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Hoover Set for a Shot at Girls Cage Crown : With Muir's Jordans Gone, Other Pacific League Teams Have a Chance

December 04, 1986|GARY KLEIN | Times Staff Writer

Pacific League girls basketball coaches aren't shedding any tears now that Muir High's Jordan twins have gone off to college.

Gone is Pauline, who averaged 24 points and 13 rebounds a game, and sister Geannine, who averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds for a Muir team that won the the league championship and spent part of last season ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today.

No one is happier than Hoover Coach Bob Henry, whose team has a legitimate chance to replace Muir as league champion.

Henry has reason to be optimistic. Four starters return from last season's team that had an overall record of 16-6 and finished second in the league at 7-3.

Like Muir, the Tornadoes lost their leading scorer, Sylvia Antanaitis, who averaged 18 points a game last season. However, Henry doesn't think there will be a drop in his team's quality of play.

"Actually, I think we're much stronger than last year," said Henry, who is beginning his fifth year as coach. "We lost a super player, but we're a lot stronger overall with an experienced group of returning players."

Junior forward Jennie Pritchard averaged 10 points a game last season. She'll team in the frontcourt with junior center Rosemary Conner, who averaged eight points and nine rebounds a game last season.

In the backcourt, the Tornadoes will rely upon senior Heidi Passarella to fill the void left by Antanaitis. Passarella averaged 10 points a game last season.

Even with the absence of the Jordan twins, Muir still will make its presence felt in the run for the league title. Pasadena and San Gabriel are also contenders.

"This is a very, very strong league," Henry said. "But if we stay healthy throughout the season, there's isn't any reason why we shouldn't have an even better season than last year."

Here is an alphabetical list of other girls high school basketball teams in the Glendale area to watch during the 1986-87 season:

Crescenta Valley (Pacific League, 4-A Division)--Crescenta Valley has three starters back from last season's team that finished 10-12 overall and 4-6 in the Pacific League.

Senior guard Tammy McCollum, junior forward Lia Rittenhouse and junior center Carin Wagner will try to make up for the loss of all-league guard Lisa Erickson, who graduated.

"Our defense should be good and we'll be quick," Crescenta Valley Coach Bill Richards said. "Our goal this year is to make the playoffs."

Eagle Rock (Northern League, 3-A Division)--Eagle Rock lost two All-City players from last season's team that went 11-7 overall and 6-4 in league.

Center Tina Epps, who averaged 21 points and 16 rebounds, and guard Millie Abich, who averaged 20 points a game, both graduated.

Junior guard Ashlee Tanimoto is the only returning starter on a team that has no seniors on the roster.

"We have a lot of athletic ability and we'll try to pressure other teams with a zone press," Coach Ivan Simon said. "We've got a lot of real young players, so things will come with experience."

Flintridge Prep (Prep League, Small Schools)--Flintridge Prep has four players back from last season's first-ever league championship team.

The Rebels lost league MVP Jill Young-Sailors, but there is still plenty of talent that could improve upon last season's 14-4 record overall and 11-1 finish in league.

Senior forward Kirsten Braithwaite has led the team in scoring three years in a row, last season averaging 15 points a game.

Also returning are all-league center Tina Fejtek, forward Jennifer Thornton and guard Ingrid Morris.

"This is a shorter team than we've had in the past," Flintridge Prep Coach John Ruch said. "We've got eight players who really work hard. Speed and experience will be our biggest assests."

Franklin (Northern League, 3-A Division)--Franklin is going to have a difficult time replacing All-City guard Bettina Granger, who averaged 18 points a game last season. The Panthers have five returning players, however, so improvement upon last season's 7-7 overall and 4-6 league records is possible.

Senior forward Diana Limon and senior center Cecilia Becerra are expected to lead the team, which will start juniors Laura Redford and Janet Fukuhara at guard.

Glendale (Pacific League, 4-A Division)--The Dynamiters finished 2-18 overall and 0-10 in league last season. As Glendale Coach Cari Anderson-Meadows said, "There's no place to go but up."

Junior forward Fatima Jose, junior center Candice Denardo and sophomore guard Angela Armendaris are being counted on to help lift the program to respectability.

La Canada (Rio Hondo League, 2-A Division)--La Canada is another program that can only get better. The Spartans finished 3-18 overall and 0-10 in league last season, but six players are back with a year of experience.

Junior forward Melinda O'Brien averaged 15 points a game during the summer, and she will combine with junior center Kris Puttler to form a strong frontcourt.

Tina Lafferty, the team's only senior, will start at guard.

Marshall (Northern League, 3-A Division)--Kimi Kondo, an All-City guard who averaged 15 points a game last season, graduated after leading Marshall to an 8-6 overall record, a 6-4 finish in league and a trip to the City semifinals.

The Barristers will rely on senior center Dollie Lucero, who averaged 16 points a game last season and was honorable mention All-City. Senior forward Christi Waymire, who averaged eight points a game last season, is also back.

Junior guard Maile Feig, who played on the undefeated junior varsity team last season, will start at guard.

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