The 2016-2017 seasons for the San Pedro, Mary Star Of The Sea and Port Of Los Angeles High boys basketball teams in San Pedro Prep Sports wasn't as smooth for every collective school as it was last year when all three made their respective CIF playoffs but...
It definitely was a Starry-year for Mary Star.
Under first-year coach Mike Sestich, a former San Pedro High All-City star, he injected some new life into the Stars as they finished second in the Santa Fe League to St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs, finished 21-9 overall and made an improbable run to the CIF-Southern Section Division IV-A semifinals, where a final 60-second burst from Shalhelvet of Los Angeles ended their dream season.
On top of the team's remarkable progression this season under Sestich's guidance, sophomore guard Joseph Octave took the definition of 'clutch' into a whole new level.
In a 91-86 five-overtime victory at El Segundo on December 17, Octave scored a game-high 39 points before fouling out in the fourth overtime, made a game-winning shot with 2.2 seconds left to beat Bosco Tech of Rosemead on January 18 in a game where he scored 11 fourth-quarter points, and also hit three clutch jumpers in a 40-point performance of a 103-102, triple overtime upset of Pacific of San Bernadino in the CIF-SS Division IV-A quarterfinals.
Octave in that game hit a jumper to force overtime, a game-tying three-pointer in the second overtime, and the winning basket with seven seconds remaining in the third overtime.
It's not a surprise that Octave, already with over 1,000 career points and a 2017 All-CIF Division IV-A selection, for the second straight season is the 2017 San Pedro News Pilot Prep Boys Basketball Player Of The Year, and Sestich in his first year, is the Coach Of The Year.
Even though Octave (24.7 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game) carried the Stars for most of the season, he didn't do it alone, as senior point guard Nick Billings, senior forward Nathan Linayao, and a young group of new faces such as sophomore Jose Rocha (Narbonne transfer) and freshmen Aaron Martinez and Aaron Torres, along with senior center Noah Prince and others, stepped up when counted upon to make Mary Star a dangerous team in 2017.
San Pedro and coach John Bobich struggled through a trying season with a young roster, and it showed in their final results with a 6-19 overall record, including an 0-12 Marine League mark, while Port Of Los Angeles and first-year coach Marshall Johnson finished 6-12 overall (10 forfeit losses), and 6-8 in the Crosstown League.
Senior forward Isaac Perez was still named to the All-City Division IV team by the CIF-Los Angeles City Section for a wonderful final season in spite of the Polar Bears missing the playoffs.
Here is the full All-San Pedro News Pilot Boys Basketball Team for 2017...
Nathan Linayao (Mary Star, sr.)
Timothy Oloimooja (POLA, jr.)
Cole Turner (San Pedro, jr.)
Anson Panton (San Pedro, soph.)
Isaac Perez (POLA, sr.)
Aaron Martinez (Mary Star, fr.)
Jose Regalado (San Pedro, sr.)
Jose Rocha (Mary Star, soph.)
Mycah Serendia (POLA, jr.)
Daniel Lopez (San Pedro, jr.)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Joseph Octave (Mary Star, soph.)
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Nick Billings (Mary Star, sr.)
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike Sestich (Mary Star)
SAN PEDRO NEWS PILOT PAST PREP BOYS BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2012: Kenny Potter, San Pedro
2013: Elijah Gaines, San Pedro
2014: Quincy Thomas, San Pedro
2015: Justin Rodriguez & Neil Green, Mary Star
2016: Joseph Octave, Mary Star