VCS Boys Hoops Racks Up CIF-SS Honors
Village Christian boys basketball has enjoyed unprecedented success over the last five years. On March 23, 2015, the program became even more decorated.
Senior Bennie Boatwright Jr. earned CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA Player of the Year honors Monday, while fellow senior Clifton Powell Jr. was named to the All-CIF-SS D-1AA team. Head coach Jon Shaw won Coach of the Year for the second season in a row.
The USC-bound Boatwright is the first VCS boys basketball player to win division POY honors. He averaged 28 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and 1.5 blocks this season, joining Khalil Simplis as the program's first-ever McDonald’s All-American nominees. Boatwright was also named to the All-CIF-SS D-4A team last season.
Powell averaged 13 points, six rebounds, and three steals per game to help the Crusaders (29-7) to this year’s title and the program’s fourth straight CIF State tournament appearance.
Boatwright and Powell join a class of Marquis Salmon (2011-2012; now Utah Valley University), Bryan Alberts (2011-2012 and 2012-2013; now Gonzaga University), Marsalis Johnson (2011-2012 and 2012-2013), and Bear Henderson (2012-2013; now Eastern Washington University), who have won All-CIF-SS honors.
"I'm really proud of each one of our young men, not just in what we accomplished as a team and program, but who they became in the journey,” Shaw said. “Any time you win a championship, everyone shares in those memorable moments and contributes to your success in some way – our school community, fans, parents, teaching staff, counselors, maintenance, coaches, administration, donors, and booster club. It's a celebration that everyone partakes in.”
Shaw, who was named the Division 4A Coach of the Year in 2014 and the Division 5 CIF State Coach of the Year in 2012, now has a record of 130-33 since taking over the program before the 2010-2011 season.
The Crusaders won their second of back-to-back CIF-SS division titles on March 7 when they beat Great Oak 79-61 at the Honda Center in the Division 1AA championship game. The win made VCS the first San Fernando Valley private school to win the D-1AA crown.
“What I will remember most about this team is they truly cared for each other, wanted to be coached, and always believed they could get to the top of the mountain to be champions,” Shaw added. “The laughter, joy, and memories shared on that floor and locker room of the Honda Center on March 7, 2015, will forever be etched in my mind. What a special team, special kids, and special moments I will always cherish."
In 2014, the Crusaders beat Windward 71-67 in the D-4A title game, while in 2012, VCS topped St. Joseph Notre Dame 62-51 to win the CIF State Division 5 championship.
VCS CIF-SS Division POYs Since 2000
VCS CIF-SS Division COYs Since 2000