NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Adrian McIntyre of Saugus and Sabrina Belquist of Los Gatos (playing defense). Photos: &

We took a hiatus for our Players of the Week feature for the holidays but we’re back with some outstanding performances that include the past two weeks. We have honorees from Richmond and Los Gatos in the north plus Saugus and Villa Park in the south.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. This is the second week for basketball honorees. This feature too a break for the Holidays and now returns after the conclusion of major tournaments just before New Year’s day. To nominate someone by 12 noon on most Mondays, email

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

Adrian McIntyre (Saugus) Sr.

There is very little a sports honor can do to erase or possibly even ease the pain of what happened on November 14 at Saugus when five student were shots and two lost their lives at the Santa Clarita Valley school, but we’re going to try and do our part for a grieving community and a school that just opened again this week.

The school might have been closed for a variety of reasons but McIntyre and his Centurions teammates had a basketball season to play, and that’s exactly what they have done since a season-opening 78-55 victory over South East of South Gate up until their most recent outing in which McIntyre scorched the nets.

Last week in the Real Run Winter Classic at Bishop Montgomery of Torrance, and in a game preceding new state No. 1 Rancho Christian of Temecula taking the floor, McIntyre, a 6-foot-3 senior guard hammered home a monster double-double of 48 points and 13 rebounds to lead Saugus to a 77-56 victory over Santa Fe of Santa Fe Springs. Adrian is an unsigned senior, so it’s hoped that an effort like that in an event like the Real Run Winter Classic might open up some college opportunities for him.

With everyone now getting back to school, it’s the perfect time after his huge performance to honor McIntyre as the Southern California Boys Player of the Week.

When Santangelo was a freshman and made nine three-pointers in one game, she met Chris Paul not long afterward. Photo:

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

Sophia Santangelo (Villa Park) Jr.

We land in Orange County for our Southern California Girls Player of the Week where we find a girl who now gets to add a statewide regional honor to her selection as the Orange County Register Girls Athlete of the Week.

Ever since she was a freshman, whenever Santangelo shows up at the gym for a game, the opposition quite often has to say “Mama Mia, it’s Sophia,” particularly when the 5-foot-10 junior forward gets hot.

Last week, hot doesn’t quite describe what Santangelo did after Sophia sank 22 3-pointers in three games, including a school-record 10 treys in a 74-24 victory over Cathedral City at the Showcase in the Snake Pit in Rancho Mirage. It’s more like Santangelo was sizzling.

The 10 connections from outside the arc not only breaks her previous school record of nine 3-pointers she set a s freshman, but it is the minimum number needed to make the Most Three-Point Field Goals Made (Game) list in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book.

The other 12 three-pointers came on eight against Buena Park last week in a 54-41 victory and two days before she broke the school record, she hit four in limited action of a 62-19 blowout of Showcase host Rancho Mirage.

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

Camron Young (Kennedy, Richmond) Sr.

For our Northern California honoree, we get to choose a two-sport star who can throw down some points on the hardwood and chew up some yardage on the gridiron.

On December 28, and in the championship of the Livermore Tournament, Young had 32 points (three three-pointers) with four rebounds and four steals in an 86-75 overtime victory against Enochs of Modesto.

Earlier in the tournament, Young went for 23 points with three treys and four steals in a win over host Livermore, and in the semis he had 26 points (four three-pointers) in a 65-59 victory against Eureka.

Young was held to 15 points in a close loss to Edison last Saturday but on the year the 5-foot-8 point guard is averaging 19.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.9 assists per game.

Before we detail his football accomplishments, we’re sure Camron would want to give a shout out to junior teammate Bobbie Williams, who had a double-double 29 points and 12 rebounds in the Enochs victory. Also, with Young and Williams, and others, Kennedy is off to a 12-3 start after going 8-19 last season and some of that has to do with the return to the helm of head coach Michael Booker, who had a lot of good teams at Kennedy before leaving for El Cerrito in 2009.

Just like he’s a floor general in basketball, in football he was a 5-foot-8, 165-pound running quarterback that shared time as the Eagles’ signal-caller on a team that made it to the CIF North Coast Section Division VI championship before losing in a tight game 31-28 to St. Bernard’s of Eureka. St. Bernard’s went on to win the CIF D6-AA state title while a team that the Eagles beat in the regular season, crosstown rival Salesian of Richmond, won the CIF D6A state crown. On the season, he combined for over 1,500 yards passing and running the ball on a team with a lot of offensive weapons. Young also led the team in interceptions on defense with five.

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

Sabrina Belquist (Los Gatos) Sr.

This Sabrina may not be as famous as 2016 Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year and current Oregon superstar Sabrina Ionescu, but Belquist is on her own quest this season for Los Gatos.

Over the holidays and between Christmas and New Year, the 5-foot-11 senior led the Cats to the title in the Del Mar John Araujo Memorial Tournament.

In a first round 68-23 victory over San Jose Notre Dame, Belquist dropped in a season-high 34 points, and she did it shooting 12-for-12 from the field and 5-of-5 on three-pointers. The only place she wasn’t perfect was at the free-throw line where she missed two of seven shots. Sabrina also had nine rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Against San Benito of Hollister in the semifinals, her personal point total was lower but Sabrina still accounted for a lot of baskets after registering a double-double 14 points and 10 assists with four steals and three rebounds in a 65-42 victory. In that game she was perfect after going 3-for-3 on three-pointers and 2-of-2 on two pointers, plus she made her only free-throw. In the championship against Pittsburg, Belquist had 29 points and Los Gatos needed them all in a 54-50 victory.

Last week, Belquist had 20 in limited action of a 52-29 win over Christopher of Gilroy that gets Los Gatos to 8-3 on the season. So far she is averaging 20.7 points per game to start the season.

Sabrina might have a long way to go to catch Sabrina Ionescu, or even her older brother Dylan Belquist, currently at USF, but she can now say she’s a Northern California Player of the Week just like he was in December of 2017 when Dylan was a senior at Los Gatos.

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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