Gupilan Repeats As Female Athlete Of The Year!

August 22, 2009 by  

BURBANK – Bell-Jeff’s Shelley Gupilan powered Guards to a season that included league, CIF and state titles.

Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ basketball player Shelley Gupilan the Leader Female Athlete of the Year.

The Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ basketball team relied a great deal on Shelley Gupilan last season.

Whether the Guards needed a big late-game shot, required physical play in the post or looked to someone to motivate them, Gupilan more times than not got the call.

However, despite being the team’s premier player — and opponents knowing she was going to get the ball in crucial situations — Gupilan never felt pressure to perform.

“I really didn’t feel any of that pressure because our whole team was good and I knew if I didn’t show up to play that other people would come through,” said Gupilan, who graduated in June. “I had confidence in my teammates.

“I would just go out and play and not think about it. Somehow, I was able to be successful.”

That success helped fuel Bell-Jeff to a record-breaking season. Along with breaking the school record for wins, Gupilan was a driving force on a team that won league, CIF Southern Section and state championships.

In the process, she reaped her share of awards.

It is because of her success, her leadership and her commitment to making the Guards a winner, that Gupilan has been named the 2008-09 Leader Female Athlete of the Year.

Bell-Jeff Coach Bryan Camacho has seen Gupilan’s progression as a player since she came into the program two years ago from Mark Keppel.

This past season, the coach said he was constantly amazed with Gupilan’s play.

“She has really been able to mature in her time with us, and she has been able to improve as a player,” said Camacho, a Bell-Jeff graduate. “Her drive, her work ethic and just her love of basketball has helped her become a better player.

“We looked for her to be our leader, and we looked for her to show us the way. She is a very special player and she is why we were successful.”

With Gupilan leading the way, Bell-Jeff captured the CIF Southern Section Division V-A championship, just the second title in any sport in the 65-year history of the school.

She also stepped up her game in the state playoffs, guiding the Guards to their first California title. It was the first state crown for any team in the area.

“The playoffs was a great experience,” Gupilan said. “Winning state was just so incredible. It was something we worked so hard to get.”

Whether it was overcoming injuries, bringing her squad back from a deficit or keeping her teammates together as a unit, Gupilan faced every situation with a determination that could not be quashed.

“I just can’t say enough about Shelley,” Camacho said. “She has such a determination and she wants to win so badly. I think that really rubbed off on the other players.”

There was no doubt that Gupilan was the team’s go-to player all season. She proved to be a versatile contributor who could muscle for points and rebounds in the paint as well as hit the three-pointer.

She averaged 18.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.8 steals a game. She also came up big in the postseason, averaging 20.2 points a game.

Gupilan stepped up big in the most important games. She tallied 18 points in a 61-31 trouncing of Santa Clara in the Southern Section championship, as the program won its first title in 12 years.

In the state title game, she poured in 22 points in a 55-47 win against Pinewood.

With such impressive numbers, it was inevitable that Gupilan would clean up in the awards department.

She was also invaluable in leading the Guards to the Santa Fe League championship.

For the second straight year, she was named the Leader Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year. In addition, she was voted the Santa Cruz League Player of the Year, named the Southern Section Division V-A Player of the Year and honored as Division V State Player of the Year by CalHi Sports.

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Gupilan said. “They deserve a lot of credit.”

Jeff Tully – Burbank Leader

photo: Scott Smeltzer/The Leader

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Comments

One Response to “Gupilan Repeats As Female Athlete Of The Year!”

  1. jackie castellanos on September 22nd, 2009 8:29 pm

    WOW! thats amazing a have a cousin who goes there she says its amazing… i can’t wait to go there for high school this is my last year at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary… and i cant wait to join bell jeff.

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