SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal honorees are Majer Sullivan of Antelope (left) and Shanna Brown from Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo. Photos: @Antelope_Bball / & Harold Abend.

For this week’s four award winners we start out in the southern region of Orange County before going north to the City of Los Angeles as our Southern California stops. Then we head north to the Sacramento suburb of Antelope before going south to Hanford to complete the circuit.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. We also remind readers that for all of our Player of the Week features in all sports, girls and boys, we use it to uncover hidden talent that doesn’t always make the limelight, and for tracking entries into the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book. To nominate anyone, email



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

Shanna Brown (Aliso Niguel, Aliso Viejo) Jr.

Part of the purpose of this feature is to find potential entries into the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book, but one of the other things we look for are players who might not otherwise get recognition and that are sometimes called “diamonds in the rough.”

Well, Shanna Brown is certainly a diamond in what has been a rough season for the young Wolverines, who have played some tough competition in a 5-14 season. Obviously that record is certainly rough but Brown has been tough throughout and last week was a perfect example.

Aliso Niguel was an underdog to Anaheim Esperanza at the Mater Dei Matt Denning Nike Hoops Classic last Saturday, and in fact they lost to the Aztecs 72-48 earlier in the season. However, on Saturday at Mater Dei, the 5-foot-10 wing helped turn the tables in a 52-49 victory in which Brown went for a monster double-double 28 points and 21 rebounds.

Stats for Brown and Aliso Niguel are not reported, but when we reached out to Wolverines’ head coach Brad Johnson he was more than helpful, and what we found out was the performance by Shanna against Esperanza was almost like another day at the office for Brown.

So far this season Shanna is averaging 24.9 points, 16.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. She’s had 16 double-doubles in 19 games. Her best game was a gargantuan double-double 36 points and 30 rebounds in a 62-46 victory over Anaheim. The 30 rebounds is a school record.

Brown is only 19 games into the season but when she got the 28 points against Esperanza she broke the school’s single season scoring record of 449 points. She is currently only 18 rebounds away from breaking that single season school record.

Finding a girl like Shanna to honor who is flying well under the radar screen on a team taking its lumps is what this feature is all about.

Kalib LaCount is regarded as one of the state’s top unsigned/uncommitted senior guards. Photo: @BCHoopEvents /

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

Kalib LaCount (King-Drew, Los Angeles) Sr.

The Los Angeles City Section and an area surrounded by Watts to the north, Compton to the south, Lynwood to the east, and just south of I-105 is where we land in search of our Southern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week – and how appropriate we find ourselves at King-Drew just prior to the upcoming MLK Day, since King-Drew is named after the Rev. Martin Luther King and pioneering African-American physician Dr. Charles Drew, and is located in an area of Los Angeles with lots of references to the men the school is named for. It’s adjacent to a community hospital and not far from a grammar school named after King, and a block away from the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine.

The coincidence of our being able to honor a player with references to the Rev. King on this week leading up to the day we honor the great American is a beautiful thing, but let’s talk about our honoree a bit as well. According to more than one source, LaCount is one of if not the top guard in the L.A. City Section, and he’s been consistently putting up the numbers to validate that assessment.

Last week, in an 84-82 victory over El Camino Real of Woodland Hills in the championship game of the Huntington Park Tournament, La Count accounted for 42 points and the Golden Eagles pretty obviously needed them all to secure the victory

The championship victory wasn’t the only game in the tournament King-Drew had to count on LaCount to lead the team to victory. In the semifinals, and in a 73-71 overtime victory against Cathedral of Los Angeles, the Phantoms couldn’t put a lid on Kalib as he went for 38 points.

Now, after being named the Huntington Park Tournament MVP, LaCount adds a statewide honor to his resume.

This isn’t the first time LaCount had put up big numbers. Complete stats weren’t available but a quick online search came up with a game in the spring season when LaCount, who was named Second Team All State, had 53 points in a 70-61 win over Arcadia, or a game when he had 46 points in a 60-57 victory against Los Angeles View Park.

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

Majer Sullivan (Antelope) Sr.

To find our Northern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week, we head to the suburbs of Sacramento about 20 miles northeast of the state capital on the I-80 corridor. At Antelope we find a player named Majer who has been a major factor in the Titans’ 16-2 record so far this season after a Tuesday victory over Bella Vista of nearby Fair Oaks.

Last week, in a 74-64 victory over neighboring Roseville, the 6-foot-7, 240-pound power forward/center had his way in the paint after finishing with 23 points and a school record 30 rebounds. The 30 boards are 12 more than the previous school record.

The performance against Roseville was also the eighth double-double of the season for Sullivan, who is averaging a double-double 11.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

As a junior last spring, Sullivan earned first team all-league honors in the Capital Valley Conference. The improving big man also is a force in the classroom with a 4.0 GPA.

Makayla Carre can carry a team with her scoring and rebounding. Photo:

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

Makayla Carre (Sierra Pacific, Hanford) Jr.

“The Valley” as the locals affectionately call the CIF Central Section is our destination in search of the Northern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week – and since our honoree is from The Valley we remind readers that for all our Player of the Week features, in all sports, girls and boys, the Central Section is considered part of Northern California.

We land in Hanford where our award winner, Makayla Carre, is a 5-foot-10 center who was nominated by Sierra Pacific assistant coach Victor Chavarin, is close to setting a school record.

To say Carre has helped carry the Golden Bears to a 10-5 record to start the season would not be an overstatement.

In three games last week, two in East Sequoia League action, Carre had three double-doubles after finishing with 22 points and 17 rebounds in a 74-29 victory over Lindsay, 26 points and 13 rebounds in a big win against Farmersville, and 27 points and 12 rebounds with four assists in a 76-51 victory versus Hanford in the Battle for Hanford rivalry game.

The five double-doubles ties the school record set in 2019 by Alana Roberts. Makayla will now try to break the record when Sierra Pacific takes on Orcutt Academy on Friday.

Makayla has only played seven games this season but six have been double-doubles and in the seventh game she had nine points and double-digit rebounds. So far this season, and heading into Friday’s game, Carre is averaging 21.0 points and 12.9 rebounds per game.

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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