It was no coincidence that Torrey Pines' best defensive team in recent memory coincided with the arrival of Chris Howell from San Marcos.
Now 6-7, the floor general is blessed with the length, strength, lateral quickness and IQ to guard all five positions on the floor - many times in the same game - a security blanket on defense that is every coach's dream.
For those reasons, Howell is the Full-Time Hoops Defensive Player of the Year.
Here is the rest of the team.
All Defensive First Team
Chris Howell, 2021 G, Torrey Pines
Alex Wade, 5-11 2021 PG, Cathedral Catholic- Catalyst of Cathedral's suffocating matchup zone, Wade frustrated lead guards into turnovers and off shooting nights.
Keavie Love, 6-3 2021 G, El Camino -One of the region's more versatile defenders, Love was called on to shut down backcourt and frontcourt players, and did so regularly.
Derrien Carter-Hollinger, 6-5 2021 W, Foothills Christian - A gifted defender who was the glue of Foothills defensive efforts. Much like his cohorts on the first team, versatility is his calling card.
Obinna Anyanwu, 6-8 2021 F, Cathedral Catholic -an imposing force on the defensive end, Anyanwu's position defense and rim protection helped to propel the Dons to the CIF Open Division title.
Miles Williams, Francis Parker - undersized but never underestimated, Williams defended the other team's best backcourt players to key the Lancers surprise run.
Frank Gelfman Canyon Crest - Took pride in neutralizing the other team's top offensive threat, which helped Canyon Crest make it to the D2 semifinals.
Max McCall, San Marcos - Versatile and agile defender also became a force on the boards, thanks to his unbridled motor.
DJ Sanders, Bonita Vista - One of the best on-ball defenders in the city, Sanders clamped many of the section's top guards.
Christian Ubochi, Mater Dei Catholic - Arguably the best rim protector in the county.
Saagar Dhanjani, Santa Fe Christian - Linchpin of Eagles defense, and pound-for-pound one of the top rebounders in the county.
Jahlil Florence, Lincoln-Lockdown perimeter defender with size and strength.
Tre Singleton, Serra - Guarded every position for the undersized Q's.
Tyler Stanley-Castillo, San Diego- Became one of the section's top interior defenders.
Jeric Lovgren, San Marcos - One of the toughest point-guard defenders in the section.
Jalen LeFear, University City - Bigger bodied combo guard was a menace on the ball.
Adam Nieves, Orange Glen - The linchpin of Orange Glen's defensive unit, Nieves is one of the section's more underrated players.
Kimo Ferrari, Francis Parker - A thief on the ball, Ferrari led Francis Parker in steals.
Tyson Robinson, El Camino - Paired with Keavie Love to make one of the section's top defensive back courts.
Sam Hasegawa, Carlsbad - Physical guard
Wayne McKinney, Coronado - Lockdown point guard plays hard both ways
AJ Burgin, San Diego - The nerve of San Diego's defense, Burgin quarterbacked the zone and guarded the best offensive player in man.
Mekhi Shaw, Scripps Ranch
Hayden Gray, Santa Fe Christian
Sam Dudley, Santa Fe Christian
Alex Yphantides, Santa Fe Christian
Keishon Trice, Helix
Xavier Otis, Helix
Philix Kilbourne, San Ysidro
Jason Martinez, San Ysidro
Jadyn James Helix
Martin Gumwel, Calvin Christian
Clyde Harris, Oceanside
Marcus Ruesga, Hilltop
Max McCall, San Marcos
Francky Naguidebe, University City
Myles Bennett, San Diego
Mickey Chew, Orange Glen
Dillon Wilhite, Cathedral Catholic
Beon Riley, Cathedral Catholic
Alex Crawford, Eastlake
Sean Mitchell, Eastlake
Alex Magdalena, Montgomery
Eddie Magdalena, Montgomery
Earl Shaw-Davis, Lincoln
Devin McCoy, Lincoln
Elijah Johnson, Westview
Miles Williams, Parker
Kimo Ferrari, Parker
Gabriel Pennington, Scripps
Ronnie Green, Morse
Sam Sitarz, Carlsbad
Gio Martinez, Olympian
Cobey Harraway, Army Navy
Yassine Gharram, Foothills Christian
Jake Altman, La Jolla Country Day
Brandon Angel, Torrey Pines
Justin Mitchell, RBV
Isaiah Rich, RBV
Alex Kohlenberg, University City
Nico Peerenboom, Del Norte
Adam Sevier, Poway
Lucas Shephard, Poway
Miles Wingfield, Poway