It'd be hard to argue that any single player in the area had more on their shoulders every night than Nipomo's Kacie Slover.
The junior averaged 16.9 points and 8.9 rebounds in leading Nipomo to the CIF Central Section Division 2 title.
Great numbers, to be sure.
But Nipomo coach Chris Litvinchuk takes it a step further. According to Litvinchuk, Slover ranked in the top five in the Mountain League in just about every meaningful category: scoring, rebounding, 3-pointers made, 3-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, total field goals made and double-doubles.
For her efforts this season, Slover has been chosen as the All-Area Offensive Player of the Year by the sports staff at the Santa Maria Times, Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record.
Litvinchuk was named the All-Area Coach of the Year. Righetti senior Alex Paquet, who led the Warriors to a Mountain League co-championship and the Division 1 title, is the All-Area Most Valuable Player.
Arroyo Grande's Kathleen Hutchens is the All-Area Defensive Player of the Year. Hutchens helped the Eagles go 13-4 and 10-2 in league to tie Righetti for the league title.
The senior had a solid case for either an MVP award of Offensive Player of the Year, though she was recommended by multiple area coaches for Defensive Player of the Year. Hutchens, a 5-foot-8 guard, led the Eagles in scoring with 21.4 points per game.
Orcutt Academy's Chyanna Medina-Tell is the Sixth Woman of the Year after playing a massive complimentary role for the Spartans. Medina-Tell averaged 8.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per game as a junior.
All-Area First Team
The All-Area First Team is led by a pair of Righetti posts, seniors Malia Cabigon and Paityn Persson. Cabigon led the Warriors in scoring and rebounding as they won the Division 1 title over Bakersfield. Cabigon averaged 12.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Persson added 10.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Freshman Avary Cain had a stellar debut for St. Joseph, leading the Knights to the CIF Central Section Division 3 title. Cain, who's proving to be the area's brightest young player, averaged 19.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.9 steals per game for the Knights.
Also on the First Team is Orcutt Academy standout Giselle Calderon, a junior. Calderon, the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year, averaged 14.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.3 steals per game for the Spartans, who won the CIF Central Section Division 4 crown.
Santa Ynez senior Grace Padilla made the First Team. She led the Pirates in scoring and rebounding. She averaged 12.8 points and 15.0 rebounds per game, breaking the school's single-game and career rebounding records. She also led Santa Ynez in assists, steals and blocks per game.
Santa Maria's Carlissa Solorio, a senior, rounds out the All-Area First Team. She averaged 18.5 points and 11.9 rebounds per game for the Saints.
The Second Team is led by junior Madisyn Cutliff and freshman Bree Luna of Righetti.
St. Joseph has three players on the Second Team in Kai Oani, Gifti Tefera and Candace Kpetikou.
Orcutt Academy's Devyn Kendrick and Erynn Padhal are on the Second Team.
Nipomo's Honnalee Kennedy and Kat Anderson are also on the Second Team.
Arroyo Grande's Andrea Stajic and Kaiya Ellison are on the Second Team.
Valley Christian's Lindsay Mikkelson is on the Second Team. She'll be a senior this season.
Pioneer Valley's Kiana San Juan earned Second Team All-Area recognition as did Santa Maria's Iceis McNutt.
The Channel League is represented by Gabby Cordova of Cabrillo and Mallory Branum of Lompoc.
The All-Area teams are compiled and published by the sports staff at the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News and is made up of players from the Times' coverage area that includes Northern Santa Barbara County and South San Luis Obispo County.