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Notebook : Hawks Are Surprise Contenders


In Kevin Macare's first four seasons as girls' soccer coach at Laguna Hills, the Hawks didn't win a playoff game. They never even scored a goal in the playoffs.

Times have changed. Laguna Hills has scored 13 goals in four playoff victories leading up to today's Southern Section Division II semifinal at top-seeded Ventura Buena.

"We've surprised a lot of people," Macare said. "I don't think anyone expected us to get where we are now."

Early in the Pacific Coast League season, some might not have expected the Hawks to make the playoffs after they lost their first two games. But they regrouped, didn't give up a goal in their final eight league games and finished second.

After outscoring their first two playoff opponents, 9-1, the Hawks (15-7-3), the only wild-card team in the Division II semifinals, upset Canyon and fourth-seeded La Crescenta Crescenta Valley last week.


Troy scored only three points in the fourth quarter against La Habra--which scored only seven--and lost, 44-41, and dropped into a first-place tie with the Highlanders in the next-to-last game of the regular season in girls' basketball.

But Warrior Coach Brad Sand faced the music afterward.

The reporter's question: "So, was that the worst you've played in the fourth quarter?"

"Actually," he said, "we've had some pretty bad quarters."

Troy scored only five points in the first quarter, nine in the second and eight in the fourth in its 58-33 quarterfinal loss to Torrance Bishop Montgomery.


Before the Division V-A boys' basketball quarterfinal, Orangewood Academy Coach Eric Thorson said his center, 6-7 senior Micah Lloyd, wasn't playing aggressive enough.

Despite foul trouble, Lloyd had 13 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots Thursday in a 73-72 victory over second-seeded Los Angeles Pilgrim.

"That was totally out of character," Thorson said. "But it was good to see. Micah stepped up big."


Basketball fever has swept Orangewood Academy, which is participating in its first season of varsity competition.

According to Thorson, who is also the athletic director, the Spartans have chartered two buses to make the trip to Chadwick High in Palos Verdes for the semifinal game against Palos Verdes Rolling Hills Prep.

"The school spirit has been unbelievable," Thorson said.

In a second-round game at Wildomar Cal Lutheran, another large Orangewood contingent made the trip to Riverside County to cheer the Spartans to a 45-42 overtime victory.


The Woodbridge boys' soccer team, which plays host to Rancho Cucamonga in the semifinals of the Division III playoffs today, has advanced further into the playoffs than any soccer team in school history. Still, the Warriors are most proud of winning the Sea View League title.

Many were surprised when Woodbridge, then unranked in the Orange County poll, beat top-ranked Santa Margarita. Not the Warriors.

"We were on a 10-game winning streak when we finally beat Santa Margarita and that was the first time we were even noticed in the poll," first-year Coach Jon Szczuka said. "The kids were really fighting for respect all year. I guess now is the best time to get it."


Among the wildest of the girls' basketball wild-card games in Division IV-AA was Corona del Mar's 63-51 victory over L.A. Sacred Heart of Jesus. The final tally? There were 58 fouls and 69 free throws in the 1-hour 50-minute game, and eight players fouled out--although one from Sacred Heart was reinserted into the lineup without anyone catching it.

"It was," Corona del Mar Coach Garth Flint said, "the most unusually officiated game I've ever been a part of."


The Ocean View girls' basketball team won 14 consecutive games--at the time the longest active streak of the county--before losing to Marina on Saturday. The Seahawks' previous loss took place Dec. 30 in the fifth-place game of the Marina Tournament, so one could say the Seahawks were perfect in 1995.

Well, maybe not.

"Actually, they lost on January 3," Seahawk assistant coach Kristin Brun said.

To whom?

"We had an alumni game," Brun said, "and the alumni beat them. Tracy Wolfe was hitting and they couldn't stop her."

Brun, a 1992 Ocean View graduate, not only played for the alumni but coached the squad of ex-Seahawks, so when Seahawk Coach Ollie Martin wants to analyze his team's weaknesses, he can turn to the last coach to beat his squad. She's right down the bench.


Estancia boys' basketball Coach Tim Parsel was in such a hurry to get some game film on tonight's Division III-A semifinal opponent Goleta Dos Pueblos that he personally drove to Santa Barbara and back on Saturday--for him a round trip of 250 miles.

No faith in a courier service?

"No, I just wanted to make sure we had something," Parsel said, chuckling at himself.

He saw enough to be convinced that Dos Pueblos is almost a mirror image of Estancia.

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