State Stat Stars of the Week

Among the first major group of softball stat stars for this spring is Mission Viejo slugger Alyssa Palomino while a NorCal player out to a great start is Cal Stevenson from Kennedy of Fremont. Photos: Courtesy Student Sports.

Among the first major group of softball stat stars for this spring is Mission Viejo slugger Alyssa Palomino while a NorCal player out to a great start is Cal Stevenson from Kennedy of Fremont. Photos: Courtesy Student Sports.

With hoops winding down, it’s time for baseball and softball players to begin to take over this weekly feature. Some of the best include Colton Eastman of Clovis East and Marina Vitalich from Mary Star of San Pedro but still have to report on hoopsters such as Toby Liebergesell of San Mateo Aragon and Judith Espinoza of Eagle Rock.

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As has been customary for many years, we collect the state stat stars in support of the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book & Almanac. The book has been published seven times (the most recent, though, was 2009) and is as official as a state record book can be since no other exists. To report a State Stat Star of the Week of your own, please email details to markjtennis@gmail.com.

Note: Many baseball, softball, boys and girls basketball state record updates are part of our Gold Club membership. To join our Gold Club today, please CLICK HERE.

(Mostly for games played March 4-March 8 but including some from this week; thanks to CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett for continued contributions to this feature and to the state record book.)

BOYS BASKETBALL

Stewart Ramirez (Eagle Rock, Los Angeles)
Putting the rock in the basket early and often, he finished with 35 points as the Eagles defeated Hamilton of Los Angeles 68-56 in the L.A. City Section Division III championship.

Jordan Ford (Folsom)
Playing like a senior all season, this standout is just a sophomore as he scored 33 points and grabbed seven rebounds during a 79-62 win over Cosumnes Oaks in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship game. Ford also revealed in the post-game press conference that he loves to play chess and was a chess champion as a kid.

Toby Liebergesell (Aragon, San Mateo)
His big performance last week was during the Dons’ 94-93 win in three overtimes over Aptos in the CIF Central Coast Section Division III semifinals. He scored 33 points and then came back for 28 points during a 61-55 win over Valley Christian of San Jose in the championship game.
Players to Watch 120
Aaron Johnson (Palisades, Pacific Palisades)
The Dolphins flipped past Dorsey of Los Angeles 77-67 in the L.A. City Section Division I playoffs and got a huge outing from Johnson, who scored 31 points.

Lake Lutes (Jesuit, Carmichael)
With the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship on the line, he scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Marauders won their ninth section championship in program history with a 96-68 win over Rodriguez of Fairfield.

Elijah Stewart (Westchester, Los Angeles)
His game-high 29 points wasn’t enough to keep the top-seeded Comets from a 58-56 loss in the L.A. City Section Division I championship game against El Camino Real of Woodland Hills.

Jacob Lilley (Granada Hills)
It’s always fun when a game goes to overtime and the Highlanders’ game against Poly of Sun Valley was even more fun as he scored 29 points in three overtimes before they got the 91-80 win in the L.A. City Section Division II play-in game.

Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland)
Our top ranked team in NorCal continues to show why behind Rabb, who scored 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds during the Dragons’ 89-69 win over El Cerrito in the CIF North Coast Section Division III championship game.

Mike Halverson (Victory Christian, Carmichael)
Scoring 28 points to go along with 19 rebounds, the Vikings captured the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship with a 61-44 win over Faith Christian of Yuba City.

Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana)
Before he was named to the Jordan Brand Classic game this week, he made eight straight free throws and finished with 28 points as the Monarchs won the CIFSS Open Division championship with a 48-44 win over Chino Hills.

Ben Kone (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
Perhaps an ice cream cone was in order to celebrate this sophomore’s performance in the CCS Open Division championship game as he scored 26 points and had 16 rebounds in a 68-60 win over Serra of San Mateo.
It was Mitty’s second straight CCS Open Division crown.

Bryson Williams (Roosevelt, Fresno)
A 6-foot-6 sophomore committed to play for Fresno State he broke the Central Section record for rebounds in a season when he grabbed 12 rebounds to go along with 12 points in a heart-breaking 62-61 loss in the CIF CS Division III championship game. Bryson pushed his total for the season to 569 in 34 games. Grant Verhoeven, the former Central Valley Christian star held the record of 568 in 2009, now plays for Stanford.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Judith Espinoza (Eagle Rock, Los Angeles)
When points were put on the scoreboard during the CIF L.A. City Section Division III finals. it was often with the ball coming off OF her hands. Espinoza, who has been a frequent stat star in the last three seasons, scored 39 points in a 60-51 win over Garfield.

Ali Engelhardt (Mt. Carmel, San Diego)
In a matchup of the top two scorers in the CIF San Diego Section, she scored 38 points last week during a 68-64 road win against Sierra Campisano and Torrey Pines of San Diego.

Rebecca Gallis (Kern Valley, Lake Isabella)
Scoring a game-high 31 points, the Broncs defeated Laton 69-48 in the CIF CS Division V semifinals. Gallis is just a sophomore and figures to be a stat star for two more seasons.

Sierra Campisano (Torrey Pines, San Diego)
Almost a weekly regular in our weekly state stat stars feature, this sophomore forward had 29 points during a 68-64 loss to Mt. Carmel in the CIF San Diego Section Division II playoffs.

Maresha Farmer (View Park Prep, Los Angeles)
No stranger to being listed here, she scored a game-high 27 points as the Knights defeated Douglass 74-51 in the L.A. City Section Division V finals.

