BURBANK — Both the Bellarmine-Jefferson High and Providence boys’ basketball teams boasted impact players his past season.
There was no doubt that Micah Shirley played a big part in the success of the Bell-Jeff squad.
Behind the athletic senior who was also an All-CIF Southern Section standout in football, the Guards put together a winning campaign that included a Santa Fe League championship. It was Bell-Jeff’s first league title in 13 years.
With that success, it’s not surprising that Bell-Jeff had five athletes who were honored on the all-league list. Leading the way was Shirley, who earned Santa Fe League Player of the Year honors.
“They had a really hard time stopping Micah in league,” first-year Bell-Jeff Coach Julian Andrade said. “He put up some pretty good numbers this season.
“But to have five of our guys honored is pretty unexpected. And some of those players are going to get back for next year, and I will have a year to work with them.”
Shirley averaged 16.6 points a game and scored 24 in a game against St. Genevieve on Feb. 10 to help the Guards secure the league crown.
Making the all-league first team were sophomore guard Brandon White and junior guard Elijah Reed. Senior guard Mario Marquez and sophomore guard/forward Connor Linquist were second-team honorees.
“What really helped us this season was our defense,” Andrade said. “And three of our guys who made all-league, Mario, Brandon and Elijah, were really the ones who helped lead the defense for us.”
The Guards (12-13) couldn’t carry over their success in league into the CIF Southern Section playoffs, as No. 14 Bell-Jeff was defeated in the first round by Chadwick, 58-56.
While Shirley was doing his thing at Bell-Jeff, junior Patrick Gonzalez was rewriting the record books at Providence.
“He just about broke every season record we have at Providence,” Pioneers Coach Cary Many said.
Although Gonzalez put up monster numbers, the fact that the Pioneers (13-12) placed fourth in the Liberty League is probably the reason he wasn’t awarded the league’s player of the year honor,” Many said
“I think he definitely deserves to be right up there with the top players in the league,” Many said. “He did everything we asked of him and he had some outstanding numbers.”
Gonzalez broke records in everything from points in a game (52), to free throws made (134), to most three-pointers in a game (11) to most three-pointers in a season (137). According to maxpreps.com. Gonzalez ended the season with the highest scoring average and the highest three-point average (six a game) among players in California.
The junior averaged 37.8 points and 11.5 rebounds a game. In addition, along with scoring 869 points, Gonzalez tallied 30 or more points in 19 game and 40 or more in 10 games.
On the school’s career scoring list, Gonzalez has 1,468 points and trails Barry Dabbaghian (1,555) by just 87 points. Many said Gonzalez should shatter that record next season.
Also earning all-league honors is Providence senior guard Tyler Kidd, who averaged 18 points a game.