SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week's SoCal/NorCal honorees are sophomore Joey Calcaterra from Marin Catholic of Kentfield and freshman Jayla Ruffus-Milner from Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood. Photos: Bill Schneider/ & Henry Vogel/

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal honorees are sophomore Joey Calcaterra from Marin Catholic of Kentfield and freshman Jayla Ruffus-Milner from Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood. Photos: Bill Schneider/ & Henry Vogel/

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we try to avoid picking players for this honor that are obvious (like Jake Browning in football or this week with Tyler Dorsey and Katie Lou Samuelson in basketball) and instead try to dig deeper for younger players or less well-known players who happen to be making a difference for their teams. This week’s best are from La Mirada, Kentfield, North Hollywood and Berkeley.

To nominate a player for next week, email by Monday at 12 noon and be sure to include a photo that we can use (which means it’s not from the local newspaper or from another web site). Please feel free to call at 209-463-9050 as well both for nominations or to see if your business or small company would like to become a sponsor for this weekly content.

Note: For purposes of this feature, we are considering the CIF Central Section to be in the north. Also, this feature is switching to baseball and softball next week. Congrats to all boys and girls basketball players this season that were featured in this space.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Boys Basketball Player of the Week

Kendall Lauderdale (La Mirada) Sr.

Despite entering their road matchup against Canyon of Anaheim as the lower seeded team, the No. 7 Matadores defeated the No. 2 seeded Comanches for the second time this season with a 93-73 win last Saturday in the second round of the SoCal Division II regional. Leading their offensive attack against a team that had knocked down 18 from beyond the 3-point line in its previous game, Lauderdale was the one with the hot touch as he scored a season-high 36 points.

Lauderdale, a 6-foot-8 senior center, had 28 points against Savanna of Anaheim in the CIFSS Division 2A playoffs and had 26 in a semifinal loss to Compton. La Mirada could hook up with Compton again in the SoCal D2 championship.
Player of the Week 120
Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Boys Basketball Player of the Week

Joey Calcaterra (Marin Catholic, Kentfield) Soph.

While his brother Frankie is three inches taller, two years older and a team captain, this sophomore has been a big part of the Wildcats’ postseason success as he scored 23 points during a 84-69 win over Liberty Ranch of Galt in the CIF Division IV NorCal regional playoffs.

Earlier in the NCS Division IV playoffs, Joey had a 28-point game during a 57-55 win over Salesian of Richmond. After averaging 5.8 points per game last season as a freshman, the 6-foot-2 guard has increased that in a major way this season as he is averaging 20.2 points per game with a season-high of 33 points during a 68-60 win over Sonoma Valley back in December. Calcaterra had 14 points back in December as well when Marin Catholic handed current state No. 2 Bishop Montgomery its only loss of the season.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Girls Basketball Player of the Week

Jayla Ruffus-Milner (Harvard-Westlake, North Hollywood) Fr.

Some of this freshman’s biggest games of the season have come late in the last few weeks and in the postseason when it means the most. Jayla scored a career-high 24 points while grabbing seven rebounds during a 74-62 win last Saturday at No. 3 seed St. Anthony of Long Beach in the SoCal Division IV regionals. The Saints also were in the CIF Southern Section Open Division.

Before that, this 5-foot-10 youngster had 18 points and 12 rebounds when the No. 11 seeded Wolverines opened the state playoffs with a 63-53 win at No. 6 seed Immanuel of Reedley. Ruffus-Milner is now averaging nearly 14 points per game and plays in one of the strongest leagues in Southern California.
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Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Girls Basketball Player of the Week

Jaimoni Welch-Coleman (Berkeley) Sr.

The Yellowjackets’ 5-foot-5 senior captain had her picture as the lead photo in our state stat stars of the week last week and this week gets even more attention as one of our weekly players of the week.

Headed to play in college at Weber State, she followed up her 25-point, nine-assist and eight-rebound performance against Pittsburg in the CIf North Coast Section Division I championship game with a game-high 29 points during a 62-45 win over James Logan of Union City in the second round of the NorCal Division I NorCal playoffs.

Coleman hit for 15 of her 29 points against the Colts in the second half behind free throw shooting that saw her nearly perfect. She made 11 of 12 from the charity stripe.

Paul Muyskens is the Stockton office assistant editor for Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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