SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal honorees are juniors Spencer Freedman of Santa Ana Mater Dei and Aleia Milano of Lower Lake. Milano holds souvenir ball after recently scoring her 1,000th career point. Photos: Andrew Drennen & Lake County Record-Bee.

It’s a mix of big schools and small schools this week with both of the SoCal choices going to large school players but both of the NorCal picks going to small. This week’s honorees also are from Santa Ana, Ripon, Long Beach and Lower Lake.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To find out how your business could benefit by sponsoring these honors each week or to nominate someone by 12 noon on most Mondays, email

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

Spencer Freedman (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Jr.

Amidst the recent excitement of the Monarchs being able to add 7-foot junior transfer Bol Bol into the starting lineup, we thought this was a perfect week to remind everyone that they already had one of the state’s top juniors.

Freedman, who was an impact transfer himself last season after earning all-state freshman honors for Santa Monica, came through in last week’s 91-63 triumph over Orange Lutheran by scoring a career-high 30 points and handing out 10 assists. His previous career high of 26 was achieved earlier this season against Nevada schools Desert Pines and Bishop Gorman.

In helping Mater Dei to a one-loss season so far (which was to state No. 2 Chino Hills), Freedman is averaging 15.6 points and 5.8 assists per game. That’s up from 13.6 and 3.6 from last season. The Monarchs are beginning play in the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs as the No. 3 seed and are No. 4 overall in the Cal-Hi Sports State Top 20.

Academics were cited as a main reason for leaving Santa Monica and it’s hard to argue against that when you see that one of the colleges Freedman is seriously considering is Harvard. He also has an offer from USC and was No. 10 in the most recent Cal-Hi Sports Class of 2018 player rankings (Gold Club post).

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

Tyler Frierson (Millikan, Long Beach) Sr.

Nearing the end of her high school career, this senior has been a state stat star regular over the past few seasons and has been a double-double machine averaging 14.8 points and 13.8 rebounds per game in those four seasons.

This season, Frierson is having her best season yet as she is averaging 23.1 points per game and 19 rebounds per game for a Millikan team that has only lost to state No. 3 Long Beach Poly in Moore League play.

Bouncing back from a tough night against the Jackrabbits from the previous week, Frierson had her season-best for points and rebounds in the same game with 37 points and 26 rebounds during a 75-31 win over Cabrillo of Long Beach. She followed that up with 25 points, 21 rebounds and five blocks during a 92-14 win over Compton.

Frierson has signed to play in college at Wright State University.

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

Noah Hernandez (Ripon) Sr.

This senior guard has led the way all season long for the Indians, who already have won the Trans Valley League championship, and is averaging a team-high 20.3 points per game.

Heating up as the season nears the postseason, Hernandez he had his first 30-point game of the season 11 days ago during a 89-70 win over Escalon and he has now scored at least 30 points in three of his last four games. Last week before scoring 30 in a win over Ripon Christian, a school located next door to Ripon, he scored a season-high 38 points during a 83-72 win over Riverbank.

Entering this week, Ripon has won 12 straight games and was looking to end the regular season without a loss in league play when it faced Hilmar on Valentine’s Day night.

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

Aleia Milano (Lower Lake) Jr.

Since making her varsity debut as a freshman and averaging 9.5 points per game, Milano has seen her scoring average go to 12.9 points per game last season and now soaring to 20.3 points per game during her junior season.

With the Trojans currently in a three-way battle for the top spot in the North Central I League of the CIF North Coast Section, Milano came through with a season-high 35 points last week in a 63-50 victory against Willits.

In the previous week, Milano had 23 points and 10 assists in a win vs. Fort Bragg and last week she also had 18 in close 57-52 triumph against Cloverdale.

Paul Muyskens is the assistant editor at the Stockton office of 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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