State Stat Stars of the Week

Two of this week's best are Sam Manti from Eastlake (Chula Vista) & Arman Sabouri of SJ Branham. Photos: Patrick Takkinen/ &

Two of this week’s best are Sam Manti from Eastlake (Chula Vista) & Arman Sabouri of SJ Branham. Photos: Patrick Takkinen/ &

It’s a mixed bag of boys hoops, girls hoops, baseball and softball as transition into the spring continues. T.J. Leaf’s 36 points leads the boys basketball players while Dawnyel Lair of L.A. Price stayed red-hot with 35 points and 20 rebounds in a section final. In baseball, a freshman from Fremont Christian strikes out all 15 in a five-inning perfect game while in softball it’s not what Sam Manti of Chula Vista Eastlake did it’s which team she did it against.

Note: Writeups this week from Paul Muyskens, CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett and Mark Tennis. We also will collect totals from MaxPreps, newspapers, tweets and from those sent in to us. We also will compile single-game highs from this post throughout the season and of course we use our weekly State Stat Stars collection as an aid for the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book. That is the only state record book anyone has ever done and we have published it seven times with full copyright protection. To report totals to us for this feature and for the record book, email or call 209-463-9050. You can also text to 209-608-1317.

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LiAngelo Ball & Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills)
The junior LiAngelo continued to sizzle with his shooting in the postseason with 31 points during the state and national No. 1 team’s 105-83 victory vs. Sierra Canyon of Chatsworth in the CIF Southern Section Open Division final. Lonzo was equally dazzling with 20 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists. Already this week Lonzo has been named as the Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year.

Riley Battin (Oak Park)
With the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA championship on the line, this state stat star regular has 30 points during a 68-49 win over Bonita of La Verne. Battin is a 6-foot-8 sophomore who landed at No. 3 in our latest Cal-Hi Sports’ Class of 2018 player rankings.

Sayeed Pridgett came through big time for El Cerrito in NCS D2 finals vs. Newark Memorial. Photo:

Sayeed Pridgett came through big time for El Cerrito in NCS D2 finals vs. Newark Memorial. Photo:

James Chun (Archbishop Riordan, San Francisco)
He scored 24 points in the CCS Division III championship game as the Crusaders defeated their league rival Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco 65-61 in overtime.

T.J. Leaf (Foothills Christian, El Cajon)
The final local chapter for T.J.’s career in the CIF San Diego Section was a memorable one. In a 80-63 triumph over Cathedral Catholic in the Open Division title game, Leaf dominated with 36 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and six blocks. Since Cathedral Catholic big man Brandon McCoy (6-foot-10 junior) was in this game as well, that only made Leaf’s outing that much more impressive.

Johnny McWilliams (San Marcos)
An often spectacular performer for the Knights, McWilliams pumped in 36 points in a CIF San Diego Section playoff game last week against Kearny of San Diego. The only problem is that Kearny won 74-61.

Jonathan Moreno (Riverdale)
A senior, Moreno scored a game high of 32 points against visiting Kern Valley, but it wasn’t enough as the Cowboys fell to the Broncos in the CIF Central Section Division V playoff game 65-57.

Cameron Pieters (Stockton Christian)
In a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI 69-66 title game win vs. Sacramento Waldorf, Pieters was record-breaking. He set D6 section title game records with 35 points, 17 free throws made, 18 free throws attempted and 21 rebounds. The free throw total also is a section record for any SJS final while the 35 points is the most scored in any title game in any division since 1998.

Sayeed Pridgett (El Cerrito)
It was a statement performance for the 6-foot-5 senior combo guard in the CIF North Coast Section Division II final. Playing against Newark Memorial (a team that recently got a win vs. state-ranked Moreau Catholic), Pridgett knocked down 34 points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. He has committed to Montana.

Bryson Williams (Roosevelt, Fresno)
We already know that Bryson’s season ended on Wednesday night in the D3 SoCal regional playoffs. Last week, though, he led his team with 28 points against Porterville in a 76-72 overtime win in the CIF Central Section D3 semifinals. Bryson then scored a game high of 29 points and had 23 rebounds as Roosevelt won the Division 3 title against Selma 60-36. t’s Roosevelt’s first section championship dating back to 1977.


Heleyna Hill (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose)
Nearly perfect from the floor, she missed just one shot and finished 9-of-10 for 25 points in a 79-60 win over Pinewood of Los Altos Hills in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division final. It gave Mitty 25 section titles in girls basketball, which is an ongoing state record.

Dawnyel Lair (Price, Los Angeles)
Playing for a school more known for its boys program, Lair has been one of the state’s hottest scorers in recent weeks. In the CIFSS Division 5A final, she had 35 points and 20 rebounds in a 62-40 victory vs. Bell-Jeff of Burbank. This came after outings of 39, 36, 36 and 34 points. All of that has helped boost her scoring average to 24.5 per game.

Minyon Moore (Salesian, Richmond)
It was one of the best games in the outstanding four-year career of Moore when the Pride beat Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa 64-47 in the CIF NCS D4 championship. The USC-bound standout racked up 31 points. If Sabrina Ionescu wasn’t at Miramonte, Moore might be the leading candidate to be the S.F. Bay Area Player of the Year.

Alisa Shinn (Crescenta Valley, La Crescenta)
Not only did Shinn score 14 points and grab 18 rebounds but she also was a key factor in getting Mira Costa standout Allie Navarette in foul trouble as them Falcons captured the first CIF basketball title in school history with a 37-36 win in the CIFSS Division IA finals.

