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Plenty of All-CIF honors to be had

Basketball: Renaissance Academy senior named All-CIF Division VI Player of the Year, while Dansby, Cantinol, Fontanilla, Hamane, Cartwright and Castaneda make cut.

March 20, 2012|By Charles Rich

Exhausted from partaking in nine playoff games in less than five weeks, Vince DeGuzman reflected on a historical season in which the Renaissance Academy basketball team won the CIF Southern Section Division VI championship.

The Wildcats nearly returned to the Division V state final for the first time since 2008, but fell, 58-57, to Village Christian on Saturday in the Southern California regional championship game.

Though still disappointed from the outcome, DeGuzman received a measure of good news Monday when the CIF Southern Section office unveiled him as the Division VI Player of the Year.

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The CIF Southern Section Division office unveiled its first teams for the 12 divisions Monday. It marked the first time that DeGuzman, a senior guard, picked up the prestigious award.

"I wish we were moving on to state, but this award definitely means a lot to me," DeGuzman said. "It was a goal of mine to try to get the award and I knew I could do it.

"I had to work out hard in the gym. When my team needed me, it was a matter of being able to step it up and help them out in anyway I could."

DeGuzman was one of seven La Cañada players to earn All-CIF honors. Renaissance Coach Sid Cooke was named the Division VI Coach of the Year for the first time after guiding the Wildcats to a record of 27-7. Jessy Cantinol and Troy Fontanilla of Renaissance were picked to the first and second teams, respectively.

La Cañada's Darrell Dansby earned first-team honors in Division III-AA, Flintridge Prep's Kory Hamane was a Division V-A first-teamer and St. Francis' Emerson Castaneda and the Rebels' Robert Cartwright were second-team selections in Division III-A and V-A, respectively.

Cooke said DeGuzman, who averaged 15.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game, proved to be a durable and dependable player on both sides of the court.

"He's one of the best people that you are going to find," Cooke said. "He doesn't complain and he's always listening in order to get better.

"He had a lot of big games for us. Sometimes, he would get a lot of points. Other games, he'd grab some rebounds or do something else that would help us win."

Cooke said he was honored to receive recognition from his peers within the division.

"I feel fortunate, as there are a lot of good coaches out there," Cooke said. "This goes to the team because I had a lot of good players.

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