It has been a weird basketball season.
How weird? Ever think you'd see a season when the UC Irvine men's team consistently outdrew Mater Dei at the Bren Center?
Ground control: Tustin's Doug Gottlieb, the 1995 Orange County player of the year, graduates and goes to Notre Dame. And the Tillers? Well, Andy Ground's team, top seeded in the II-A playoffs a year ago, is the second-seeded team this season.
Couldn't be the coaching, could it?
Behind the scenes: Let's see, Ground's team is seeded second. Cypress, coached by Tom Gorrell, is seeded second in II-AA. Both were assistants at Tustin under Tom McCluskey, now at Golden West College.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday February 15, 1996 Orange County Edition Sports Part C Page 7 Sports Desk 1 inches; 22 words Type of Material: Correction
Girls' basketball--Kim Menke is a student at Cerritos Valley Christian High but does not play basketball, as reported in Tuesday's edition of The Times.
The Tillers' 1991 Division II state title just makes more and more sense.
Fresh face: Tired of the Brea Olinda, Mater Dei, Woodbridge girls' basketball trifecta? Well, Sonora goes from 6-17 to 18-6.
Aiyana Nash? Ann Meyers? The initials are close.
Cross-out-of-town rivalry: Mater Dei plays Santa Ana Friday in the first round of I-A. Wow, a battle between Santa Ana's oldest and most-storied high schools. And the game will be played in Irvine.
There's some civic pride.
The long goodbye: First, former Mater Dei player Schea Cotton is said to be finished for the season at Bellflower St. John Bosco. Then he plays Friday night. Just another plot twist in this ongoing soap opera. It is, after all, sweeps month.
Of course, Cotton, slowed this season by a hand injury and poor grades, has been telling fellow St. John Bosco students that he won't be around next year.
He who laughs last: South Coast League basketball crowds sure made their point this year. Mission Viejo football players taunt Capistrano Valley. Capistrano Valley wins. Capistrano Valley football players taunt the San Clemente crowd. San Clemente wins. San Clemente football players taunt the Mater Dei crowd. Mater Dei wins.
Is there a pattern here?
The right job for the man: Jeff Sink, Brea Olinda's second-year girls' basketball coach, describes himself this way: "I'm a person who likes success."
Success? At Brea Olinda? In girls' basketball?
We're No. 1: The best girls' basketball team from Orange County? Easy. Cerritos Valley Christian.
The Crusaders, who are 24-0, feature transfers Kiyoko Miller (Brea Olinda), Kim Menke (Whittier Christian) and Monikue Toney (Esperanza).
One or two more county transfers and the Crusaders might be really good.
Honesty is the best policy: Santa Ana Valley officials turn themselves in early after discovering an ineligible player on the boys' basketball team.
The Falcons forfeit six games for using said player all of 12 minutes this season. It cost them the Century League title, but league coaches vote them into the playoffs as the third-place team.
Some days, it isn't insane out there.
Dishonesty is the normal policy: A youth traveling team coach recently told a county high school coach that his sixth- and seventh-graders are getting ready to make their "visits."
Some days, it is insane out there.