NorCal basketball: Aptos girls, boys bounced in first round

The Aptos girls’ and boys’ basketball teams were ousted in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation NorCal playoffs on Tuesday night.

The girls, seeded No. 9 in Division II, lost, 47-37, to No. 8 Central in Fresno.

The boys, seeded No. 15 in Division IV, fell 62-46 to No. 2 Piedmont in the East Bay.

For the first time since 1983, Aptos had both of its basketball teams play for Central Coast Section championships. Like ’83, the girls won a section crown, and the boys fell short.

Behind Natalia Ackerman’s 28 points, 22 rebounds and five blocks, the girls thumped South San Francisco, 58-37, on Feb. 23 for their second CCS Division III championship in the last three years.

That dominant victory pushed the Mariners up a division in the NorCal playoffs, and handed them a long road trip out east for their first round game.

Aptos led 21-20 at the half, but Central, a Central Section Division I semifinalist, took over the game by winning the third quarter 15-2 behind its defense.

Aptos turned it over 25 times.

Ackerman, a junior forward verbally committed to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, had 20 points, 13 rebounds, five steals, five blocks and two assists in the loss.

The girls finished their season with a 23-7 overall record, a Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League title and the aforementioned CCS crown.

They’ll say goodbye to six seniors, including starters Abby Pardue and Hannah Hocom.

On the boys’ side, Aptos had hoped to bounce back from its 59-31 loss to Monterey in the CCS D-III final, and the odds of that happening looked good near the end of the third quarter, as senior guard Max Pepperdine swished a 3-pointer late in the frame to tie the game at 37-all.

Aptos only trailed 41-37 heading into the final stanza, but Piedmont, a North Coast Section Division IV semifinalist, put the game away with a 10-0 run to start the fourth.

The boys completed their season with an 18-12 overall record, and a share of the SCCAL title.

They’ll lose seven seniors, including starters Anthony Sanchez, Hunter Matys, Logan Feldbrugge and Pepperdine.

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