St. Francis High freshman Maya Calfee drives to the basket during a league game against Pacific Collegiate School on Feb 13. The Sharks beat the Pumas, 62-45, to finish the season with a perfect 14-0 record in Pacific Coast Athletic League Cypress Division play this season. (Raul Ebio/The Pajaronian)

St. Francis freshman guard Maya Calfee may appear small in stature and calm in demeanor, which is something the opposition most likely overlooked during the 2023-24 season. 

However, the star hoopster played with a desire to outcompete her opponents each night, and attributes that to her lifelong passion for the game of basketball.

“It was a great season for [Calfee],” St. Francis head coach Jesse Yniguez said. “She can shoot, not just from the outside, she’s got a midrange. She can drive to the basket and find the open player.”

Standing at just 5-foot-6 and sporting a pair of distinctive glasses, Calfee torched teams with averages of 16.3 points, 4.5 assists, 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 steals per game in 24 games played this season. 

Those accolades didn’t go unnoticed, as coaches within the Pacific Coast Athletic League named Calfee the Cypress Division’s Most Valuable Player for 2023-24.

Calfee spurs a new generation of St. Francis basketball with seniors Aaliysah Gomez and Emily Raich concluding their high school basketball careers. Gomez and Raich both earned All-PCAL First Team and Second Team honors, respectively. 

“It means a lot,” said Calfee, on learning about her MVP award. “All of my hard work is really paying off. Hopefully I can get it next year and I could do better than this year. I just practice a lot and make sure I’m giving it my best.”

Calfee now has a league title and an MVP award under her belt, yet she still has three years remaining at St. Francis with no plans of slowing down.

The Sharks star player led the program to a historic 14-0 season en route to a PCAL Cypress Division crown. 

Looking back at the season, Yniguez saw his team’s tenacious defense as the X-factor in each game and it was their claim to success.

“We pressed a lot, we pressed every single game,” Yniguez said. “And that’s a tribute to them for being able to press all game if we had to.”

Nobody on the Sharks roster took advantage more on the defensive end than Gomez, who was the energy of the team and led by example throughout the season.

Opponents feared Gomez on the defensive end of the court as she had an average of 5.9 steals per game—best in the Cypress. She also contributed on offense with 8.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest.

After finishing the previous season 1-9 in league play, Gomez’s hard work certainly translated to a winning team culture.

“It was really exciting to have that honor,” Gomez said. “I know I’m not the strongest dribbler or shooter, but I know that I’m aggressive and fast so I used my strengths to help the team.”

Raich scored the second most for the Sharks with 13.1 points per game as well as an average of 3.3 steals. She ended her basketball career with a league title and all-league second team honors. 

It’s the exact opposite of her freshman year when an injury ended her season.

As if all cards fell into place for the Sharks’ perfect season, her high school career ended better than she could’ve imagined.

“It’s really exciting because it being my senior year feels like the hard work ended up paying off,” Raich said. “I’m just happy overall for my teammates. We all love each other.”

Below is a complete list of this season’s All-PCAL girls basketball teams and individual awards.

Cypress Division

Most Valuable Player: Maya Calfee, St. Francis

Offensive Player of the Year: Kassandra Arriola, North Monterey County

Defensive Player of the Year: Aveena Ducusin, Notre Dame

First team

Maya Armstrong, Pacific Collegiate

Maya Calfee, St. Francis

Malaya Carrillo, King City

Kassandra Arriola, NMC

Aveena Ducusin, Notre Dame

Aaliysah Gomez, St. Francis

Second team 

Angelina Navarro, Gonzales

Giselle Quintero, Pajaro Valley

Emily Raich, St. Francis

Johana Alonzo, NMC

Xochitl Ramirez, NMC

Franki Rossi, Notre Dame

Richard Chamberlin Sportsmanship team

Maryanne Camarena, Gonzales

Eliana Moore, Pajaro Valley

Mikayla McLane, King City

Clarissa Medeiros, Notre Dame

Peyton Orradre, St. Francis

Addie Payne, Pacific Collegiate

Johana Alonzo, NMC

Elgie Bellizio Sportsmanship award 

St. Francis

Gabilan Division

Co Most Valuable Players: Leslie Rodriguez, Alisal; Bailey Cotter, Hollister

Defensive Player of the Year: Dalilah Ruano, North Salinas

First team

Leslie Rodriguez, Alisal

Nayeli Gil-Silva, Alisal

Bailey Cotter, Hollister

Claire Gho, Hollister

Dalilah Ruano, North Salinas

Alice Uchida, Salinas

Second team

Yulissa Alvarez, Alisal

Madelyn Davis, Hollister

Jeanine Williams, Monterey

Savannah Hardy, Pacific Grove

Payton Edwards, Salinas

Isabella Love, Watsonville

Richard Chamberlin Sportsmanship team

Aileen Gonzalez, Alisal

Izabella Ibarra, Alvarez

Jeanine Williams, Monterey

Mileny Hernandez, North Salinas

Sofi Gambello, Pacific Grove

Jennifer Riviera, Salinas

Itzel Martinez, Watsonville

Elgie Bellizio Sportsmanship award 

Pacific Grove

Mission Division

Most Valuable Player: Katherine Amaro, Soledad

Offensive Player of the Year: Latai Matelau, Greenfield

Defensive Player of the Year: Valeria Segura, Soledad

First team

Latai Matelau, Greenfield

Yasmin Avalos, Greenfield

Sophia Cortes, Monte Vista Christian

Kaimi Tulua, Seaside

Katherine Amaro, Soledad

Valeria Segura, Soledad

Second team

Savanna Radowicz, Carmel

Rhazelle Gonzales, Monte Vista Christian

Gia Herrera, Monte Vista Christian

Norma Tulua, Seaside

Kasandra Lopez, Soledad

Emma Hall, Stevenson

Richard Chamberlin Sportsmanship team

Lily Grundy, Carmel

Lesley Santiago, Greenfield

Kayla Rader, Monte Vista Christian

Marissa Garcia, Rancho San Juan

Dora Roberts, Seaside

Kayla Vasquez, Soledad

Grace Ishii, Stevenson

Elgie Bellizio Sportsmanship award 


Santa Lucia Division

Most Valuable Player: Zoe Allen, Santa Catalina

Offensive Player of the Year: Asya Wilson, York

Defensive Player of the Year: Sofia Luna, Santa Catalina

First team

Zoe Allen, Santa Catalina

Bianca Fritz, Santa Catalina

Sofia Luna, Santa Catalina

Isabel Alvarez, Anzar

Anahi Martinez, Anzar

Asya Wilson, York

Second team

Ellesia Corona, Santa Catalina

Skyler Smith, Santa Catalina

Piper Shankle, Anzar

Ava Kapadia, Anzar

Evera Moore, York

Gianna Garcia, Oakwood

Richard Chamberlin Sportsmanship Team

Lorenza Marquard Cerisola, Santa Catalina

Hailey Garcia, Anzar

Briel Ducusin, York

Arya Vaid, Oakwood

Evelyn Hernandez, Ceiba

Elgie Bellizio Sportsmanship award 

Oakwood and Ceiba

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