Team.
The All-City Team members include Max Henderson and Ben Clay of Santa Barbara, Scott Everman of San Marcos, Matt Eaton of Providence and Alexis Herrera of Bishop Diego.
The 6-5 Brace averaged 20.5 points, 4.2 assists, 6.8 rebounds and 2.4 steals. As a shooter, he made 56 percent of his two-pointers and shot 36.2 percent from 3-point range.
“Last year. Bo was a role player off of the bench who pretty much just waited for someone to create something for him so he could get a shot off,” Dons assistant Joseph Bregante said. “This year he was creating his own shots from the perimeter, and he is starting to take the ball to the basket better and better. He has become a very difficult player to guard.”
When opponents tried to shut down his shooting, the junior forward made them pay in other areas. He dished assists, crashed the boards and made steals. He did whatever it took to help his team win.
“We really asked a lot of Bo this year,” Bregante said. “We needed him to score, rebound, play defense, and get the rest of his teammates involved. He accepted the challenge and went out there and did his best. I think one of the best things about him is his ability to pass the ball and create things for his teammates. We always tell our players that really good players can score a lot of points, but great players make everyone around them better. There were several games this year in which Bo played great.”
2014-15 All-City Boys Basketball Team:
Bolden Brace, Jr., Santa Barbara, MVP
Max Henderson, Sr., Santa Barbara: You could call him “Big Shot” Max. The guard had a knack of making big shots at big moments for the Dons. He knocked down 40.5 percent of his 3-point shots. He also was an outstanding defender, often shutting down the opposition’s top scorer. He had a tremendous year for us,” Bregante said. “He was our defensive stopper but he also made huge plays on offense in big games. I’m going to remember him hitting five 3-pointers in the second half at Ventura with the league championship on the line for a long time.”
Ben Clay, Jr., Santa Barbara: Clay raised his game to become a solid player in the low post and a strong rebounder. He averaged 11.1 points and 9.5 rebounds a game. “He really loves to play and he is a very hard worker,” said Bregante. “He has probably improved more than anyone in our program the last two years. He became a dominant rebounder for us this year and caused a lot of matchup problems for other teams.”
Scott Everman, Jr., San Marcos: The 6-6 forward was the team’s main offensive threat. He averaged a team-best 15 points and 7 rebounds and led the Royals to 21 wins, the most by a San Marcos team in a single season in at least 10 years. If he wasn’t knocking down 3-pointers, he scored in the low post, attacked the rim and got to the free-throw line. His scoring helped San Marcos advance to the quarterfinals of the CIF 3AA playoffs. “Scott is a player who has developed a well-rounded offensive skill set,” coach Landon Boucher said. “He was able to help us by scoring from the perimeter, posting up on the block, and finishing in transition.” Everman also played well at the defensive end for a Royals team that often kept opponents in the low 40s. “Scott is a dedicated player who is seeing his hard work pay off,” Boucher said. “As he remains among the best high school players in the city, he also remains among the most humble kids.”
Alexis Herrera, Sr., Bishop Diego: Herrera was the floor general for the Cardinals. He averaged 11.5 points and five assists per game, but it was his leadership that made him so valuable. “His tenacious and competitive mentality trickled through each one of his teammates and created a very bright foundation for the Bishop Diego basketball program,” coach Jeff Koval said. “Alexis was a tremendous leader for us and I am honored to have coached him.”
Matthew Eaton, Sr. Providence: Eaton was an offensive force for the Patriots, averaging 19.5 points a game He also averaged 6.1 rebounds. He set a school record with 36 points in a game and his career point total of 1,300 points is also a school mark. His senior season total of 448 points is second highest in program history. “Success is never an accident. In order to shine on the court in games, you need to put in the work when no one is watching,” coach Steve Stokes said. “Matthew has done that since day one. He works tirelessly on his game, always refining the details. Because of all the work he has put in perfecting his craft, the success he and our program had this season was not a surprise.”