State Stat Stars of the Week

Two of this week's most prolific stat stars are both big-time UCLA recruits -- Kyle Molnar (left) from Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo and Rachel Garcia from Highland of Palmdale. Photos: Courtesy Student Sports.

Two of this week’s most prolific stat stars are both big-time UCLA recruits — Kyle Molnar (left) from Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo and Rachel Garcia from Highland of Palmdale. They are both still juniors. Photos: Courtesy Student Sports.

Another Hunt leads Drake boys and does it with a 38-point outing. Girls hoops, baseball and softball efforts are all honored in this post, including those from Mariya Moore, Kassidy Simons and Brady Aiken.

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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

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 11-March 15 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.)


Jesse Hunt (Drake, San Anselmo)
A junior making a name for himself, Jesse picked a great time to have a career-high 38 points to go with 10 rebounds since it came when the Pirates upset defending NorCal champion Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco 69-62 in the NorCal Division III playoffs. Jesse is the son of 1982 Drake standout Dan Hunt, who was part of the school’s legendary 34-0 squad. His father also enjoyed a pro basketball career in Australia.

Kendall Small (Mayfair, Lakewood)
While Monsoon fans were vocal earlier this week about their team not being in the State Top 20, we certainly had them in the mix after this junior point guard scored 34 points during a 82-73 win over Long Beach Poly in the SoCal Division I quarterfinals.

Matt McAndrews (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
Leading the offense with 32 points, McAndrews and the Monarchs defeated El Cerrito 67-58 in the opening round of the CIF NorCal Open Division playoffs.
Players to Watch 200
Stephen Thompson Jr. (Bishop Montgomery, Torrance)
Picking a fine time for a career-high, he scored 32 points as the Knights defeated Oaks Christian of Westlake Village 78-59 in the second round of the SoCal Division IV playoffs.

Deshon Taylor (J.W. North, Riverside)
Despite a game-high 31 points from Taylor, the Huskies’ season came to an end with a 79-61 loss to Westchester of Los Angeles in the SoCal Open Division quarterfinals.

Lucas Siewert (Cathedral, Los Angeles)
Leading the 3-point attack for the Phantoms during their 82-53 win over Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita, the sophomore sharp shooter made six from long range and finished with a game-high 30 points.

Deontae North (Centennial, Corona)
Helping the Huskies advance to the next round, he scored 28 points with nine rebounds, five steals and three blocked shots during a 94-64 win over Bullard of Fresno in the CIF SoCal Division I playoffs.

Max Hazzard (Loyola, Los Angeles)
The junior point guard had one playoff game in which he scored 16 points in one quarter, but in a 86-55 win against Palisades in the CIF SoCal Division I playoffs he makes this honor roll for dishing out 14 assists to go with 14 points.


Mariya Moore (Salesian, Richmond)
No stranger to fans of girls high school basketball, she scored 35 points and had seven rebounds in a 64-55 win over St. Ignatius of San Francisco in the CIF NorCal Open Division playoffs. And with their win earlier this week over St. Mary’s of Berkeley, the Pride is now playing for the NorCal Open Division championship this weekend. In fact, after the results of Tuesday, Mariya is probably the top Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year candidate still playing. If Salesian wins it all and she is the reason why, the race could get very close.

Sabrina Ionescu (Miramonte, Orinda)
In one of the more surprising final scores from last week, it was the Lady Mats who defeated St. Mary’s of Stockton 94-79 in the NorCal Open Division playoffs. Ionescu knocked in 31 points. She also had 35 points and led the team to the NorCal Open Division title game in the team’s big 92-87 win over Carondelet.

Destiny Graham (Eastside College Prep, Palo Alto)
With a game-high 29 points, the Panthers advanced in the NorCal Division V playoffs with a 68-39 win over St. Vincent de Paul of Petaluma.

Natalie Romeo (Carondelet, Concord)
Before her season came to an end earlier this week with a loss to Miramonte of Orinda, she scored 28 points as the Cougars defeated Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco last week by an 85-70 score.

Marina Vitalich from Mary Star of San Pedro has been a State Stat Star for two straight weeks and should be putting up big totals all spring. Photo: Jamaal Street.

Marina Vitalich from Mary Star of San Pedro has been a State Stat Star for two straight weeks and should be putting up big totals all spring. Photo: Jamaal Street.


Taylor McQuillin (Mission Viejo)
In the biggest softball game last week, this junior was dominant in the circle at the Tournament of Champions in Arizona. She struck out 15 and allowed just three hits in the championship game win over Pacifica of Garden Grove. During the tournament, she went 5-0 with three shutouts and was named the tournament’s MVP.

