SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week's SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week are Jackie Cenan of Laguna Beach and Lauren Craig from Sacramento St. Francis. Photos:  Taylor Osborn/ &

Two of the SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week are Jackie Cenan of Laguna Beach and Lauren Craig from Sacto St. Francis. Photos: Taylor Osborn/ &

World War Z rages in Long Beach as Zafir Williams shines for Long Beach Poly in avenging win over Millikan. This week’s other honorees also include a girl from Sacramento who now has 1,000 career rebounds to go with more than 1,000 career points plus plus one from Laguna Beach and another from Los Altos Hills.

Note: For purposes of this feature, we are considering the CIF Central Section to be in the north.

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).

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

Zafir Williams (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) Jr.

This 6-foot-6 junior has come a long way from his freshman season that saw him average just 2.7 points per game, although getting any kind of varsity playing time as a ninth grader at a school like Long Beach Poly is very hard to do.

So far this year, Williams is averaging 19.1 points and 13.9 rebounds per game this season after a career-high scoring outburst last week with 37 points to go along with 19 rebounds during a 93-68 win over Millikan of Long Beach to avenge the Jackrabbits’ lone loss in league play.

For the year, World War Z as he is called has recorded a double-double in 19 of Poly’s 22 games.

With the wins last week, the Jackrabbits also have won nine straight and are in sole possession of first place in the Moore League.
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Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Girls Basketball Player of the Week

Jackie Cenan (Laguna Beach) Sr.

A name that we have become familiar with over the years, the time has come for this four-year varsity standout to earn a little more recognition than being one of many state stat stars of the week.

Cenan had two big games last week, including a season-high 33 points with 10 rebounds during a 61-29 win over Costa Mesa. Her previous season high was 27 points, which she scored the game before during a 42-39 win over Godinez of Santa Ana and she ended last week with 26 points and a season-high nine steals during a 55-23 win over Saddleback of Santa Ana.

For the year, Cenan is averaging 19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.4 steals per game and has made the most of her senior season after missing a big portion of last season after recovering from an ACL injury.

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

Nathan Beak (Pinewood, Los Altos Hills) Sr.

More known for its state ranked girls basketball team and the way the girls shoot 3-pointers, Nathan has shown that he can shoot threes as accurately as anyone and has helped show that the Pinewood boys are championship worthy as well.

During a 72-58 win last week over Menlo School of Atherton, Beak knocked down six three pointers and finished with 40 points. He also was nearly perfect from the line as he was 12 for 13 from the charity stripe as the Panthers maintain their position in first place of the West Bay League with three games remaining.

Beak isn’t the only Panther who can drain threes, either. Teammate Mathew Peery hit for 10 in a game earlier this year that helped him score 31 in a win vs. Eastside Prep.
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Cal-HI Sports Northern California
Girls Basketball Player of the Week

Lauren Craig (St. Francis, Sacramento) Sr.

She’s the 6-foot-2 leader of one of the top teams in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and has had an eventful last two weeks.

One week after scoring the 1,000th point of her prep career, Craig went over 1,000 career rebounds last week. She had 26 points, 13 rebounds and three assists in a 69-61 victory vs. Elk Grove and then went for 21 points, 15 rebounds and two assists when the Troubadours topped Sheldon of Sacramento 90-60.

With just a handful of games left in the regular season, Craig is averaging nearly 17 points and 14 rebounds per game and has led St. Francis to an 11-0 record in the Delta League, 20-4 overall.

When she reached 1,000 career points, St. Francis head coach Victor Pitton indicated in a story on the school’s website that Craig is the first player at the school to hit that total since 1997 when began coaching there.

Paul Muyskens is the Stockton office assistant editor for Cal-Hi Sports. 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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