PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cantwell Sacred Heart junior Jose Estrada is
the Daily News 2011-12 Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
(Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)
Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary hasn’t had a lot of success on the basketball court in recent years.
The Cardinals were just 12-43 the previous two seasons, including winning just two of 27 games during the 2010-11 season. For some, there was very little reason for that to change.
Enter Jose Estrada, a junior transfer from Mexico who in one season changed the culture at the Montebello school, keying the Cardinals to a 27-6 record and a trip to the CIF-Southern Section divisional finals for the first time.
For his efforts, Estrada is the Daily News 2011-12 Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Estrada is joined on the All-Area squad by first-team members Ryan Hall of La Habra; California’s Roberto Campos and Matt Lambrecht; Whittier’s Willie Pittman; and Cantwell’s Jacob Alaniz.
The Cardinals’ George Zedan is area Coach of the Year.
Cantwell’s Jose Estrada: “I just tried to help the team win. That’s my game, to drive to the basket. I’ve been playing like that all my life. I’m getting better with my jump shot and penetrating to the basket.”
Cantwell coach George Zedan: “”I’m happiest for the seniors. For them to have that type of experience and be able to go far in the playoffs, win a ton of games, win our tournament for the first time, it was a really big deal. I had an idea we would be able to compete right away. I didn’t know, in terms of wins and losses, where we would be. We were well above .500 in the summer, so secretly, I felt we would do well and surprise a lot of people. Going to a program that hasn’t had a lot of success, I felt there was nowhere to go but up. I felt it wasn’t going to be that difficult to turn things around. Did I feel we could get to the state playoffs, go to the finals in CIF? When I first took the job, I felt in a few years we could do something like that. It turned out to be a pretty neat season.”
ALL AREA BOYS BASKETBALL
Player of the Year – Jose Estrada, Cantwell, Jr.
Coach of the Year – George Zedan, Cantwell
Center: Ryan Hall, La Habra, Sr.
Forward: Matt Lambrecht, California, Jr.
Guard: Roberto Campos, California, Sr.
Guard: Willie Pittman, Whittier, Sr.
Guard: Jacob Alaniz, Cantwell, Sr.
Forward: Taurean Oram, La Serna, Jr
Forward: Jared Wight, La Serna, Sr.
Guard: Taelin Webb, La Mirada, So.
Guard: Juan Quintero, Whittier, Sr.
Guard: Alex Imhof, La Habra, Sr.