Rebecca Gallis (Kern Valley, Lake Isabella)
The CIF Central Section leader scored 33 points against San Joaquin Memorial of Fresno, but the Broncos lost in the D5 section final to the Panthers 69-52.


James Acuna (Cypress)
The Centurions are off to a good start to the season as they remained undefeated with a 4-0 win over Villa Park on Saturday. Acuna he didn’t allow a run and allowed just two hits while striking out 11 at the Loara Tournament.

Adrian Damla (Crescenta Valley, La Crescenta)
Signed with UC Irvine, he showed off his powerful bat last week with two home runs during a 5-1 win on the road against Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga.

Adrian Damla is an emerging power hitter this season at Crescenta Valley. Photo:

Adrian Damla is an emerging power hitter this season at Crescenta Valley. Photo:

Jacob Flores (King City)
In a 12-1 romp past Coast Union of Cambria, Flores had the hot bat with four hits, including a pair of triples, and he also drove in six runs.

Bubba Gomez (Fremont Christian)
This freshman pitcher and infielder is off to a hot start to his high school career. He went 3-for-3 with a triple and four runs batted in during a 13-0 win over Oakland Military Institute while putting on an even more impressive performance on the mound with a five-inning perfect game in which he struck out 15.

Gabriel Rojas (O’Connell, San Francisco)
Already with a pair of one-hitters this season, this senior captain pitched a five-inning perfect game with 13 strikeouts when the Boilermakers defeated Thurgood Marshall (San Francisco) by a football like final score of 17-0.

Arman Sabouri (Branham, San Jose)
Showing why he will be headed to Cal next year, this senior left hander pitched a complete game with nine strikeouts while also recording three hits and driving in a run during a 3-2 win by the Bruins over Mountain View.

Nathan Solis (Rybal, Los Angeles)
The Titans improved to 5-1 on the season with a 12-2 win over Lincoln of Los Angeles as Roybal hit two doubles and a triple while driving in six runs.


Jyllian Ahart (Bullard, Fresno)
The senior 1B/3B is off to a great start for the Knights. In the first three games last week (all wins), she went 9-for-11 with two homers, three doubles, six runs scored and 11 RBI. She was also errorless in 11 chances. In a 13-3 win vs. Hanford West, Ahart went 4-for-4 with four runs scored, one homer and five RBI.

Holly Azevedo (Pioneer, San Jose)
Someone who should be in the discussion for Ms. Softball State Player of the Year at the end of this season, Azevedo pitched a perfect game with six strikeouts while also hitting a home run during a 10-0 win by the preseason state No. 1 Mustangs over Monta Vista of Cupertino. So far on the season, Pioneer is listed at 2-0.
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Maddy Byrd (Cypress)
She is another spring sport athlete out to a strong start this season. Through last week, she was already 8 for 13 with six runs scored and five runs batted while also a perfect 2-0 in the circle as the Centurions started the season 4-0 with a win over Huntington Beach to capture their own tournament title.

Julia Jimenez & Vanessa Taukeiaho (Etiwanda)
New to the Eagles this season is the freshman shortstop Jimenez, who has now hit four home runs this season after a two-homer performance during a 12-2 win over Diamond Ranch. Not new to the Eagles is Taukeiaho, who homered in three straight games last week. That stretch began with a 4-for-4 performance that saw her homer, hit two doubles and drive in six runs during a 23-0 win over Arroyo Valley of San Bernardino.

Natalie Lugo (South Hills, West Covina)
This Florida-committed pitcher had an impressive start to her junior season since she did not allow a hit in six innings and stuck out 14 during an 8-1 win over Moorpark.

Sam Manti (Eastlake, Chula Vista)
Getting the start in the circle against highly ranked Pacifica of Garden Grove, she helped her team pull off an impressive early season win. The Washington-bound standout held the Mariners to just two hits while striking out 11 during a 7-0 win at the Best of the West Tournament.

Kiana McCaul (Presentation, San Jose)
She hit three home runs last week, highlighted by a two home run performance along with five runs batted in during a 9-6 win over Aragon of San Mateo.

Erika Morris (Laguna Hills)
The sophomore slugger went 3 for 4 with two doubles and six runs batted in when the Hawks bounced back from their first loss this season to defeat Cerritos 16-0.

Madilyn Nickles (Merced)
Her arm got a workout last week as she had to pitch 11 innings during a 7-6 win over Los Banos. Nickles allowed two earned runs in the game, but she struck out 18 to improve her season total to 50 strikeouts in 27 innings.

Kendra O’Cull (Apple Valley)
The junior infielder/pitcher struck out 14 with a two-hitter and went 2-for-4 with a triple to lead the Sun Devils past an Aquinas of San Bernardino team (7-1) that is usually the one with the state stat star.

Kristen Ponce (North, Bakersfield)
She played in five games last week and went 11-for-17 at the plate with 15 RBI as North won three out of five games for the week. Kristen had six RBI against East Bakersfield and hit three triples with five RBI against Corcoran.

Allexia Silvas (Fullerton)
One of several impressive performances at the Savanna Showcase, this sophomore showcased her bat as she hit for the cycle and drove in three runs during a 13-5 win over Rosary of Fullerton.

Ciara Stapp (Yorba Linda)
The Mustangs improved to 3-1 on the early season with a 4-0 win over Sunny Hills of Fullerton behind Stapp. The senior didn’t allow a hit and struck out 10 for the no-hitter.

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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  1. walter guanella
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    What if Salesian girls beat Miramonte on tues and Minyon Moore goes off? Could she change some minds on who is the SF Bay Area player of the year?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted March 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      It’s certainly possible, which is why we always wait to do any player of the year picks and why some others who don’t wait miss the mark.

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