Youth and experience are served on The Times' 1987 girls basketball All-South Bay team, with the 10-player team featuring three juniors and a sophomore and six repeaters from last year's team.
Two of the underclassmen are Morningside players, indicating that the Monarchs, who have three players on the all-star squad, plan to continue their South Bay reign of terror.
But the presence of 6-3 sophomore Heather Burge of Palos Verdes could mean Morningside may get competition for South Bay supremacy in the next two years.
The Morningside trio of senior guard Tia Thomas, junior center Shaunda Greene and junior guard-forward Carla Gladden led the Monarchs to their perennial Pioneer League title and to the CIF 4-A semifinals. Thomas, perhaps the South Bay's most complete--and probably flashiest--guard, averaged 15 points, 9 assists and 5 steals and gave up a bit of her scoring role to direct the talented team. She's an All-South Bay repeater from 1986. Thomas signed with New Mexico State before the season.
Greene, also a repeater, is one of the CIF's most dominating big players. She averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots to earn Pioneer League most valuable player honors. Gladden, the Monarchs' other star junior, averaged 14 points, 9 assists and 5 steals.
Another repeater due back is guard Tammy Booker of St. Mary's Academy. The MVP of the Camino Real League as a sophomore, Booker struggled with injuries this season but still led the Belles to the league title. She averaged 17.5 points.
Burge is joined on the all-star team by teammate and Bay League MVP Suzie O'Grady, the point guard who led Palos Verdes to a league title. Burge, who teams with twin Heidi to give Palos Verdes a dominating inside game, averaged 12.8 points and 12.9 rebounds, as well as 3.5 blocks. In three playoff games, Burge came on strong, averaging 19 points, 15 rebounds and 12 blocked shots. A rival coach predicted the sisters "will dominate South Bay schools" for the next two years.
O'Grady averaged 9.8 points and 3 assists in guiding the team to a 21-6 record. "She held the best team in the league together," an opposing coach said.
A senior repeater on the team is Mary Star's Tiffany Carresi, a guard who tied for most votes in the coaches poll. She led the Stars with a 14-point average and led the team in steals and assists to earn Camino Real League honors.
A Camino Real player who blossomed as a senior was St. Bernard's Felicia Dixon, who averaged 20 points to earn league MVP honors. She led St. Bernard to a second-place league finish.
Another repeating senior is Hawthorne's Andrea Kabwasa, perhaps the South Bay's most complete player. A three-year starter, the 5-9 forward averaged 20.3 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists and is a two-time All-CIF 4-A selection. She was named Ocean League co-MVP for the second straight year and closed out her career with a bang, averaging 29.3 points in Hawthorne's final two league games and two playoff contests, shooting 65% in those four games. Kabwasa will join Thomas at New Mexico State next season.
The final senior repeater is multitalented forward Areatha Vees. The 5-10 Redondo senior averaged 17 points and 6 rebounds to earn Pioneer League honors for the second straight year.
Honorable mention goes to Melisa Armijo and Patti Pacheco of San Pedro, Toya Ashford of Carson, Heidi Burge of Palos Verdes, Sheree Corniel and Adella Head of Banning, Jade Hiramoto of North Torrance, Monette Miller and Erin Banks of St. Mary's, Laura Papadakis of Mary Star, Julie Porter of Bishop Montgomery and Angie Wells of Hawthorne.
The four All-South Bay juniors lead the list of players who will return and give a hint of who next season's powers will be. Along with Booker, Greene and Gladden, top juniors include Audrey Alafua of Carson, Erin Banks of St. Mary's, Laura Dox of Rolling Hills and Geanine Hobbs of Banning.
The all-star boys and girls teams, each consisting of 10 members, their coaches and parents will be guests of the Times at 9 a.m. Sunday at the annual Times High School Basketball Awards Brunch where all-star teams from 10 circulation areas will be honored at the Anaheim Hilton. The featured Speaker will be first-year USC Coach George Raveling. The players and coaches of the year from each area will be announced.
The teams were chosen on the basis of a poll of area coaches, who are asked to fill out ballots nominating their own players and opponents, plus the observations of college scouts and sportswriters. Each player will receive the traditional Times golden basketball plaque and award certificate.
GIRLS PREP TEAM
Name School Year Height Average Tammy Booker St. Mary's Junior 5-5 17.5 Heather Burge Palos Verdes Sophomore 6-3 12.8 Tiffany Carresi Mary Star Senior 5-5 14.0 Felicia Dixon St. Bernard Senior 5-7 20.0 Carla Gladden Morningside Junior 5-6 14.0 Shaundra Greene Morningside Junior 5-11 19.0 Andrea Kabwasa Hawthorne Senior 5-9 20.3 Suzie O'Grady Palos Verdes Senior 5-6 9.8 Tia Thomas Morningside Senior 5-5 15.0 Areatha Vees Redondo Senior 5-10 17.0