Point guard Jaelen Ragsdale takes over big game down the stretch with 21 points in the fourth quarter for Weston Ranch of Stockton and grabs this week’s NorCal honor for boys. The other boys winner also is a point guard while the two girls honorees are from Upper Lake and Murrieta.
Note: For purposes of this feature, we are considering the CIF Central Section to be in the north.
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Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Boys Basketball Player of the Week
Jaelen Ragsdale (Weston Ranch, Stockton) Sr.
In a Valley Oak League matchup of teams that were on the bubble in the State Top 20 rankings, it took the efforts of a slender but quick 5-foot-10 point guard to help the Cougars overcome Manteca and its frontline that goes 6-7, 6-7 and 6-8.
Ragsdale and his team trailed 34-27 at halftime and again at 48-43 heading into the fourth quarter, but he sparked the Cougars to a 72-68 triumph. He finished with 34 points, including 28 in the second half and 21 in the fourth quarter. Weston Ranch’s final 10 points, in fact, were scored by Ragsdale on two baskets and 6-for-6 free throw shooting.
Ragsdale, a three-year starter who averages 18 points and four assists per game which includes a 38-point outburst in a win by Weston Ranch against CIF Central Section powerhouse Immanuel of Reedley, will play next at Cal State Stanislaus.
“I did tell him at halftime to get more aggressive,” said Weston Ranch head coach Chris Teevan. “Last year, they beat us twice in league and then we beat them in the playoffs. It could all change around this year.”
Natalie Karlsson (Upper Lake) Jr.
A returning Santa Rosa Press-Democrat All-Empire small schools player from last season, Karlsson pushed the Cougars to a pair of league wins last week.
The 5-foot-6 guard first racked up 37 points and had 12 rebounds and 11 steals for a triple-double in a 59-48 triumph over St. Vincent de Paul of Petaluma. She came back to net 25 points with six assists, four rebounds and three steals when Upper Lake topped Calistoga 65-36.
For the season, Karlsson is averaging 22.4 points, 4.7 steals and 3.4 assists per game.
Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Boys Basketball Player of the Week
Shacquille Dawkins (Alemany, Mission Hills) Sr.
He’s one of the top unsigned players left for the Class of 2016 and has been a point guard standout for the Warriors for three years.
In a 72-58 Mission League triumph over Loyola of Los Angeles last week, Dawkins led the way for Alemany with 30 points. So far this season, he’s also averaging 18 points per game with four assists and 3.5 rebounds.
Last season as a junior, competing in the aftermath of the sudden death of his father, Wayne, who was just 46 at the time, Dawkins was named the Mission League MVP. Among those that have offered are Pepperdine, Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton.
Cal-HI Sports Southern California
Girls Basketball Player of the Week
Brittney Reed (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) Sr.
Any gloom and doom for the Broncos without injured All-American Jaelyn Brown can be put to rest and it’s primarily been the play of Reed that has been responsible.
The 5-foot-10 senior guard knocked down 31 points last week in a 58-40 win over Murrieta Valley of Murrieta, then came back to hit for 24 when the Broncos (ranked 20th in the state last week) beat Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth (ranked No. 14) 53-51. She also had five rebounds and two steals vs. the Trailblazers with five rebounds and two assists vs. the Nighthawks.
Reed, who has signed with Loyola Marymount, has been averaging 18 points per game. Brown, who has signed with Cal, probably would have been chosen to the McDonald’s All-American Game but suffered an ACL injury to her knee early in the summer.