SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal / SoCal Players of the Week are Lydian Li from Lynbrook of San Jose and Jordan Martinez from Piedmont Hills of San Jose. Photos: &

As we close out the 2020-21 school year for this feature since basketball in Northern California has concluded, two of our final selections go to players in San Jose after they led their teams to CIF Central Coast Section championships. It’s then to Orange County and just west of Long Beach in a famous port city for our Southern California award winners. We still have our final foursome for baseball & softball coming tomorrow.

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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 Northern California
Boys Basketball Player of the Week

Jordan Martinez
(Piedmont Hills, San Jose) Sr.

We head to the Berryessa District in northeastern San Jose near the foothills and about a mile east of Interstate 680 for our Northern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week honoree. At Piedmont Hills, we find a Pirates’ point guard who may be diminutive in stature at 5-foot-6 and 137-pounds, but on the hardwood he’s had some giant performances.

Jordan’s biggest performance of them all came last week in the CIF Central Coast Section playoffs. Last Saturday, in a 75-64 victory over Homestead of Cupertino in the Division I title game, Martinez was like a whiz kid after dropping in 36 points with 10 three-pointers. The 10 treys doesn’t quite make the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book since the cut off is 12, but his mark, particularly in a section title game, where according to Darren Sabedra of the Bay Area News Group some were NBA-range, was nothing to sneeze at.

Proving he is not just flash in the pan, Jordan got it done in the semifinals as well after nailing seven 3-pointers and finishing with 35 points in a 68-58 victory on Thursday against Santa Clara.

We’re sure Martinez would want to give a shout out to senior teammate Alijah Washington. He had a double-double 27 points and 10 rebounds in the Homestead victory.

Koat Keat has been a dominant presence for Crean Lutheran this season. Photo:

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

Koat Keat
(Crean Lutheran, Irvine) Jr.

Orange County and the city of Irvine is where we land in search of our Southern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week selection. There we find Koat Keat of Crean, and while we’re not exactly sure of the pronunciation of his name, it all kind of flows.

On Tuesday, in the CIF Southern Regional Division 2-AA quarterfinals, visiting No. 8 seed King/Drew of Los Angeles probably wishes it had a straightjacket to put around Koat after the 6-foot-9 junior forward went for a double-double 26 points and 11 rebounds, and top-seeded Crean needed every bit of his production in a 69-63 overtime victory.

It was the second straight game Koat made the opposition the goat. Two weeks ago, in a 68-58 victory over Agoura in the CIF Southern Section Division 2A title game, Keat turned up the heat to the tune of a double-double 22 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. We’ll see what the big fella has in store for fifth-seeded Los Altos of Hacienda Heights when 19-2 Crean hosts the Conquerors on Thursday in the semifinals.

Madison Watts has been providing the punch for unbeaten Mary Star this spring and into the early summer. Photo: @MSMSHoops /

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

Madison Watts
(Mary Star of the Sea, San Pedro) Sr.

For our Southern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week choice, we head to the port city of San Pedro where a portion of the Port of Los Angeles is in San Pedro and the rest of it is a stone’s throw away across the main channel of Los Angeles Harbor at Terminal Island.

It’s at this small Catholic school where we find Watts, who despite being only a freshman, has had a lot to do with the fourth-seeded Stars being 21-0 heading into a CIF Southern Regional Division 3-AA semifinal matchup on Thursday with a No. 8 seeded Westchester of Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, in a 69-54 quarterfinal victory over Crenshaw of Los Angeles, Watts led three Stars’ girls in double-figure scoring with 25 points.

Last week, in a 54-50 victory over Agoura in the CIF Southern Section Division 4AA title game, Watts led the way with 24 points and got some help from teammate Andrea Lopez who added 21 points. According the school’s Twitter handle for girls and boys’ basketball, the girls made school and hometown history with a first-ever Southern Section championship in any sport.

In that game Watts had the game in her hands with 9.5 seconds left and the Stars clinging to a 52-50 lead. Despite the pressure of a potential first CIFSS title for the school on the line, Madison was cool as a cucumber from the charity stripe and drilled two free throws to seal the deal.

Now, Watts and the Stars can make even more school history. With a win over Westchester on Thursday, and then a win on Saturday at the Newport Harbor (Newport Beach) and San Diego Rancho Bernardo semifinal winner, Mary Star of the Sea can snag a CIF Southern Regional championship and finish 23-0 on the season.

If it in fact does come to pass, we’re pretty sure Watts will have something to do with it happening.

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

Lydian Li
(Lynbrook, San Jose) Sr.

Our boys honoree is from northeastern San Jose but for the girls basketball award winner we head all the way across town to the west side of the Santa Clara or Silicon Valley as many know it to find a senior combo guard who has starred for Lynbrook all four years of her varsity career.

Last week, and despite all the challenges of this pandemic-affected season, Li gave Vikings’ fans the ultimate high. Facing No. 2 seed St. Francis of Mountain View in the CIF Central Coast Section Division II title game, Li dropped in 27 points to lead top-seeded Lynbrook to the championship and a 16-3 record to finish the season. The D2 title is the first CCS girls basketball championship for Lynbrook in school history.

Complete stats for this season were not readily available, but in her first three seasons Lydian was a consistent double-figure scorer. Last season she led the team in scoring at 16.1 points per game. As a sophomore she led Lynbrook in scoring at 16.0 per game, and finally as a freshman she was second at 12.5 points a game to current senior teammate Sara Ho.

Even without adding in this year’s point total, Li had 1,205 career points with 134 three-pointers in her first three seasons. With a 16.0 points per game average for the 19 games this year, Lydian will have cracked the 1,500 career point mark.

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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