Starting hot early, overcoming a rough patch coming into their own tournament, and maintaining that confidence and belief in one another, San Pedro High boys basketball posted a solid 19-10 overall season which ended in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division 1 quarterfinals thanks to eventual champion Grant of Valley Glen/Van Nuys.
Although the Pirates had a variety of scoring threats under 23-year coach John Bobich, the one player that drew the most attention from their opponents, especially in the Marine League, was a 5'9'' Croatian sniper Pirate teammates called, The General.
Who could blame them?
Junior guard Anthony Hrboka exhibited a dazzling display of accuracy in all facets of shooting. The All-City Division 1 & All-Marine League first team selection led a balanced Pirate team with a 19.3 points per game average, hitting an insane 101-of-183 attempts from three-point range for a scorching 55.1% clip.
Taking a challenge from Bobich to reach the free throw line more, Hrboka answered that call and then some, missing only three of his 50 attempts to finish at 94%, and overall, the three-year veteran made 58% of his shots from the field, also averaging 4.2 assists and 2.4 steals, averages that would have been a little higher if he didn't miss two Marine League games at home against both Carson and Banning of Wilmington, games the Pirates still managed to win.
With those eye-popping numbers, Hrboka successfully defends his claim to being named the 2022 San Pedro News Pilot Prep Boys Basketball Player Of The Year.
Despite Hrboka's amazing year, other Pirates' such as fellow All-Marine League selections, the senior trio of Boston Wimberly, Volney Griffin and Keith Vaughn Jr. also had fine seasons themselves. Griffin shared Co-MVP honors with Hrboka after this fantastic four helped San Pedro capture their own Pirate Shootout 2021 Tournament right before Christmas with a 52-45 victory over Crenshaw of Los Angeles on December 23.
San Pedro placed third in the Marine League with a 6-4 mark, only losing to co-champions Gardena and Narbonne of Harbor City all four combined times.
Mary Star Of The Sea (9-17 overall, 3-6 Santa Fe League) languished through a difficult run in Santa Fe League play with a relatively young team under six-year coach Mike Sestich, but three of their six league setbacks came by a combined eight points, keeping them from reaching the CIF-Southern Section Division 4-A playoffs.
Even so, junior guard Luka Fiamengo, the 2022 SPNP Prep Boys Basketball Most Outstanding Player, had a wonderful season of his own, leading the Stars in scoring.
Port Of Los Angeles finished 1-13 overall, 1-9 in the Imperial League as they played under a new coach a year after not fielding a team last Spring during the resumption of high school sports in mid-2021 during the coronavirus pandemic.
(Note: Anthony Hrboka photo by Miguel Elliot)
Volney Griffin (San Pedro, sr.)
Boston Wimberly (San Pedro, sr.)
J.R. Hammer (Mary Star, jr.)
Keith Vaughn Jr. (San Pedro, sr.)
Isaac Chau (Mary Star, sr.)
Isaiah Almazan (POLA, sr.)
Harrison Tan (Mary Star, sr.)
Achilleas Papadoupoulos (San Pedro, jr.)
Giuseppe Dileva (San Pedro, sr.)
Devon Wilmington (Mary Star, jr.)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Anthony Hrboka (San Pedro, jr.)
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Luka Fiamengo (Mary Star, jr.)
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
2017: Joseph Octave, Mary Star
2018: Joseph Octave, Mary Star
2019: Joseph Octave, Mary Star
2020: Ian Hietala, San Pedro
2021: Anthony Hrboka, San Pedro