NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Dylan Tse of South Pasadena and Mercy Miller from Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. Photos: Sebastian Moore / The Review (South Pasadena) &

For our second week of Northern and Southern California Players of the Week for basketball, we cheated a little by including a Monday performance that already happened this week. It was just deemed the best way to get out details of a record-breaking performance from senior Mercy Miller from Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. We also have three others off to hot starts for their 2023-24 seasons who are representing Dublin High and Ygnacio Valley High of Concord in Northern California and South Pasadena High in Southern California.

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


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

Mercy Miller (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) Sr.

The son of multi-million dollar rapper, songwriter and record producer Master P set a record of his own in a Monday night matchup already this week for the 2023 CIF D1 state champion Knights.

Sure, the performance came in a game that Notre Dame was going to win and it is obvious that the coaches and players knew after Miller started hitting baskets what school record could be broken, but it was broken, he is a great player (all-state junior last season) and deserves the attention.

Miller finished with 68 points in Notre Dame’s 104-44 victory over Oakwood of North Hollywood. He connected on 28 of 38 shots from the field and surpassed the previous Notre Dame school record of 66 points set in February of 1969 by Bud Fabian.

We know a lot about this particular record since we’ve maintained the single-game scoring records for California boys basketball for more than 40 years and it takes an outing of 65 points to get onto the all-time state list. Mercy’s 68 points is the most in a game in the state since December of 2019 when
Mikey Williams from San Ysidro had 77 points in a game vs Kearny of San Diego. The previous season, in January of 2019, Trayvon Davis of San Bernardino went for 75 points in a game vs Vista del Lago of Moreno Valley. Miller’s 68 is the most for one game so far in the state during the 2020s. Notre Dame also became the fourth school in state history to have more than one player on that all-time list. The other three are Chino Hills, San Bernardino and Balboa of San Francisco.

Miller, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, averaged 17.1 ppg as a junior for the Knights last season. He played his first two seasons of high school ball at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, Minn. He has had several other explosive scoring games this season at Notre Dame, which had a mostly senior lineup other than Miller last season. Mercy has signed a letter of intent to play in college at the University of Houston, which is where his father went to college.

Jalen Stokes of Dublin goes in for a dunk during a game last season. Photo: @TheDublinHigh /

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

Jalen Stokes (Dublin) Jr.

We head to the Tri-Valley area of the East Bay portion of the CIF North Coast Section to find our Northern California Boys Player of the Week and it’s at Dublin High that we find our honoree.

The 6-foot-5 wing was considered one of the top sophomore recruits in Northern California and so far in his junior season Stokes has picked up right where he left off. We saw him in person at the NorCal Tip-Off Classic in the one game Dublin has lost in a 5-1 start, but even in that game, a 63-54 loss to St. Ignatius of San Francisco, Stokes was in our opinion the top player on the floor after finishing with a double-double 20 points and 12 rebounds despite drawing multiple defenders.

Last week, Stokes continued to stroke the basketball after leading his team to three wins and the tournament title at the Washington tournament in Fremont. Besides the Tip-Off Classic performance, it’s for his efforts in Fremont that has garnered him this statewide honor.

The tournament MVP went for 30 points, 16 rebounds, three assists and three steals in a 71-55 championship game victory over Amador Valley of Pleasanton. In the opening game against Mission San Jose of Fremont, Stokes had 22 points, eight rebounds and four steals in a 94-42 victory. In a semifinal 93-42 victory over Livermore, and in limited play, he had 12 points, six rebounds and five steals. To start the week and before the tournament began, he played around a half of a 94-49 victory over Hayward, but still had team highs of 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

So far this season, and with his play limited in the lopsided wins, Stokes is averaging 20.0 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

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

Dylan Tse (South Pasadena) Sr.

To find the Southern California Girls Player of the Week, we head to the far western portion of the San Gabriel Valley and around six miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles and just about halfway between I-10 to the south and I-210 to the north of the South Pasadena campus.

It would be a bit of an understatement to say Tse has been one of the main catalysts of a Tigers’ team that is 8-0 to start the season and knocking on the door of the State TOP 25 rankings.

Last week was a perfect example. In four games, she went for 24 points, seven rebounds, seven steals and five assists in a big 68-49 victory over Chaminade of West Hills. The next day, in a 71-56 victory over Bishop Alemany of Mission Hills, Dylan was thrilling after going for a double-double 19 points and 10 rebounds with six assists. In the third game of the week, Tse had 41 points (five 3-pointers) and six rebounds, five steals and four assists in a 91-39 rout of Hesperia, and finally in the week’s final game and the championship game of the Providence tournament, Dylan had 22 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists in an 86-29 victory over Los Angeles Marshall.

So far this season, Tse is averaging 23.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game.

Tse is not a one-girl team and we’re sure she’d like to give a shout out to junior teammate Kayla Boozer, and while we don’t have co-anything in any Cal-Hi Sports honors, Boozer herself could have been honored and will make the weekly Stat Stars feature. Boozer is averaging 21.1 points and 16.1 rebounds per game and had a great week herself, including 31 points and 18 rebounds against Chaminade, 23 points and 17 rebounds versus Alemany, and 30 points and 14 rebounds against Marshall.

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

Sa’rye Starks (Ygnacio Valley, Concord) Jr.

The search for the Northern California Girls Player of the Week takes us to the shadows of majestic Mt. Diablo to a school just across a driveway from De La Salle, and it’s at Ygnacio Valley where we find the award winner.

Starks has been hot from the start for 8-0 Ygnacio Valley but it’s for her most recent performances that the junior guard is being honored for. Last week, she led the team to the title at the Lower Lake tournament. In the championship game, a 40-31 victory over Cloverdale, Starks nearly outscored the entire opposition after going for 29 points (three 3-pointers) with five rebounds and four steals. In the semifinals, a 44-31 victory over host Lower Lake, it was the same story as Sa’rye had 27 points with eight rebounds, eight steals and two assists. In the tournament opener, a 69-43 victory over Clear Lake, Starks was the second-leading scorer after the 27 points of senior teammate Kasia Brooks, but she almost had a quadruple-double when she finished with 18 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and seven steals.

Earlier this season, Starks went for 40 points in a rout of San Jose El Primero and is currently averaging 24.3 points, 6.6 steals, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists 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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