NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Holden Eames from Yosemite of Oakhurst and Izzy Navarro from Cathedral Catholic of San Diego. Photos: &

For our basketball honorees this week, the stops are in Agoura Hills and San Diego for the Southern California winners, and we land halfway between Fresno and Yosemite National Park in the town of Oakhurst and not far from Mt. Diablo and the town of Danville for our Northern California award winners.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email We are picking the winners on Monday nights for the rest of the spring season.

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

Itzel “Izzy” Navarro
(Cathedral Catholic, San Diego) Jr.

The search for this week’s Southern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week takes us to the Del Mar/Carmel Valley area of San Diego where we find a blossoming junior guard.

We often point out that these Player of the Week features for all sports, girls and boys, are meant to uncover not only outstanding performances that qualify for the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book, and top-notch efforts of known stars, but also to find fresh new faces and budding stars or players that are not on the radar screen, and Navarro is a perfect example.

On a team with two players that go by their nicknames, fellow junior Isuneh “Ice” Brady, gets all the accolades at Cathedral Catholic after the Dons’ center has snagged both the State Freshman of the Year and State Junior of the Year awards in her first two seasons, but so far this season it’s Izzy and not Ice that leads Cathedral Catholic in scoring for a team that after knocking off rival La Jolla Country Day on Tuesday, has improved to 12-3 this season and has moved up to No. 10 in the latest Cal-Hi Sports state rankings.

Last week, in an 89-30 win over Christian of El Cajon, Izzy had the visiting Patriots dizzy after registering 28 points (five 3-pointers), five rebounds, seven assists, six steals and three blocked shots. Ice finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds.

Then, in the big 57-49 win on Tuesday at Country Day, the 5-foot-8 Navarro wasn’t the leading scorer as Ice went for 19 points, but Izzy filled the stat sheet as usual after finishing with 11 points, five rebounds, seven assists and four steals.

All of the team’s stats have not been entered, but by our account after the win at Country Day Izzy is averaging 18.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 4.1 steals per game, and she’s doing it against solid competition. As mentioned, the scoring leads the Dons as does her assists and steals numbers. In one of her games, a three-point loss to state No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana), Navarro shined with 23 points.

Izzy wouldn’t want to leave out Ice, and the 6-foot-4 Brady is not far back of Navarro in scoring at 16.2 points per game and she leads the Dons with over 13 rebounds per game.

Last season Izzy tied for third on the team in scoring at 10.2 ppg while also leading the team in assists and steals at 4.0 and 3.1 per game, respectively.

Agoura’s Jed Miller had one of the state’s highest single-game scoring totals over the last 10 years with the 62 that he got in a win against Calabasas. Photo:

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

Jed Miller
(Agoura Hills, Agoura) Sr.

For our Southern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week honor, we head west of downtown Los Angeles on Highway 101 to the border with Ventura County and the City of Agoura Hills. It’s there that we find Miller, a 6-foot-2 record-setting senior combo guard.

Last week, in a 90-52 blasting of neighboring Calabasas, it’s probably pretty accurate to say that Jed had the host Coyotes’ seeing red after Miller drilled the nets for a school-record 62 points, shooting 22 of 35 overall from the field with 10 three-pointers.

The Chargers had a game on Tuesday and improved to 9-7 overall playing a tough non-league schedule, and 6-0 and first place so far in the Marmonte League after a hard fought, grind it out 60-53 victory over neighboring Thousand Oaks.

Fellow senior Jon Spayne led the way in the Thousand Oaks victory with 19 points but Miller was right behind him with 16 points.

Complete stats were not available for this season but last year as a junior Miller averaged 20.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.7 steals per game, and 13.6 points and 4.8 rebounds two years ago as a sophomore.

We wish we could say for sure that Jed’s 62-point outing ranks 50th or 75th or whatever in state history. Our all-time state list starts at 65 and there are approximately 35 that have hit that number or higher. It is definitely the state season high so far this spring and we’d guess that it’s right around 50th all-time.

Back-to-back 40-point games earned Natalie Pasco a lot of attention last week. Photo: @Srvladywolves /

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

Natalie Pasco
(San Ramon Valley, Danville) Jr.

We return to the shadows of majestic Mt. Diablo for our Girls Basketball Player of the Week, and we land in Danville. There we find a blossoming junior sharpshooter that has come out firing on all cylinders to start this shortened and pandemic-effected season, and Pasco is the main reason the Wolves are 3-0 to start the season and heading into a Friday evening home game with Dublin.

The bottom line is Pasco has San Ramon Valley on the go and she couldn’t have helped the Wolves start the season any better.

Last week, in two home and away games against East Bay Athletic League rival California of neighboring San Ramon, the Wolves’ 5-foot-10 junior forward had the Grizzlies’ players seeing stars, and the ball coming out of the hands of Pasco and consistently burning the nets.

On Friday, in an 88-30 home win, Pasco went for a monster double-double 41 points and 15 rebounds. She was 5 for 8 from beyond the arc and 17 of 26 overall from the field. If that wasn’t enough, Natalie notched it up the next day on the road after another huge double-double 46 points and 16 rebounds in an 86-58 victory.

For most girls, Pasco’s first game would be a career effort after she finished with a double-double 20 points and 12 rebounds in a 71-32 win at Granada of Livermore.

Add it all up and Pasco is averaging 39.0 points and 14.3 rebounds for the first three games, she’s 10 for 19 from three-point range, 42 of 67 from the field overall, and 11 of 12 from the charity stripe.

Last season, and on a loaded team that won the CIF North Coast Section Division I championship, Pasco was limited to 13 games due to a severe high ankle sprain. However, in those 13 games she averaged 17.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, and 21 points per game in last year’s NCS playoff run and 18 per game in the CIF NorCal playoffs.

As a freshman, Pasco averaged 10.1 ppg with 341 total points coming off the bench on a team with three different players that had 1,000 points for their career.

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

Holden Eames
(Yosemite, Oakhurst) Sr.

With this week’s selection for our Northern California Boys Basketball Player of the week coming from the CIF Central Section, we remind readers that for all our Player of the Week features for all sports, girls and boys, The Valley as locals affectionately call the Central Section, is considered part of Northern California.

We find Eames in Oakhurst, around halfway between Fresno to the south on Highway 41 and Yosemite National Park to the north, and at a school whose namesake is the same as the beautiful treasure of nature whose entrance to its famed valley is around 40-miles north of the campus.

Last week, in a 78-68 victory over nearby Mariposa County, Eames, who has had older brothers star at Yosemite, was superb. In fact, Holden held nothing back after the 5-foot-10, 160-pound senior guard poured in a school-record 51 points in the win.

It wasn’t the first big outing for Eames this season. Two weeks ago in a 54-48 victory at Chowchilla, Eames had an interesting double-double after he dropped in 42 points and had 10 steals. He also had 25 points and nine rebounds two weeks ago in a loss to Washington Union of Easton.

Complete stats were not available for all seven games the Badgers have played this season, but last season Eames averaged a respectable 13.9 points per game as a junior last season and 10.9 points a game as a sophomore.

Eames also plays football for Yosemite as a wide receiver and defensive back. The Badgers only played three games this spring, and no stats were available, but two years ago Holden led the team with four interceptions.

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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