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All-Area Girls' Basketball First Team

April 13, 2012
(Cheryl A. Guerrero…)

Damarie Gonzalez, Senior, Forward, Burbank

All-CIF Southern Section Division I-A and Pacific League first-team pick averaged 12.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Led Bulldogs to second-place finish in league and an unprecedented appearance in the CIF Southern Section Division I-A semifinals and a subsequent state playoff berth.

Emoni Jackson, Sophomore, Forward, Muir

All-Area Player of the Year candidate was the Pacific League co-MVP and recorded 17.4 points, 12.6 rebounds, 2.3 steals per game to propel Mustangs to Pacific League championship. Helped Mustangs reach CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA quarterfinals and earned spot on All-CIF second team.

Rishonda Napier, Senior, Guard, Bellarmine-Jefferson

McDonald's All-American nominee and All-Area Player of the Year candidate was a first-team All-CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA pick and the Santa Cruz League Player of the Year. With the ability to take over a game when needed, she averaged 21.7 points, three steals and three assists per game.

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Aysia Shellmire, Junior, Center, Burroughs

All-around talent down low averaged 15.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 1.6 steals per game. Named to All-Pacific League first team after leading Indians to fourth place in league an appearance in first round of Division I-A playoffs.

Jasmine Smith, Senior, Forward, Bellarmine-Jefferson

An All-Area mainstay as a four-year varsity standout for the Guards, she was selected to the All-Santa Cruz League first team. Notched 16 points and 10 rebounds per game in helping Guards go 24-9 and 8-0 for a league championship before advancing to the Division IV-AA semifinals and second round of state playoffs.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Andrew Bencze, Providence

Guided Pioneers to 27-win season and Liberty League championship with 10-0 record. Saw Pioneers advance to semifinals of Division V-AA playoffs before reaching quarterfinals of Division V state tournament. The league crown was the second in a row for the Pioneers, but their ascent to the sectional semifinals and a state berth alone, much less advancing, were firsts for the program. Even more impressive for the defense-first Bencze squad was that the team succeeded with its most potent scorer, Catherine Saint, injured for much of the season.

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