NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

NorCal girls honoree Natalia Martinez of Piedmont (10) is shown with Cal Stars teammate Athena Tomlinson of Clovis West. At right is sharpshooter Gavin Murphy of Calabasas, the SoCal boys honoree. Photos: Harold Abend &

With football behind us, we turn more to hoops and kick off our first week of boys and girls NorCal and SoCal basketball Players of the Week with stops in Elk Grove and Piedmont in Northern California, and Calabasas and Rialto in Southern California. Like all the other Player of the Week features in all sports, girls and boys, we also use the feature to track potential entries into the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book and to track some talent that might only get local attention. There were no record book entries this week but we did find some talent that doesn’t always get big-time props.

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Notes: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email

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

Gavin Murphy (Calabasas) Sr.

The far western reaches of the San Fernando Valley where the valley meets the Santa Monica Mountains around 30-miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles off Highway 101 in Calabasas is where we find the Southern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week.

Veteran San Fernando Valley prep sports scribe and former boys basketball head coach Jack Pollon called Murphy a “shooter deluxe” on Twitter after Murphy poured in 38 points last week in a 77-64 home victory over Schurr of Montebello. Murphy started the week for the 9-2 Coyotes with a 24-point effort in 65-51 victory over El Camino of Woodland Hills.

Complete stats for Gavin were not available but perusing Twitter a little further we saw Pollon tweet about a 60-56 Calabasas victory over Valencia in late November where Murphy wasn’t the leading scorer of the game, but of his 19 points five came as the Coyotes final tallies after he made a three-pointer to give Calabasas a 58-56 lead with a minute left, and then drained two free-throws to seal the deal.

The 6-foot guard currently has some solid college interest including Texas A & M, New Mexico State and Eastern Carolina.

Rialto High’s Carrington Davis is shown above on a visit to the University of San Diego. Photo:

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

Carrington Davis (Rialto) Soph.

The Inland Empire is our destination in the search for the Southern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week. Where we end up is just west of San Bernardino and north of Riverside in a rectangle formed by I-15 to the west, I-215 to the east, I-10 to the south and I-210 to the north. It’s in Rialto where we find our honoree.

Davis has been playing well all season for the 8-1 Lady Knights so her performances last week capped things off in earning the statewide award.

The 5-foot-10 wing started off the week with a double-double 30 points (four three-pointers) and 12 rebounds with six assists and seven steals in a lopsided win over nearby Redlands. Later in the week, and also in limited time just like the Redlands game, Davis had 20 points in another blowout of cross-town Carter.

So far this season, and heading into a Wednesday night matchup vs 2-5 Summit of Fontana, Carrington was averaging 22.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 1.8 assists per game.

Last season as a freshman on a Rialto team that went 20-4 and 7-0 in the San Andreas League, Davis led the team in scoring like she’s doing this year after averaging 18.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.6 steals and 3.6 assists per game.

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

Natalia Martinez (Piedmont) Jr.

The Oakland Hills, but not exactly in the city of Oakland is where we head in search of the Northern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week, and we land in Piedmont, a small city of a little over 11,000 residents that’s completely surrounded on all sides by Oakland. It’s there that we find a junior guard who was a big reason Piedmont pulled off the biggest upset so far this season in Northern California girls basketball.

Last week, in the championship game of the Paris Twins Classic hosted by Piedmont, Martinez had 20 points, five rebounds and four steals as the Cal-Hi Sports preseason No. 18 ranked Highlanders were a 60-56 winner over preseason No. 4 Archbishop Mitty of San Jose. Mitty may have had a key player missing, but it’s still a huge win for Piedmont.

In the semifinals and against preseason No. 23 Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa, Natalia went for 18 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals in a somewhat surprising 66-34 victory.

So far this season for the 6-0 Highlanders, Martinez is averaging 20.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 4.1 steals. Of note is during the Mitty game Martinez also surpassed the 1,000 career points mark.

Last season, Martinez edged out San Diego State-committed senior Trinity Zamora for the team’s scoring lead after she averaged 24.1 points per game with 7.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

Varick Lewis already has had some explosive high-scoring games early this season for Monterey Trail (Elk Grove). Photo: Gem Productions /

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

Varick Lewis (Monterey Trail, Elk Grove) Sr.

For our Northern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week honor, we head to the metro Sacramento area and a little less than 15-miles southeast of the state capitol to Elk Grove and Monterey Trail to find the award winner.

The Mustangs got off to a rough start after losing their first two games, but Lewis still had 22 and 20 points in the two losses to two very solid teams, Oakland and Livermore Granada, and in the Oakland game we observed him along with Cal-Hi Sports Managing Editor Ronnie Flores at the NorCal Tip Off Classic, and although his team lost and he did not win the Player of the Game award, most of the analysts and scouts agree the 6-foot-3 Long Beach State-commit was the best player on the floor.

Since then, Varick has helped turn things around quickly for Monterey Trail and with him taking charge the team won all three games last week to improve to 3-2 on the season heading into a trip next week to play in a tournament in Virginia.

Lewis started last week with 29 points (four three-pointers), five rebounds, five assists and six steals in a 92-51 victory over Valley of Sacramento in the opening round of the Monterey Trail hosted Marc Macres Tourney. He followed that up with 33 points (two three-pointers) seven assists and seven steals in a 90-66 semifinal victory over Vacaville. Varick was even quicker in the title game and going up the ladder he finished with 37 points (five three-pointers) three rebounds, seven assists and three steals, meaning he had a hand in 51 points of a 75-60 championship game victory over Woodcreek of Roseville.

So far this season, Lewis is averaging 28.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 3.4 steals per game.

Lewis was outstanding as a freshman for the Mustangs when he averaged 21.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game, but for the 2020-2021 season that was pretty much wiped out by COVID, he went down to Castaic to play at Southern California Academy. Lewis returned home to Elk Grove for his junior season and has picked up right where he left off last year when he averaged 23.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 3.4 steals 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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