Even though the Mary Star High girls basketball team wasn't able to put together a long CIF-Southern Section playoff run like they were able to in 2018 and 2019, they did produce something they hadn't done those two years, or the other 34 years before those, a league championship.
It took seven years under coach Victor Tuberosi to finally get it done, but Mary Star (19-10 overall) became Santa Fe League tri-champions, their first league crown, outright or shared, since 1984. The Stars, along with St. Pius X/St. Matthias & St. Genevieve all went 6-2 in league play, as neither couldn't knock the other off on the road considering all three went 4-0 at home in league play.
However, the Stars were the only Santa Fe League team to survive the first round of CIF-SS playoff action, defeating Sacred Heart Of Jesus, 40-30 on February 13 at home before suffering a 71-46 second round defeat to a hot-shooting Shalhevet of Los Angeles two days later.
Mary Star also won the St. Monica Tournament in early December, while posting a giant crosstown win over neighbor San Pedro that followed the tournament crown.
Two players in particular, owned the court as they shared the same goal with their competitive spirit that resonated all over the Mary Star gym, and that's co-captains junior guard Isabella Serrano, all-tournament selections at both Downey Calvary Chapel and St. Monica, and senior forward Sarah Leyba, the St. Monica Tournament MVP.
Behind the sensational efforts of the two All-Santa Fe League first team selections, Serrano (13.7 points per game) and Leyba (13.2 points per game), are your 2020 San Pedro News Pilot Prep Girls Basketball Players Of The Year.
When one is on, it made it tough for Mary Star to beat. When both were on, it was extremely difficult to defeat the Stars, especially at home. Serrano and Leyba both played a pivotal role in a game-breaking 16-0 run to end the third quarter of their 42-32 victory over St. Pius X/St. Matthias on January 21. In a 31-11 win over St. Genevieve in the league opener on January 9, Leyba scored nine of her game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter, and in the league-title clinching 65-32 victory over St. Bernard on February 4, Serrano scored a season-high 21 points.
San Pedro (8-14 overall, 6-4 Marine League) started slow out of the gate under first-year coach Kevin Simpson, but the Pirates picked it up in January once All-Marine League senior center Adriyanna Edmonds, the San Pedro News Pilot Prep Girls Basketball Most Outstanding Player, returned to the fray, as they would finish third place in the Marine League once again, and giving Simpson the 2020 SPNP Prep Girls Basketball Coach Of The Year honors.
The Pirates lost in the first round of the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division 2 playoffs to Sotomayor of Los Angeles despite great outings from Edmonds (17 points per game, 12 rebounds per game) and senior forward Stormy Carter, who led San Pedro in steals and assists.
Meanwhile at Port Of Los Angeles, the Polar Bears gained a new future star on the rise in freshman guard Josie Jaramillo, as she helped pace POLA to a third place finish in the Imperial League, and the CIF-LACS Division 4 quarterfinals after a first-round win over Collins Family of Huntington Park. POLA finished 6-7 overall, 5-5 in league play. Senior forward Kaylen Scott and senior guard Annie Le also had career seasons.
(Note: Isabella Serrano & Sarah Leyba photos by Miguel Elliot)
Stormy Carter (San Pedro, sr.)
Marina Erosa (Mary Star, sr.)
Kaitlyn Oasay (Mary Star, jr.)
Kaylen Scott (POLA, jr.)
Gianna Dileva (San Pedro, jr.)
Annie Le (POLA, sr.)
Courtney Marshall (San Pedro, jr.)
Cristina Camacho (Mary Star, jr.)
Jenna Miloe (Mary Star, sr.)
Josie Jaramillo (POLA, fr.)
CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Isabella Serrano (Mary Star, jr.)
Sarah Leyba (Mary Star, sr.)
MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Adriyanna Edmonds (San Pedro, sr.)
COACH OF THE YEAR
Kevin Simpson (San Pedro)
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
2017: Angela Pisano, Mary Star
2018: Hanalei Emnace & Melanie Meza, Mary Star
2019: Isabella Serrano & Karla Rocha, Mary Star