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CITY SECTION BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Teams To Watch

November 24, 1996|PAIGE A. LEECH

* CANOGA PARK

1995-96: 22-5, Mid-Valley League co-champion

Without a doubt, the Hunters are the best among area City teams. Canoga Park Coach Ralph Turner got his wish when the Hunters were moved up to the 4-A Division this year. The talent alone makes this team a 4-A title contender. But a few questions beg to be answered: Will David Redmond, who quit the Birmingham basketball team after six games last year, step up and achieve his potential? Will Carloes Harper take more of a leadership role? Will multitalented Anthony Ellison retain his eligibility at the Dec. 5 Interscholastic Athletics Committee hearing? And with phenom Jeff Turner aboard, will too many stars spoil the show?

*

CLEVELAND

1995-96: 15-9, West Valley League champion

Cleveland was better than expected last season, upending talented Chatsworth, replete with Eddie Miller and Jerome Joseph, for the league title. Despite the personnel changes, Cleveland remains the league favorite. The Cavaliers have a new coach in alum Andre Chevalier, a former Cal State Northridge star who is making his coaching debut. With leading scorer and defensive star Junior Brignac graduated, returning starters Donald Holt and Jerome Grant will have to shoulder the load.

*

POLY

1995-96: 6-18, tied for last in Mid-Valley League

The Parrots, despite last year's dismal finish, are poised for a tremendous turnaround. All five starters return from a team that upset Canoga Park in league last season. And with the addition of scoring machine Ellis Richardson, a transfer from Birmingham, look out. Senior forwards Jonny Lopez and Eric Owens combined to average 25 points and 15 rebounds last year. Richardson averaged 18 points and seven rebounds.

*

SYLMAR

1995-96: 5-15, tied for last in Mid-Valley League

Worst-to-first is the theme in this league this season. Like Poly, all five starters return. Sophomore Jeremiah Turner and senior Daron Wilson are the team's stars. But sophomore guard Brandon Jacobs (5-11) could emerge as a top scorer. Tywane Patterson (5-8), a football star who didn't play basketball last season, gives the Spartans quickness.

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