The Polar Bears made it all the way to the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division IV-V semifinals, and one of the biggest reasons why was the all-around play of All-City Division V first team selection Angela Wade, who has been an absolute beast at forward who does all she can to help POLA be successful.
Wade, entering her senior year, is a pure sharpshooter for POLA who can adapt to any style, and the four-year veteran who's been playing the sport since sixth grade is looking for more for herself, and for her team. The Polar Bears look to build off last year where they lost to Crosstown League rival Animo South Los Angeles for the third time in the City Section Division V semifinals.
"Getting to the semifinals was most memorable because even though we lost, we as a team did our best and fought hard until the end," said Wade, who averaged 16.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.2 steals and 2.0 assists. Her scoring average was tops for all of the San Pedro-based high schools.
Friday, December 14, 2012 was a historic day for both Wade and the Polar Bears.
Against New Millennium of Carson, Wade lit up the Victoria Park gymnasium like a Christmas tree, scoring 30 points to become the first POLA High basketball player, male or female, to put up a 30-point outing during the Polar Bears' 69-46 victory. Even with that kind of individual brilliance, Wade was still humble, a lost trait in a lot of young athletes, and was a little surprised by her remarkable achievement.
"I was really shocked and amazed because I never really pay attention to my stats, but it doesn't matter how much I score," Wade said. "It's all about the team and how much we scored together as a team, but the feeling was amazing. I was really proud of myself but also thankful for a team that helped me get the points. Without them, I couldn't have scored those points.
Wade helped POLA post a 19-7 mark and a second place tie in the Crosstown League with a 7-3 record, along with two CIF-LACS Division V playoff victories over De La Hoya Animo of Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks CES.
The 2013-2014 season looks promising for POLA and third-year coach LeRon Atmore with Wade returning, but you also have to keep an eye on fellow senior forward Alex Espinoza, junior point guard Mayan Rodriguez, junior forward Kaela Razevich, senior guard Aubree Ponce and senior G/F Zefora Kemp.
"Individually, I just want to help my team out as much as I can before I leave," Wade says. "As a team, I want to have everyone work together and have a chemistry that will hopefully take us all the way to the championships."
Wade also led the girls volleyball team at POLA in kills, helping guide the Polar Bears to the CIF-Division IV-V quarterfinals after reaching the title match last season, and she says playing volleyball and basketball helps her out in a variety of ways.
"Volleyball helps me in basketball as far as my vertical jump, being able to rebound easier, and it also helps with my shooting because it helps me with my reflexes, helping me see a pass and still get the ball right when the pass is made," Wade says.
Wade and POLA has a big-time chance to make themselves known in San Pedro on Monday when they travel to face San Pedro High and their star junior guard Rita Fiorenza in a rare in-city nonleague game.
"To me, it feels like just another game," Wade says. "But playing against San Pedro should be interesting and fun. I think it will really show not only the Pirates, but the whole San Pedro community what POLA High School is made of,that we are a competitive and good team. We will come with the heart to win and to just play to our fullest."
POLA is coming off a 37-30 victory over Buena Park yesterday for their season opener in a Downey Calvary Chapel Tournament pool play game.