Although the Stars were not able to capture a Santa Fe League championship like their boys counterparts did, nor were they nearly as glamorous on the offensive end, it hardly mattered as fifth-year coach Victor Tuberosi implied team harmony and a commitment to tenacious defense, which paced the Stars all the way to their first CIF-Southern Section semifinals berth, which ended with a Division 5-A loss to eventual champion Grace Brethren of Simi Valley.
In fact, a balanced offense was just as more notable now that high scoring guard Angela Pisano and her 1,612 career points moved on to San Diego State (academics) after graduating in 2017, and no one benefitted more than senior point guard Hanalei Emnace and senior forward Melanie Meza.
When it came to defensive intensity, Emnace was a true rock star, as she averaged 5.1 steals per game and didn't mind getting in the paint for rebounds against taller players. Meza averaged a team-leading seven rebounds per game and was not afraid of bigger players, mixing it up against anyone and everyone possible. Both Emnace and Meza also shared the team lead in scoring at an 8.6 point per game average.
So it goes without saying Emnace with her long range three-point shooting, and Meza with her solid post presence, share something else... the award for the 2018 San Pedro News Pilot Prep Girls Basketball Player Of The Year.
Behind the leadership of Emnace, who made the All-CIF team, and Meza who made the All-Santa Fe League first team along with Emnace, Mary Star went 19-9 overall and placed in a tie for second in the Santa Fe League at 5-3, knocking off Wiseburn Da Vinci, Thatcher and Arrowhead Christian in consecutive CIF-SS Division 5-A playoff victories, also placing third in the Downey Calvary Chapel Tournament.
Tuberosi also had a variety of other weapons to go to for scoring with three more All-Santa Fe League selections in senior guard Jillian Duran, junior center Lorraine Medina and forward Karla Rocha, the top freshman out of all the San Pedro-based high schools.
San Pedro finished 10-15 overall, 5-7 in the Marine League behind second-year coach Eric Parker, but the Lady Pirates still managed a berth in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division 1 playoffs for the third straight season behind excellent play from talented sophomores Adryianna Edmonds and the 2018 SPNP Prep Girls Basketball Most Outstanding Player in guard Sierra Hayes.
First-year coach Paul Anderson was able to bring postseason basketball back to Port Of Los Angeles High, as the Polar Bears went 10-7 overall, and tied for third in the Crosstown League at 9-5. Behind freshman forward Chloe Clemons scoring a school record 33 points, POLA knocked off Animo Robinson 66-33 in the opening round before falling in the quarterfinals to eventual CIF-LACS Division 3 champion Gardena.
Freshman guard Isabella Serrano was also quite a find for POLA with her penetrating and passing skills.
ALL-SAN PEDRO NEWS PILOT PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL 2018
Chloe Clemons (POLA, fr.)
Mariah Gonzales (San Pedro, sr.)
Adriyanna Edmonds (San Pedro, soph.)
Jillian Duran (Mary Star, sr.)
Karla Rocha (Mary Star, fr.)
Lorraine Medina (Mary Star, jr.)
Imani Banks (San Pedro, jr.)
Isabella Serrano (POLA, fr.)
Ardent Almazan (POLA, sr.)
Sarah Leyba (Mary Star, soph.)
CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Hanalei Emnace (Mary Star, sr. ) & Melanie Meza (Mary Star, sr.)
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Sierra Hayes (San Pedro, soph.)
COACH OF THE YEAR
Victor Tuberosi (Mary Star)
SAN PEDRO NEWS PILOT PAST PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2012: Rita Fiorenza, San Pedro
2013: Angela Wade, Port Of Los Angeles
2014: Rita Fiorenza, San Pedro
2015: Rita Fiorenza, San Pedro & Angela Pisano, Mary Star
2016: Deanna Valverde & Melannie Ortiz, San Pedro