NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week are Haley Jones from West of Torrance and Jackson Stormo from San Marcos of Santa Barbara. Photos: &

The spotlight shines this week on Haley Jones (no, not the one you’re probably thinking about) as one of our four honorees. This Haley Jones is from West of Torrance and has led her team to a CIF Southern Section divisional final with big games last week against Long Beach Poly and Los Alamitos. This week’s three other honorees are from Santa Barbara, Chico and Newark.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate someone by 12 noon on most Mondays, email This will be our next-to-last set of winners for boys and girls basketball. After next week, we’re switching to baseball and softball.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Boys Player of the Week

Kevin Kremer
(Pleasant Valley, Chico)

We’ve been to Pleasant Valley once already this season for a girls winner when we honored Colorado-bound Sirena Tuitele, and now we go back to Chico for our NorCal boys winner. Kremer has been a linchpin of the Vikings both this season and last year when he led Pleasant Valley to a CIF Northern Section runner-up finish in the Division III playoffs.

This season, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound Kremer, who’s listed as a guard/point guard, certainly makes guys get out of his way when he’s not shooting the three-pointer and decides to drive to the basket.

Last week, in a 86-43 shellacking of Paradise in the opening round of the CIFNS Division III playoffs where his time was limited, Kremer had 25 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists. Two weeks ago, against a Foothill of Palo Cedro team that beat Pleasant Valley last year in overtime to win the D3 title, Kremer had a double-double 29 points and 11 rebounds with four assists to help the Vikings sweep their rivals in the Eastern Athletic League this season.

Going into a semifinal matchup with an Enterprise of Redding team on Wednesday for the 25-2 Vikings, Kremer is averaging 18.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game. For his career to date, Kevin has registered 1,294 points and 732 rebounds.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Girls Player of the Week

Haylee Nelson
(Newark Memorial, Newark) Sr.

This Haylee spells her name a little different than our SoCal winner and the one from just south of Newark in San Jose at Archbishop Mitty, but she’s just as important to the success of the Cougars as the other two girls no matter how her parents decided to name her.

We could have picked Nelson back in January when she went for a season-high 44 points in a 71-68 victory over Moreau Catholic (Hayward) and her team needed every one of her points to win, or possibly when she burned Moreau again two weeks ago for 32 points, or even early in the season when she had double-doubles that included 19 points and 23 rebounds against Hayward, but each time she was edged out by other players who put up astronomical numbers.

Now, after Nelson put a “full nelson hold” on Livermore and Redwood last week in the CIF North Coast Section Division II playoffs, Haylee gets her day as the NorCal girls honoree.

In the opening round against Livermore, the 6-foot senior wing went for 30 points and the Cougars once again needed them all in a 72-70 victory. Then, on the road at No. 4 seed Redwood of Larkspur she had 21 points and made some late free-throws to lead fifth-seeded Newark Memorial to a 73-66 overtime victory.

Going into a semifinal matchup on Wednesday with top-seeded Miramonte of Orinda, Nelson is averaging 23.8 points per game and 15.0 rebounds per game for the first 11 games reported to MaxPreps. With 1,977 career points, should Haylee at least get her season average against Miramonte she will go over the 2,000-point mark.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Boys Player of the Week

Jackson Stormo
(San Marcos, Santa Barbara) Sr.

We go to the Gold Coast for our boys SoCal award winner, and when it comes to weather in the Santa Barbara area there’s El Nino and then there’s El Stormo.

He’s big and strong, and when the 6-foot-9, 260-pound Stormo goes to the basket it creates hurricane warnings on the Gold Coast.

Last week, in a 76-67 victory over Cypress in the CIF Southern Section 2-A playoffs, Stormo stormed his way to a season-high 30 points with 13 rebounds and shot 14 of 18 from the field. Action Jackson followed up that performance with 20 points and 17 rebounds in a 65-59 semifinal victory over Muir of Pasadena that propelled San Marcos into the 2-A title game against Riverside Poly on Friday night at Azusa Pacific University.

On the season, Stormo has kicked up the dust to the tune of 17.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.4 assists per game, and he’s registered 21 double-doubles for the 25-6 Royals.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Girls Player of the Week

Haley Jones
(West, Torrance) Sr.

Haley spells her first name like most of the Haley Jones playing high school basketball in the country. In fact, if you scroll down the list of girls whose team has reported their roster to MaxPreps you’ll find that there are 15 girls currently playing named Haley Jones. Two of the three from California are not only the top players on their teams but each has their team deep into its section’s playoffs.

Anyone who follows girls basketball both in California and nationwide knows about junior sensation Haley Jones of state and national No. 1 Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, but wait a minute, it’s time to recognize the Haley Jones from Southern California as our SoCal girls player of the week, so move over for a minute Haley Jones and let Haley Jones get a little recognition herself.

Last week, in a grind it out 36-32 CIF Southern Section Division 1 Warriors win over perennially-tough Long Beach Poly, Haley drove the Jackrabbits crazy with a double-double 14 points and 13 rebounds, and in a game with a score that low those are huge numbers. This was the same Poly team that was in the CIF SoCal Open Division championship just one year ago.

Jones followed up the performance against Poly with 22 points in a 48-40 semifinal win over Los Alamitos that has the Torrance girls into the D1 title game on Saturday against Chaminade of West Hills.

Headed to the Air Force Academy after she graduates, Jones has been a three-year standout for the Warriors who recently went over 1,000 career points. She was All-CIFSS for D1AA as a sophomore.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

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