All-Area Boys' Basketball: Trio helped lead Bears to an historic season

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

As anyone who got the chance to witness the Summerville Bears in action during the 2012-13 boys' basketball season would likely agree - they were an unselfish team.

The willingness of every player on the 12-man roster to do exactly what was asked of him - even if that meant his numbers on the stat sheet might take a hit - propelled this year's Bears to historic heights, including an undefeated run in the Mother Lode League and the school's first ever CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Boys' Basketball Championship.

In keeping with the "unselfish" theme, it's only appropriate for Bear seniors Logen Foster, Jesse Roberson and Rosendo Amaya-Wood to share the honor of being named the 2012-13Union DemocratAll-Area Most Valuable Player.

"I think it's a tribute to the whole team," Co-MVP Roberson said of sharing the distinction. "Nobody can do what we did this year on their own. And I certainly had these two great players (Foster and Amaya-Wood) with me, plus the others who pushed us hard in practice."

"It's an honor, it really is," Amaya-Wood said. "I've worked hard to get here and be recognized for my basketball abilities, but it wasn't just me this year, the whole team deserves it."

Roberson previously earned MLL MVP honors and Foster was named the league's Most Outstanding Player. Amaya-Wood also made the All-League First Team.

Sharing the achievements and accolades with Amaya-Wood and Foster has been special for Roberson because they are not only teammates but also friends off the court. Roberson has been playing basketball on teams with Foster since both were in elementary school and with Amaya-Wood since freshman year.

"It's been awesome to play together and finish our high school experience on a year like this," Roberson said.

Summerville head coach Ben Watson said the triple-MVP award was appropriate for this season's squad.

"We were a team in the true sense of the word," he said. "One guy would have a big game and then it was someone else the next night, but those three (Roberson, Amaya-Wood and Foster) were obviously constant contributors and shared a lot of the load on both offense and defense."

In November, Watson said during an interview at a team practice before the first game of the season that Foster would need to be willing to handle the ball and run the offense in order for the whole team to be successful. And the Co-MVP certainly rose to the occasion.

"He fit that mold to make the team better," Watson said. "I thought he matured both as a player and a person. We had a lot of guys who really contributed, but he made us more of an all-around team."

Foster was also able to find lanes and take it to the basket, which is more his specialty, thanks to big guys like Roberson who could control the boards and play well 20 feet from the basket.

"Jesse's one of those kids you just want to have on your team," said Bret Harte head coach Jeff Eltringham, whose Bullfrogs were defeated three times by the Bears like everyone else in the MLL. "There were games he didn't score a lot, but he was always guarding a good player. I think he's the type of kid that could have scored 17 or 18 points per game, but he took whatever role Ben (Watson) gave him."

While Roberson was shutting down offenses and spreading defenses with his own sharp 3-point shooting, Amaya-Wood was battling in the post to grab boards and knock down shots.

Watson said Amaya-Wood's eagerness to learn has turned him into the player he's become today.

"He always wants to get better and is never satisfied," Watson said. "Of all the guys on the team, he's the most coachable - and I had a bunch of great, coachable guys."

Amaya-Wood said the four years playing basketball for Summerville sparked his passion for the sport and he's now planning to attend University of La Verne, a Division III school in Los Angeles, where he's been offered a roster spot on the mens' basketball team.

"Playing against all the guys up here has made me better," Amaya-Wood said of the local competition. "This area isn't recognized for the quality of athletes as much as it probably should, and there was a lot of talent this year."

Also selected to the All-Area First Team from Summerville were seniors Connor Morningstar and Joey Brocchini, who completed the Bears' starting lineup with Foster, Roberson and Amaya-Wood.

Morningstar came alive during the Section playoffs and led the team in scoring during the championship game played at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. Meanwhile, Brocchini's 3-point shooting, passing and defense seemed to lift the Bears whenever they were down.