Kandiss Barber (Mater Dei Catholic, Chula Vista)
Despite a game-high 26 points it wasn’t enough to defeat fellow state stat star Imani Littleton and Bishop’s of La Jolla in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship game as the Crusaders lost by a 53-47 final score.

Savannah Whitehurst (Liberty Charter, La Mesa)
Program history was made last week when she scored 25 points and had 18 rebounds in a 64-39 triumph over Foothills Christian of El Cajon in the CIF San Diego Section Division V finals. Teammate Katie Collins had 23 points and seven rebounds as the Lions won their first title in school history.

Coach and trainer Chris Asher works with state stat stars and players from state-ranked teams of all ages, helping them to improve their speed, quickness and agility. He is based in Hollywood, also has a role with the UCLA track program and serves athletes within many miles of his location. For more about him, CLICK HERE. For more about his Gold Medal Excellence training program, CLICK HERE.

Coach and trainer Chris Asher works with state stat stars and players from state-ranked teams of all ages, helping them to improve their speed, quickness and agility. He is based in Hollywood, also has a role with the UCLA track program and serves athletes within many miles of his location. For more about him, CLICK HERE. For a video about his Gold Medal Excellence training program, CLICK HERE.


BASEBALL

Colton Eastman (Central, Fresno)
In a performance that anyone would have liked to have witnessed in person, he became the first pitcher in school history to throw a perfect game. Eastman pitched seven innings while striking out eight during the 12-0 win over Reedley that saw him also go a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with a home run and three runs batted in.

Jake Sahagian (Peninsula, Rolling Hills Estates)
It would be hard to ask for a more exciting way as a hitter to win a game as he came up with two outs, bases loaded and his team down by three runs and with a full count he hit the game-winning grand slam home run for the 7-6 win over El Segundo.

Keston Hiura (Valencia)
With a football like final score of 21-0, he drove in five runs and hit for the cycle in the Vikings’ win over Palmdale.

Kolby Allard (San Clemente)
When on the mound, he nearly recorded every out himself as he struck out nine straight batters and had 11 total during his five innings of work during a 1-0 win over Sonora of La Habra.

Cal Stevenson (Kennedy, Fremont)
Following up a 12-strikeout performance in five innings in his season debut on the mound, he struck out 10 during a 5-1 win over Castro Valley last week. In the same game, Stevenson also homered and drove in two runs.

Marco Briones (Alhambra)
Considered the ace of the Alhambra staff, he allowed just two hits while striking out 11 during a 2-0 win over Beverly Hills.

Michael Kols (El Camino, Sacramento)
H dominated on the mound as he struck out 10 during a five-inning no-hitter as the Eagles defeated Florin of Sacramento 11-0 for their first win of the season.

Jake Nelson (Glendora)
Pitching with a trip to the Don Lugo tournament finals on the line, he struck out 10 during six innings and didn’t allow a run during an 11-0 win over El Rancho of Pico Rivera.

SOFTBALL

Kendall Kapitzke (Tehachapi)
One of the state leaders for home runs early in the season, this junior hit two home runs and drove in seven during a 32-1 win over Bakersfield Christian last week. With a streak of three games in a row with at least one home run, she had four last week and then earlier this week hit two more to have six before the middle of March.

Marina Vitalich (Mary Star of the Sea, San Pedro)
We did see her performance from earlier this week while on twitter, in a tweet from the Daily Breeze, and wanted to get it in here as she struck out 18 batters and hit a home run in a 10-0 win over Environmental Charter of Lawndale. She also didn’t allow a hit for her second straight no-hitter.

Alyssa Palomino (Mission Viejo)
Last season’s Orange County home run leader is off to a good start as she hit three home runs at the Best of the West tournament. The Diablos didn’t just beat anybody 11-0 and 4-0, either. The 11-0 win was against Edison of Huntington Beach while the 4-0 win was against Chino, which has won the last two CIF Southern Section Division II titles.

Celina Cooper (Manteca)
The Buffaloes’ junior third baseman started off the season by going a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with a home run and nine runs batted in during a 29-0 win over Amador of Sutter Creek.

Nichole Fry (Santiago, Corona)
Swinging a hot bat to start the season, this junior shortstop homered twice and drove in seven runs as the Sharks defeated Chino Hills 13-0 in the Stu Penter tourney. Santiago went on to beat Riverside Poly 2-1 in the final and has won its first nine games of the season. Needless to say, Fry and her teammates look like they’ll be strong contenders to be State Team of the Year once again.

Paige von Sprecken (Yorba Linda)
Named the Brea/Yorba Linda tournament MVP, she was one out away from a perfect game and finished with a one-hitter while striking out 16 during a 7-0 win in the semifinals over Sonora of La Habra.

Rachel Tadlock (Woodland)
The Wolves have now won four straight games as she hit two home runs and drove in six runs in two straight games. Woodland defeated Monterey Trail of Elk Grove 10-1 and Rio Linda 15-9.

Ciara Granado (Edgewood, West Covina)
A freshman to keep your eyes on, this young infielder homered twice and drove in six runs during a 18-7 win over Pomona.

Anissa Lopez (University Prep, Victorville)
Sophomore slugger who was a stat star regular last season had a pair of two home run games last week. She first hit two and drove in four runs during a 13-1 win over Academy for Academic Excellence and then two games later homered twice and drove in five runs during a 20-0 win over Adelanto.

GIRLS SOCCER NOTE

Liberty (Madera Ranchos)
Congratulations to head coach Erick Walker’s team as it captured its sixth consecutive North Sequoia League championship and remained unbeaten in 60 straight games. Liberty then had a streak of 13 straight games without allowing a goal come to an end in a 1-0 overtime loss to Central Valley Christian of Visalia.


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