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November 28, 1995

* 1. Mater Dei

Ten Southern Section titles. Three State titles since 1987. What more can you say? This season, there's no Schea. Cotton has returned to Bellflower St. John Bosco, but even without his talents, tradition keeps the Monarchs ahead of the rest. Add a backcourt of Kevin Augustine and David Castleton, 6-foot-9 1/2 junior center Mike Vukovich and . . . well, you know the rest.

* 2. Woodbridge

Big, tall, quick. Can shoot the lights out. And that's just the front line, led by 6-foot-10 junior center Chris Burgess. When guards Ricky Jenkins, William Stovall and Nate Arave adjust from the school's lackluster football season, look out.

* 3. Santa Ana Valley

The Falcons think they have their Mann in 6-foot-4 Olujimi to lead them to a Southern Section title. But don't forget 6-7 Ike Harmon, 6-1 Jason Parrott and a host of others. Valley is loaded.

* 4. Capistrano Valley

There's a lot to be excited about at Capistrano Valley, where four key players--who averaged 34 points between them--return. Add Austin Moherman, the celebrated transfer from Mission Viejo who averaged 17 points, and you have a very deep, very good lineup.

* 5. Santa Margarita

Experienced. Nine players return. Allen Krist, the 6-8 senior center and last year's Sea View League MVP, deserves attention. Senior Guard Dennis Keane will help him get it. The Eagles will be tough.

* 6. Tustin

Coach Andy Ground is concerned about filling the shoes of point guard Doug Gottlieb, The Times' county player of the year who is at Notre Dame. So Ground will go with two point guards and shake up the team's style. David Lalazarian can sky walk and Robert Griffin should be right behind him in scoring. These are still tough Tillers.

* 7. Villa Park

Could be the sleepers of the county. Seven-foot one-inch center Eric Chenowith is an emerging giant on the hardwood. Mark Saukkola should raise his average above 10 points. Junior Isaiah Cavaco is a transfer from Mater Dei. They could combine to become Villa Park's best team.

* 8. Mission Viejo

Despite losing its leading scorer (Moherman), the Diablos have a deep bench and eight guys 6 feet 3 or taller. They're led by 6-3 Commander King and 6-7 Don Williams. Tough team in a tough league.

* 9. Esperanza

Center Josh Greer and forward Lohnnie Tape averaged 32 points and 20 rebounds between them. They're back. Throw in six teammates who got playing experience last season and it's easy to see why the Aztecs will improve on last season's 14-13 record.

* 10. Sonora

More balanced than last season's squad. The Raiders went 41-9 over the summer after losing three talented players to graduation from last season's Freeway League title team. Look for tough-nosed defensive efforts, as well.

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