"Morningstar's got a lot of potential and I don't know if he realizes just how good he can be if he continues with the game," said former Sonora head coach Rick Francis, who retired at the end of this season. "Brocchini will just all of a sudden hit a 3, then run down to other end and get the rebound, and do it all over again."

Ben Bates was the lone Wildcat named to the First Team. Francis said the Sonora senior had a strong year despite his team missing the playoffs. He led the Valley Oak League with 9.6 rebounds per game and averaged two blocked shots.

"He's young, he's a senior who very well could be a junior, and that shows the potential for this young man is incredible," Francis said. "His overall play and improvement over the past three years he's been on varsity has been phenomenal. I see some very special things for him in the future."

Calaveras head coach Kraig Clifton, whose Redskins defeated the Wildcats early in the season, called Bates "a nightmare."

"A guy his size, with his coordination and being able to shoot those 3-pointers is a horrible matchup for most high school teams," Clifton said.

Like the Wildcats, the Redskins had a tough season in which they missed the playoffs, but Calaveras leading scorer Wyatt Madrid's outstanding offensive play landed him a spot on this year's All-Area First Team.

"That's an awesome honor and has always been a big goal of mine," Madrid said after being informed of his selection.

Madrid led his team in scoring and was selected to play in the multi-county Madness in the Mother Lode All-Star Extravaganza game earlier this month hosted by Columbia College.

"There were some really good moments and stretches throughout the season where kids were having a hard time stopping him from scoring," Clifton said. "He could shoot it outside, take it to the hole and had a nice mid-range game that most kids don't have these days."

The Calaveras senior plans on playing basketball at college next year, and is in talks with Gavilan in Gilroy but has yet to make a decision.

County-rival Bret Harte advanced to the second round the Section playoffs thanks in large part to the breakout season of Bullfrog junior Will Whited, who Clifton said will likely be hard to stop next year.

"He's a kid who has a great mid-range game," Clifton said. "He'll take a lot of attention to contain and I doubt stopping him will even be an option."

Eltringham said Whited has been showing up to all offseason workouts and is committed to improving his already impressive skill set.

"Four times this year he almost had a triple-double and not many kids can do that," Eltringham said. "He's just hitting his peak and realizing it, so hopefully he can carry that into next season."

Whited received an added dose of motivation courtesy of Summerville's championship run.

"I hope we can go as far as they did," Whited said looking forward to next season. "Personally, I want to continue to get better and hopefully become one of the best players in the league and section."

The 2012-13 Union Democrat All-Area Boys' Basketball Team

Tri-Most Valuable Players

JESSE ROBERSON

Summerville, Forward, Senior

ROSENDO AMAYA-WOOD

Summerville, Forward, Senior

LOGEN FOSTER

Summerville, Guard, Senior

First Team

BEN BATES

Sonora, Forward, Senior

JOEY BROCCHINI

Summerville, Guard, Senior

WYATT MADRID

Calaveras, Guard, Senior

CONNOR MORNINGSTAR

Summerville, Forward, Senior

WILL WHITED

Bret Harte, Guard, Junior

Second Team

NICK MAYS

Sonora, Guard, Senior

COLTON EBBERS

Summerville, Forward, Senior

KYLE McLAURIN

Summerville, Guard, Senior

TYLER EVANS

Bret Harte, Guard, Senior

MIKE SEAWELL

Calaveras, Guard, Junior

11900825
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Friday May 27, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Calaveras star ‘Kapps’ year with MVP award

05/24/2016

She didn’t believe it when she heard the news. Her young face ... more

13 Redskins will compete at the Masters in Elk Grove

05/23/2016

Calaveras High will be well represented at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Track ... more

Nuggets, Sonora, S’ville compete at Los Banos

05/23/2016

The California Youth Shooting Sports Association held its latest competition Saturday, returning ... more

Conklin most outstanding; ’Skins place 3 on first team

05/24/2016

Summerville senior Shelby Conklin completed her outstanding high school softball career by ... more