All-Register-Pajaronian Basketball Team, 2019: Pajaro Valley’s star scorers Christian Quintero, Jayleen Solorzano named area’s top players

Pajaro Valley standouts Christian Quintero and Jayleen Solorzano are this year’s R-P Basketball Players of the Year. — Tony Nunez/Register-Pajaronian

Since Pajaro Valley first opened its doors in 2004, the school’s basketball teams have only experienced moderate success.

Before this winter, the two programs had combined for only three winning seasons and seven playoff appearances.

Christian Quintero and Jayleen Solorzano changed all of that.

The high-scoring guards led their respective teams to new heights this season, and they hit plenty of personal pinnacles, too.

Quintero carried the boys’ team to its first-ever Central Coast Section quarterfinals berth, and also earned league M.V.P. honors. Solorzano, meanwhile, powered the girls’ squad to its first-ever winning season and league championship, while also being named the M.V.P. in her respective league.

Today, the Register-Pajaronian is adding another achievement to each of their stellar 2018-19 seasons. This newspaper is naming Quintero our Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year, and selecting Solorzano as our Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year.

Quintero, a 6-foot-1 junior, was an offensive force with the ball, and also pillaged opposing players on the defensive end with his quick hands and anticipation. Added strength as a result of extra work in the summer helped the third-year varsity player drive into the paint and absorb contact on offense. The newly-acquired bulk also made him a sturdy defender in the post against big men.

According to statistics on MaxPreps, Quintero was second in the CCS in points per game (24.7) and finished third in the section in total points (618). He also surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his high school career this winter — he’s on pace to eclipse 2,000 points next year — and averaged 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 2.8 assists per contest.

Quintero flashed his scoring prowess in the second game of the season by pouring in 40 points on 22 shots against San Lorenzo Valley. It was a sign of things to come, as he finished the year with seven games in which he scored at least 30 points.

The most notable offensive explosion: a 46-point performance on the road against Mills in the CCS Division III playoffs.

Pajaro Valley finished the year 17-10, and placed second in the Pacific Coast Athletic League Cypress division. Despite the runner-up finish in the Cypress, Quintero was named the division’s M.V.P. after averaging 24.6 points per league game on 43.4 percent shooting from the field.

Solorzano was the consensus M.V.P. of the PCAL’s Santa Lucia division following a dominant tear through league play. The lightning-quick 5-foot-2 scoring machine averaged 26.5 points over 10 league games, as the Grizzlies breezed their way to double-digit wins in every contest and won the program’s first league championship with a perfect record.

Solorzano led the state in points per game (28.8) — she was 20th in the nation — and she also stuffed the stat sheet with 6.3 rebounds and 5.4 steals per game. She finished her senior year with at least 10 double-doubles, and set the program record for most points in a single season (742). 

As a team, Pajaro Valley broke the program record for most wins in a single season, as Solorzano paced the Grizzlies to 21-5 record — the team’s first winning campaign.

•••

BOYS’ TOP HONORS

Offensive Player of the year

Jarrod_Garcia_Ceiba_Basketball_2019

Jarrod Garcia (Sr.)

School >> Ceiba

Position >> Guard

The lowdown >> The Spartans struggled this season, but Garcia was still able to shine. The 5-foot-10 guard averaged 24.6 points per game, and scored more than 30 points on three occasions.

Defensive Player of the year

Matys_Aptos_Soq_CCS_Hoops_2019

Hunter Matys (Sr.)

School >> Aptos

Position >> Forward

The lowdown >> The 6-foot-1 wing was a lockdown defender for the Mariners, averaging a team-high in steals (2.2) and blocks (1.0) per game this winter.

Coach of the year

Bowyer_Aptos_Coach_BBall_2018

Brian Bowyer

School >> Aptos

Year >> First year

The lowdown >> Bowyer made many tweaks to the Mariners’ approach in his first season, and the changes paid off in an SCCAL title and a CCS championship game berth.

•••

GIRLS’ TOP HONORS

Offensive Player of the year

Janessa_Yniguez_SF_Girls_Basketball_2019

Janessa Yniguez (Sr.)

School >> St. Francis

Position >> Guard

The lowdown >> The 5-foot-2 guard was the heartbeat of the Sharks’ offense, leading the team in points per game (17.4) and helping the program win its first league championship since the 2010-11 season.

Defensive Player of the year

Ackerman_Aptos_BBall_2018

Natalia Ackerman (Jr.)

School >> Aptos

Position >> Forward

The lowdown >> The uber-athletic 6-foot-1 forward averaged 10.6 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 1.9 blocks per game this season — all team-highs. Her 56 blocks were seventh-most in the CCS.

Coach of the year

Coach_Quintero_PV_MVC_2019

Lupe Quintero

School >> Pajaro Valley

Year >> Second year

The lowdown >> Quintero brought the best out of the Grizzlies, guiding the team to the program’s first winning season and league championship.

All-Register-Pajaronian boys’ team

GUARDS

Jarrod_Garcia_Ceiba_Basketball_2019

Jarrod Garcia (Sr.)

School >> Ceiba

Averages >> 24.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.5 apg & 3.3 spg

Seymour_SF_Dribble_2018

Andrew Seymour (Sr.)

School >> St. Francis

Averages >> 13.5 ppg, 5.1 spg, 4.6 rpg & 2.8 apg

WINGS

Quintero_Shot_PV_Greenfield_CCS-2019

Christian Quintero (Jr.)

School >> Pajaro Valley

Averages >> 24.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.2 spg & 2.8 apg

Pepperdine_Aptos_Soquel_CCS_Hoops_2019

Max Pepperdine (Sr.)

School >> Aptos

Averages >> 14 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.5 apg & 1.8 spg

BIG

Matys1_Aptos_Soq_CCS_Hoops_2019

Hunter Matys (Sr.)

School >> Aptos

Averages >> 8.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.2 spg, 2.0 apg & 1 bpg

BENCH

>> Dulian Morelos (Sr.), N.M.C.

>> E.J. Kelly (Sr.), St. Francis

>> Logan Feldbrugge (Sr.), Aptos

•••

All-Register-Pajaronian girls’ team

GUARDS

Solorzano1_PV_SF_BBall_2018

Jayleen Solorzano (Sr.)

School >> Pajaro Valley

Averages >> 28.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.4 spg

Yniguez_SF_ND_CCS_Hoops_2019

Janessa Yniguez (Sr.)

School >> St. Francis

Averages >> 17.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.5 spg

WINGS

Giuffre_Apots_BBall_2018

Gabby Giuffre (Jr.)

School >> Aptos

Averages >> 13.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.5 spg

MHill_MVC_PG_Basketball_2019_online

Madison Hill (Jr.)

School >> M.V.C.

Averages >> 9.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.2 spg

BIG

Ackerman_Layup_Aptos_SSF_CCS_Hoops_2019

Natalia Ackerman (Jr.)

School >> Aptos

Averages >> 16.4 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 3.8 spg, 2.3 apg, 1.9 bpg

BENCH

>> Mackenzie Tellez (So.), M.V.C.

>> Fenesia Braga (Sr.), Ceiba

>> Hannah Hocom (Sr.), Aptos

•••

Editor's Note: This article will publish in the March 22 edition of the Register-Pajaronian.

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