Kassidy Simons (Moorpark)
We decided not to wait until next week to put in her performance from earlier this week since she hit two three-run home runs and finished with seven runs batted in while also getting the win in the circle as the Musketeers defeated Thousand Oaks 20-4.

Rachel Garcia (Highland, Palmdale)
The 2013 L.A. Daily News Player of the Year struck out 15 during Highland’s 8-2 win over Paraclete of Lancaster but as usual she also helped herself out in a big way with two homers and six RBIs. Earlier in the week, Garcia fanned 21 batters and threw a two-hitter in a 2-1 win over Rosamond.

Johanna Grauer (Amador Valley, Pleasanton)
In her first five starts in the circle, she has gone 5-0 and has yet to allow an earned run. During a 6-0 win over Deer Valley of Antioch, she didn’t allow a hit while striking out 16. She also has driven in at least one run on offense in all five games.

Rachel McConnell (Malibu)
Making the most of her at bats during a 21-4 five-inning win over Oakwood of North Hollywood, she was a perfect 4 for 4 with two home runs and seven RBIs.

Samantha Holmgreen (Los Gatos)
With a double and a home run during a four-hit performance, she also drove in five runs batted in during a 20-4 win over Santa Cruz.

Nerissa Long (Bear River, Grass Valley)
The Bruins have had some talented players come through their program, including Courtney Ceo, who is at Oregon, and this sophomore looks like she’s going to be a great one. She already has had a five-RBI performance at the plate while striking out at least 11 batters in all five of her starts in the circle. Despite allowing a season-high two hits, she struck out 13 during a 2-1 win over River Valley of Yuba City.

Lauren Lindvall (West Ranch, Valencia)
Already with two five-RBI games and a game with three home runs, she homered and drove in six runs during a 14-5 win last week over Quartz Hill. She now has eight home runs and 20 RBI already this season for the Wildcats.

Celeste Contreras (Silver Creek, San Jose)
Named as the Santa Clara County girls athlete of the week by the San Jose Mercury News, she homered and drove in four runs while scoring twice during a 8-5 win over Gunderson of San Jose.


Kyle Molnar (Aliso Niguel, Aliso Viejo)
An error in the fifth inning kept this junior right-hander from throwing a perfect game but he didn’t allow a hit or walk a batter while striking out 10 for an eight-inning no-hitter during a 1-0 win over Los Alamitos. With the win, Molnar improved to 2-0 and Aliso Niguel captured fifth place in the Loara Tournament.

Austin Rubick (Buena, Ventura)
The only hit that he had when on the mound in the Bulldogs’ 3-0 win over San Marcos was a hit batter. No one from San Marcos got a hit and 13 batters walked back to the dugout after striking out.

Matt Ruff (Valencia, Placentia)
Allowing just one walk, he joined the state’s no-hit club for the week with his no-hitter coming in a 9-0 win by the Tigers over St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs 9-0 at the Newport Elks tournament.

Brady Aiken (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego)
With the potential to be the first pick in the next MLB Draft, Aiken went 4 2/3 innings and didn’t allow a hit while striking out 12 and walking just one before reaching his pitch count against La Costa Canyon. On the season, he has pitched 8 2/3 innings with two walks, 20 strikeouts and just one hit allowed.

George Castillo (Gahr, Cerritos)
If not for the game going extra-innings, he would have had a no-hitter for the Gladiators in their 2-1 win in eight innings last week against Mater Dei of Santa Ana. After not allowing a hit through seven innings (and against a top-notch foe like the Monarchs), Castillo gave up a homer in the top of the eighth but got the win when his teammates rallied for two runs in the bottom of the inning. Castillo also ended with 11 strikeouts.

Ezra Steinberg (Harvard-Westlake, North Hollywood)
In the championship game of the Easton Tournament against West Ranch of Valenica, Steinberg set the table for the No. 1 Wolverines’ offensively by going 5-for-5. One of his hits was a double. Harvard-Westlake won, 6-3.

Daniel Alvarez (California, Whittier)
In a 10-0 victory over Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach, Alvarez finished with a one-hitter in six innings of work on the mound. It also improved his season total to no runs allowed in 13 innings.

Paul Muyskens is the Stockton office assistant editor for Cal-Hi Sports and can be seen around town also working for the Stockton Ports and University of the Pacific. Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Paul and Mark on Twitter: @CalHiSports

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