Camarillo Coach John Harbour is looking for a second league title in three years and he may have all the ingredients. Four starters return from a Scorpion team that posted an 18-6 record last season and tied with Thousand Oaks for second place.
Camarillo enters league play tonight with an 8-3 record. Senior guard Steve Banales, third-team All-CIF Southern Section last season, is averaging 15.5 points a game. Mitch Parrott, a junior forward, has chipped in with an average of 14.3 points and eight rebounds a game.
One team that could knock the Scorpions off is Channel Islands. Camarillo and Channel Islands have met twice this season in tournaments. Each has won once.
Coach Don Salado, whose Raiders have won six and lost four, said: "We are just treading water right now. Our star, Kevin Venable, has been out all season with an injury. He means a lot to our team but I'm pleased with the way we've played." Venable suffered a broken kneecap before the season and will miss at least three more weeks.
Westlake could be a dark-house in the title race. The Warriors have never finished higher than third, but enter league play with a 6-5 record. Point guard Rob Bowen leads first-year coach Roy Gilmore's attack with 16.9 points a game. Senior forward Ken Burke, a two-time state champion high jumper, is averaging 12.2 points a game.
Simi Valley won the Marmonte League last year, going 21-4 overall. After a 5-1 start, the Pioneers have fallen to 6-4. Coach Bob Hawking depends a great deal on senior Mark Robinson (24.8 points, 8.8 rebounds a game).
Royal hasn't been to the playoffs since 1971, but first-year Coach Jack McCrory thinks that drought will end. "This year, I'd say we're legitimate contenders for a playoff berth. In the past, our players have been content just with beating our rival, Simi. But this year we're working toward the playoffs."
Senior Joe Pugh leads Royal in scoring with a 15.5 average.
Thousand Oaks went 19-6 last season and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. But Coach Ed Chavalier had only one returning letterman, Dan Birg. The senior forward is averaging 14.2 points a game. The Lancers enter league with a 3-8 record.
Newbury Park finished seventh last season with an overall record of 2-18. The Panthers are 3-6 so far, but the future doesn't look bright. Chad Staples, a 6-6 senior center, won second-team all-league honors last year, but Coach Dennis McKeown has little else.