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1996-97 BOYS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Orange League

December 03, 1996

Anaheim. 5-19, 2-8 in 1995-96. Coach: Jose Marco Castellanos (third year, 6-42). Prospects: Castellanos is in the third year of a rebuilding plan. "We could go to 12-9 this year," he said. Football quarterback Luis Gomez is a 6-2 forward and now that he is in the gym, Castellanos has something to cheer about. Mike Pineda, a 6-3 forward, also returns. The Colonists are loaded with juniors and seniors, but there isn't much height. Forward Charles Battle stands 6-3. There are forwards Uriel Villalpando (6-2) and Steve Torres (6-1) and also sophomore forward Pablo Beleche (6-2). Others include guards Rommel Figueroa, Christian Llamas, Ed Maravilla, Tru Nguyen, Earl Smith, Shu Todoroki and forward Jose Robles, a 6-footer.

Brea Olinda. 24-3, 10-0 in 1995-96. Coach: Gene Lloyd (16th year, 285-125). Prospects: The veteran Lloyd figures to pick up his 300th career victory this season because the Wildcats are the clear favorite to win the league title. Starters Sean Wink, a 6-4 guard, and Jason Skrifvars, a 6-6 forward, return. Wink averaged 16.5 points and four rebounds, and Skrifvars averaged 7.5 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Reid Carlson and guard Chris McMillian join John Goebel, a 6-8 center, Andy Mogensen, a 6-3 guard who transferred from Arroyo Grande, Brett Tannehill, a 6-3 guard, and Rasuli Webster, a 6-2 forward.

Magnolia. 14-14, 6-4 in 1995-96. Coach: Al Walin (23rd year 294-328). Prospects: Walin also figures to pick up victory No. 300. The Sentinels went 16-7 during summer league and won the 16-team Palm Springs tournament. Zamiro Bennem and Eric McGhee are starting guards who return. Getting lots of varsity experience last season were 6-2 posts Art Garland and Henry Welch and wings Donald Benjamin, Dennis Loza and Brian Morris. Newcomers are Paul Cabico, Henry Jackson and Sam Uai.

Savanna. 4-21, 1-9 in 1995-96. Coach: Terry Evans (first year). Prospects: This team simply has no height and promising swingman Monroe Moore has left for Los Alamitos, leaving Evans with one starter back: 6-4 power forward Enele Boone. "He must improve into a more consistent player and a better rebounder for us to improve from last year," Evans said. Mark Watanabe, a 5-9 guard, played in 23 varsity games as a freshman last season. Forward Tamim Akbar and guard Will King are up from the junior varsity that finished third in the league.

Valencia. 17-12, 7-3 in 1995-96. Coach: Dean Yoshimura (fourth year, 39-40). Prospects: With only one starter back, this club figures to be a spoiler in the league championship race. Eight players are up from last year's JV team that tied for first and was 20-2 overall. Returning starter and senior Robert Smith, a 6-5 center, will be one of the taller players in the league. He averaged 10.6 points and 6.6 rebounds last season. Senior guard Paul Aston saw plenty of varsity action last season. Others include Travis Lane, a junior transfer from Pennsylvania, Wasil Agil, Jimmy Cardena, John Frechette, Michael Johnson, Brian Lee, Mike McCowan, Danny Ortega and Rich Reynoza.

Western. 9-17, 4-6 in 1995-96. Coach: Conrad Byars (third year, 21-31). Prospects: Byars recently got several players in the gym after the football playoffs ended, so the Pioneers could get off to a slow start. A lone starter, 6-1 guard Ryan Harrington, returns. 5-8 guard Sergio Garcia, 6-1 forward John Hodge, 6-4 center Tom Peters, 5-10 guard Jahan Rana and 6-3 swingman Edgar Williams are back. Four players--5-11 Mike Gastelum, 6-2 Joe Laseckie, 5-8 Roland Pasion and 6-3 Ryan Wiese--have been promoted from the JV, and 6-1 Cornelius Taylor is up from the frosh/soph team.

--Capsules by PAUL McLEOD

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