The Aptos girls’ basketball program had not won a league and section title in the same season since the 1982-83 campaign.
First-year coach Chris Grieves helped the Mariners accomplish that feat once again, and the coaches of the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League recognized his achievement, recently naming him the Coach of the Year.
With Grieves at the helm, Aptos pieced together a 23-7 overall record, won a share of the SCCAL crown and captured the Central Coast Section Division III championship for the second time in three years.
Grieves, a 2009 Aptos graduate, took over for former coach Stefan Hocom after spending the previous three seasons coaching the boys' junior varsity team.
The Mariners tied with Soquel at 9-1 for the regular season league title, but won the rubber match against the rival Knights and league M.V.P. Mackenzie Duran in the SCCAL Tournament final.
Hannah Hocom (18), Natalia Ackerman (14) and Gabby Giuffre (10) all scored in double figures for Aptos in that win, and all three earned a spot on the All-SCCAL First Team.
Hocom, a senior wing who will play at NCAA Division III NYU next season, averaged 10.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game to earn her fourth All-SCCAL honor — she was league M.V.P. last season, a first team selection as a sophomore and a second team selection as a freshman.
Ackerman, a 6-foot-1 junior forward, was arguably the most impressive of the Mariners’ big three this season, leading Aptos in points (16.4), rebounds (10.6), steals (3.8) and blocks (1.9) per game. The Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo commit shot 64 percent from the field, and recorded 17 double-doubles, including six straight to end the season.
Giuffre averaged 13.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The 5-foot-11 point guard really flourished as a shooter this winter, as she hit 72 3-pointers and shot 38 percent from deep.
Aptos senior wing Abby Pardue earned a spot on the All-SCCAL Second Team.