SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Maddie Yonker of Ripon Christian and Kristian Gonzalez of Chula Vista Mater Dei Catholic. Photos: Dave Campbell / Manteca Bulletin &

After a one-week hiatus for the holidays, we resume with our Players of the Week for boys/girls basketball. Like all the other Player of the Week features in all sports, we 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 real talent that might otherwise only get local recognition. Our stops this week are in Chula Vista and San Diego in Southern California, and in Northern California we visit San Joaquin County (Stockton and Ripon) for both honorees.

We hope you enjoy this free story on Cal-Hi For our state rankings packages in boys and girls basketball plus State Stat Stars of the Week, state record updates and special features, please check out our Gold Club membership today. If you’re not a member, CLICK HERE.

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

Kristian Gonzalez (Mater Dei Catholic, Chula Vista) Sr.

For our boys Southern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week choice, we head to the far south of the CIF San Diego Section and a little more than five miles north of the US/Mexico border off Highway 125 to honor the award winner.

It’s at Mater Dei Catholic where we find a Sacramento State-committed 6-foot-3 shooting guard who has had a huge hand in helping lead the Crusaders to an 11-2 start this season.

Last week, he turned it up a notch in helping Mater Dei Catholic win five games and the title of the Lions Club Classic at Sweetwater of National City.

After two easy wins by the Crusaders to open the event, in the third game Gonzalez went off for a season-high 29 points including seven three-pointers with four rebounds, five assists and six steals in a 79-44 drubbing of Central of El Centro. The fourth game saw Kristian deposit 26 points with five three-pointers, six rebounds, eight assists and two steals in an 85-41 blowout of El Cajon Valhalla. Finally, in the marathon’s fifth game, Gonzalez had 25 points (one three-pointer) with two rebounds, two assists and three steals in an 83-56 lopsided win over San Diego Hoover.

That means that for the final three games Gonzalez had a hand in 106 points if all 15 assists in those games were on two-point shots.

We contacted Kristian by direct message on Twitter to see what he did in a Tuesday morning 71-48 victory over Nevada Spanish Springs of Sparks at the Holiday Classic at Carlsbad, and not surprisingly he responded saying he had 24 points with two three-pointers.

Doing the arithmetic shows Gonzalez is now averaging 18.5 points per game and he’s shooting 46.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Bailey Barnhard is putting some rather insane double-doubles this season at Del Norte of San Diego. Photo: @SanDiegoPBC /

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

Bailey Barnhard (Del Norte, San Diego) Jr.

After finding our boys winner way down south we stick around the CIF San Section to locate our Southern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week and we find our winner in the city of San Diego at Del Norte.

We’re honoring Barnhard this week but had we done the feature last week we could have honored her then, and had football not still been going and players of the week were being selected from the gridiron and not hardwood, Bailey could have been an honoree early in the season.

The bottom line is that Barnhard has had 10 double-doubles with most of them better than the performance she’s being honored for this week so this is about her body of work so far this season.

Last week, in a 43-34 win over a very solid Oaks Christian of Westlake Village, Bailey mailed in her ninth double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The next day is when she got double-double No. 10 and the Nighthawks needed every bit of her 17 points and 18 rebounds to hold off San Marcos in a 52-51 victory.

The outing of two weeks ago was a 44-point, 17-rebound effort in a 73-35 victory against Mission Vista of Oceanside. The early season performance was her best when Barnhard had season highs of 46 points and 20 rebounds in 75-60 victory over Mt. Carmel of San Diego.

So far this season for 10-4 Del Norte (not including any games this week), the junior double-double machine is averaging 23.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.9 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. Bailey is currently the No. 3 reported rebound leader and No. 5 scorer in the San Diego Section.

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

Maddie Yonker (Ripon Christian) Sr.

Just north of Modesto and easily seen along Highway 99 is where we land in search of our Northern California Girls Basketball Player of the Week, and at Ripon Christian we have found a hoopster that not only excels on the basketball court but the volleyball court as well.

Last week, in a 45-31 victory over Stone Ridge Christian of Merced, Yonker went bonkers after accounting for 29 of the 45 points and going for a double-double after snagging 11 rebounds. Two more steals would have given Maddie a triple-double as she recorded eight thefts as well.

So far this season for the 6-3 Knights (not including any games this week), the 5-foot-9 Yonker is averaging a double-double 18.8 rebounds and 10.7 rebounds plus 3.9 steals and 2.3 assists per game.

We mentioned Yonker not only has basketball prowess but is solid on the volleyball court as well. When she stepped onto the basketball court was right after the Ripon Christian volleyball team had won the CIF Division IV state championship.

The Knights’ middle blocker wasn’t one of the statistical leaders on the team like she is on the basketball team but nevertheless she was a solid contributor on a state championship team.

Ripon Christian hasn’t been to a CIF Division V state championship game since it lost a 49-47 heartbreaker in 1995 to El Cajon Christian on a 50-foot heave that went in at the buzzer, but the Knights are 2-2 in state title games and who knows? Maybe Maddie can lead them back to glory this year.

Leon Mills is making the best of his opportunities at Edison of Stockton so far this season. Photo: 49ers Cal-Hi Sports Report.

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

Leon Mills (Edison, Stockton) Sr.

The first community in California to have a name not of Spanish or Native American origin is our destination, and it’s in Stockton at Edison High where we find our Northern California Boys Basketball Player of the Week.

The name of our award winner is Leon Mills but around the Vikings team and the Edison community he’s Mr. Consistency and a leader not only on the court but off the hardwood as well.

Last week Mills came up huge in leading Edison to a 59-57 victory over a Riordan of San Francisco team that was No. 20 in the latest Cal-Hi Sports rankings after he finished with 20 points, four rebounds and four assists. It was the fifth-straight 20-plus points outing for Mills to start the season. He’s had 25 points twice, 24 points and two 20-point efforts. No outings from this week at the Modesto Christian tourney were considered.

Speaking of San Francisco, the city of the Riordan is from also is where Mills is from. As a sophomore, Leon lived and was going to school and playing basketball in San Francisco, but he was struggling with school and homework and his grades dropped to a point where basketball was being taken away from him.

Leon decided to move to Stockton to live with his father and enrolled at Edison where Vikings head coach Diondre Hawthorne, who like Leon was a guard in high school that had to overcome adversity, took him under his wing.

From that very moment, Mills has turned things around, and not only did he lead the 22-8 Vikings in scoring at 17.09 points per game last season but his grades improved enough to where he made the honor roll.

The 49ers Cal-Hi Sports Report in the Bay Area did an Inspirational Athlete feature on him several months ago and as you can see he’s picked up right where he left off last season.

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

Enjoy this article?

Find out how you can get access to more exclusive content, one-of-a-kind California high school sports content!

Learn More

One Comment

  1. Stacy Yonker
    Posted December 28, 2022 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the write up on Maddie. We appreciate it!
    Stacy Yonker

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


    Latest News

    Insider Blog