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1996-97 BOYS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Olympic League

December 03, 1996

Brethren Christian. 7-15, 4-6 in 1995-96. Coach: Dave Kirksey (second year, 7-15). Prospects: Depth at guard is a problem, although defensively the Warriors look strong. Three starters are back: 5-11 guard Dan Muilenburg, 6-3 forward Jacob Brown and 6-6 center Duane Hundley. Also returning are guard Jay Christensen and forward Rob DeJong. Top newcomers include 6-4 West Torrance transfer Justin Miller, 6-5 center Kevin Thomas and 5-9 guard Kyle Beck. Brethren also has full use of its new off-campus playing facility, Warrior Center, a $2 million-plus multiuse athletic facility which was still in the completion stages during basketball season last year.

Calvary Chapel. 23-5, 10-0 in 1995-96. Coach: Craig Falconer (fourth year, 57-26). Three starters return from last season's Division IV-A semifinalist, prompting a lot of optimism from the Eagles. Kevin Falconer, a 6-1 point guard, Olympic League MVP and second-team all-county selection, leads the hit parade. He averaged 10 assists. Backcourt mate Joe Ortiz, who averaged 18 points, and 6-5 center Robert Cutler, who averaged 10 rebounds, return. Others returning are forwards Garid Beeler, Patrick Dinnie and Noah Thompson. David Williams, a 6-5 transfer from Garden Grove, is also on the roster. "We shouldn't lose in league," Craig Falconer predicts. He says the Eagles should be ranked sixth or seventh in the county, as well.

Ontario Christian. 11-14, 1-9 in 1995-96. Coach: David Smith (first year). Prospects: The Knights have good height, including 6-5 senior center Jarod Newton and 6-4 senior guard Benny Goedhart. Others include 6-3 senior forward Lucas Vandenberg, 6-3 junior center Erik Verkaik and 6-2 junior forward Robbie Vanden Heuvel.

Orange Lutheran. 12-13, 7-3 in 1995-96. Coach: Shawn Cassidy (second year, 12-13). Prospects: There are no returning starters in what is billed by the coach as a rebuilding year, but Cassidy has five players he is counting on in a four-guard offense. They are guards Mike Crawford, Dan Martinez, Justin Smith and Justin Storm and forward Ryan Renevier. Newcomers include Matt Erickson, a 6-4 transfer from Esperanza, junior guards Jeff Kerns and Vince Romero, sophomore forward Chad Kasha and freshman point guard Jason Wieldon. "Our young team will surprise some people," Cassidy said.

Cerritos Valley Christian. 9-13, 4-6 in 1995-96. Coach: Kris Korver (first year). Prospects: Korver replaces the John Wooden of the Olympic League, Harold De Bie, who won more than 500 games in 30 seasons at Valley Christian. It's rebuilding time. A lone starter is back: Andy VandenAaker, a 6-3 wing player who averaged 14 points. Looking to get into the starting lineup are guard Marques Montgomery, wing Kevin Bom and post Bryan Robinson, all seniors. Juniors Nathaniel Feddes, Brandon Fopma and Andy Hugen also have a shot at starting.

Whittier Christian. 7-19, 4-6 in 1995-96. Coaches: Robert Aviles and Bob Brown (ninth year, 123-89). Prospects: There is more experience and depth this season, so look for the Heralds to improve. However, they'll have to do it with a quicker, shorter lineup, because there isn't a lot of height. Jon Stoa, a 6-3 sophomore forward who averaged 12.2 points and five rebounds, is back, but the leadership role will fall squarely on 6-0 senior guard Matt Oronoz, who averaged 9.2 points last season. Other returning players include guards Jose Juarez and Andrei Karapetian, and forwards Eddie Beltran, Brent McGwyre and Randy Snyder. Top newcomers include guards Matt Martinez, Paul Oronoz and Jacob Villa and 6-4 center Joshua Stofle.

--Capsules by PAUL McLEOD

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