In boys basketball it was the year of the small forward in the South Bay, as illustrated by the Times 1986 All-South Bay team: one center and nine small forwards.
In girls basketball, "back to the future" might be the theme. Only three of the 10 girls on the All-South Bay team are seniors, so there's a good chance many will be back on the team next year.
The 20 South Bay all-stars, and all-star teams from nine other Times circulation areas, will be honored Saturday at the Disneyland hotel in Anaheim. All-stars will receive certificates and plaques, and a South Bay player and coach of the year will be announced. Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick will be the featured speaker.
Players were selected by a ballot of South Bay coaches, as well as the observations of scouts and sportswriters.
The boys team is composed of Morningside center Elden Campbell and forwards Michael Courtney of Westchester, Steve Florentine of Redondo, Anthony January of Carson, James Johnson of Chadwick, Eric Jordan of Inglewood, Zlatko Josic of San Pedro, Keith Malone of Serra, Jeff Pelton of Palos Verdes and David Whitmore of St. Bernard. Whitmore, a junior, is the only underclassman.
The girls team has seniors Karyn Bolger of San Pedro, Jennifer Rosen of South Torrance and Kelli Knox and Rosiland Moore of Inglewood; juniors Tiffany Carresi of Mary Star of the Sea, Andrea Kabwasa of Hawthorne, Tia Thomas of Morningside and Areatha Vees of Redondo and sophomores Tammy Booker of St. Mary's and Shaunda Greene of Morningside.
Campbell, the Pioneer League most valuable player, had the statistics coaches look for in a 6-10 center--20 points, 13 rebounds and 9 blocked shots per game. In several games he reached double figures in blocks. In two seasons as Morningside's center he led the Monarchs to two league titles and a CIF 3-A championship.
Courtney, 6-5, impressed college coaches with his ability to work effectively under the basket and outside as well and make it look easy against tough competition. He averaged 22.3 points and was MVP of the Torrance Tournament.
Florentine, the tallest forward on the team at 6-7, is a fine shooter who averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds and was virtually the entire attack for Redondo. He shot 52% and had a high game of 36 points.
January, 6-6, a repeat selection and the leading vote-getter in the coaches poll, was in hot water with Coach Richard Masson several times for his free-spirited behavior, but on the court he created the type of problems Masson admired--22.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while shooting 54%. January's whirling moves in the key and sharp baseline jumper were reminiscent of another Carson southpaw star, Eldridge Hudson. "A. J." signed early with the University of Texas-El Paso.
Johnson, 6-5, who played the pivot for Chadwick, ranked among CIF leaders in scoring (24.8 points per game) and rebounds (12.4) to earn CIF 1-A player of the year honors. He was also Prep League most valuable player. The latest in a long line of Chadwick stars was called by Coach Tom Maier "the best dominant player Chadwick has ever had." He had an area high game of 43 points against Los Alamitos.
Jordan, a 6-3 swing man, shared Ocean League player of the year honors with Culver City's Marvin Nelson by averaging 15.9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He teamed with guard Stacy Anderson for one of the South Bay's best combos during the last two years.
Josic, a muscular 6-4 forward, led San Pedro to a surprising tie with Carson for the Marine League title and shared league MVP honors with January. The two-year starter began the season slowly but heated up once league play began. He averaged 17 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 3.5 steals as San Pedro made a successful return to 4-A competition after three years in 3-A.
Malone, Serra's man-in-motion, teamed with sophomore James Moses to form the highest-scoring combo in the CIF and lead the Cavaliers to the Camino Real League title and an appearance in the CIF 5-A championship where they lost to Mater Dei. The Camino Real's MVP averaged 26.4 points and led the Cavs to a 14-0 record in what may be the CIF's toughest league. He had a career-high 39 against St. Bernard. More than his stats, Malone's relentless drive and offensive board work made him a dominant inside player at 6-3 1/2.
Pelton, a solid all-around player and clutch shooter, averaged 15 points and 7 rebounds for Palos Verdes. He is headed to the University of Montana where he'll probably play guard at 6-5.
Whitmore, one of the most exciting players in the Southland, figures to be one of the most heavily recruited small forwards in the nation next season. The high-flying 6-4 junior averaged 23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists and thrilled spectators with his explosive jumping ability and dunks.