SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Gabby Rones from West Campus and Ethan Anderson from Fairfax of L.A. Photos: James K. Leash / SportStars & Samuel Stringer / SportStars.

Two of those we’re profiling this week for top performances from last week on the hardwood have experience playing for a CIF state championship team. Another of them hopes to get there in the Open Division while another of them could be one of the top ninth-graders in the nation.

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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

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

Ethan Anderson (Fairfax, Los Angeles) Sr.

Just like our Northern California boys award winner, our Southern California honoree is from a public school in a city section. It’s just that Anderson is from the Los Angeles City Section and his team is one of the state’s best.

Last week, in an 84-74 victory over crosstown George Washington Prep, the solid and steady, and sometimes spectacular, 6-foot-1 Nevada-Las Vegas committed point guard got it done after finishing with 25 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals in an L.A. City Section Open Division semifinal.

The state No. 3 ranked and top-seeded Lions (26-1) are now into the title game against crosstown arch-rival, state No. 5 ranked and second-seeded Westchester on Saturday. The Fairfax faithful are hopeful Ethan is the man once again.

Early in the season, Ethan was MVP at the Ryse Williams tournament championship after he hit for 28 points in the title game to lead the Lions past Bishop Montgomery of Torrance 64-56. That’s the same team playing for the CIF Southern Section Open Division title on Saturday in Riverside against state No. 2 Sierra Canyon.

Anderson was on the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Freshman Team three ago and last season played a big roles for a Fairfax team that knocked out perennial power Mater Dei of Santa Ana from the CIF SoCal Open Division playoffs.

Londynn Jones, a freshman, is making a splash for Corona Santiago in CIFSS playoffs. Photo: @CalSparksClub /

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

Londynn Jones (Santiago, Corona) Fr.

For the second straight week, we honor a freshman as the Southern California award winner for the girls and it’s out in the Inland Empire where we land to honor one of the few freshmen to get a spot with her picture on the ESPN girls high school recruiting web site. She must be pretty good.

Last week, she proved to be a little more than pretty good when the 5-foot-5 guard threw down 43 points in a CIF Southern Section Division 3AA semifinal victory over Brentwood of Los Angeles.

Complete stats are not posted for Jones but earlier this season when the Press-Enterprise made her the Riverside County Girls Athlete of the Week in December after she had 27 points in leading the Sharks to a 55-51 win over Valley View (Moreno Valley) in the championship game of the Big Daddy Tournament where Londynn garnered MVP honors, the paper reported her at averaging 27 points per game.

It would not be surprising if Jones was not higher than that now but whatever Londynn is averaging the Sharks’ faithful are hoping for that and more when Santiago meets Crossroads of Santa Monica in the Division 3AA title game on Saturday at Azusa Pacific University.

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

Gabby Rones (West Campus, Sacramento) Jr.

We go back to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section for the second straight week for our girls Northern California honoree and end up in the shadows of the state capitol south of Sacramento State on the other side of US Highway 50.

There we find a junior point guard whose name has graced Cal-Hi Sports more than once just never in a feature involving an individual honor, although last year as a member of the CIF Division III state champion Warriors, Rones was selected All State Second Team for sophomores.

Gabby was the third leading scorer for West Campus last year but with the graduation of senior talent Rones is not totally alone but she has to carry a heavier load.

Last week, in a 61-50 victory over Calaveras of San Andreas, Rones had 28 points on six of 12 from outside the arc plus seven rebounds. In the first game last week, she went for more than 30 points for the fourth time this season when she had 31 points (five of 10 on three-pointers) in a rout of Liberty Ranch of Galt.

Earlier this season in an MLK weekend 68-57 loss to CIF San Diego Section Open Division top-seeded Cathedral Catholic of San Diego, Gabby had the college coaches in attendance gabbing while their heads turned after Rones honed the nets for 42 points.

So far this season for the No. 2 seed in the CIFSJS Division IV playoffs and heading into a Tuesday night semifinal against El Dorado of Placerville, Rones is averaging 22.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.0 assists per game.

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

Ben Knight (Mission, San Francisco) Sr.

It’s not often that we go to the public schools of San Francisco for this feature’s award winners but here we are after landing in the City by the Bay and the Academic Athletic Association/CIF San Francisco Section for our boys honoree.

Over the last few years, Mission has not only been the top public school boys basketball team in San Francisco but the Bears made some big noise in 2017 when they went 35-1 and won the CIF State Division III state championship in a thrilling 82-75 overtime victory over Villa Park that earned head coach Arnold Zelaya the State Coach of the Year honors.

Knight was a sophomore and a member of the state championship team. He averaged 4.9 points per game that season, but he didn’t score in the title game victory, and although Zelaya didn’t need Ben then, he does now, and the 5-foot-11 senior guard has been coming through with flying colors.

Last week, in an 82-65 opening round victory of the San Francisco Section playoffs, Knight was right on after dropping in 30 points (four three-pointers) with five rebounds, five steals and three assists.

Heading into a semifinal matchup on Wednesday with Lowell, Knight is averaging 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.3 steals for the 19-9 Bears.

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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