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1996-97 GIRLS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Pacific Coast League

December 10, 1996|WENDY WITHERSPOON

Aliso Niguel: 8-16, 2-8 in 1995-96. Coach: Deni Christensen (fourth year, 24-44 record). Prospects: The Wolverines return four starters from last year, including 6-foot-2, all-league center Brooke Hyman, a junior who led the county with 14.6 rebounds per game and averaged 13.8 points. Other returners are: Sarah Walbrink, a four-year letter-winner at guard who was the team's most valuable defensive player last season, Sarah Glass, a 5-8 junior guard/forward, and Celene Paramo, a senior guard. The other starter last season, second-team all-league forward Amy Burchett, graduated and will be replaced by Leslie Douty, a 6-0 junior.

Costa Mesa: 14-13, 5-5 in 1995-96. Coach: Shontel Sherwood (second year, 3-3). Prospects: Sherwood was hired in the spring after taking over as interim coach in the middle of last season when Len Whitacre resigned. Sherwood was 3-2 in the last five league games and the Mustangs made the playoffs. They return four starters from that team, including first-team all-league guard Koo Kim (15 points, five rebounds, four assists). Other key returners are seniors: Chanel Anderson, Chantay Peyton and Kristina Watanabe.

Estancia: 21-6, 6-4 in 1995-96. Coach: Paul Kirby (first year). Prospects: The Eagles tied for second last season and advanced to the second round of the Division III-A tournament. Kirby took over in spring for Russ Davis, who resigned to become the women's coach at Southern California College. Kirby was the junior varsity coach the past two years and assisted Davis the past four seasons. Senior all-league selections Jill Black (11.6 points, 9.4 rebounds) and Vivi Rodriguez return.

Laguna Beach: 7-15, 1-9 in 1995-96. Coach: Greg Marshall (first year). Prospects: The Artists should have one of their strongest teams in a few years, led by twin senior guards April and Chrissy Chambers. Other returning starters are senior forwards Alicia Beeman (5-10) and Mary Beaton (5-9). Senior guard Ali Lichterman is another returning varsity player. Some newcomers to varsity include: 5-9 senior forward Niki Petersen, 5-6 twin junior guards Rachel and Robin Globus, and 5-7 sophomore guard Roshaunie Hiemstra.

Laguna Hills: 24-3, 10-0 in 1995-96. Coach: Lynn Taylor (fifth year, 58-39). Prospects: The Hawks return four starters from a team that won its first league title last season and advanced to the semifinals in the Southern Section Division II-A tournament. It's easy to see why they are the preseason favorites in league this year. They return last season's league co-most valuable players, 6-6 senior center Tayyiba Haneef (11.2 points, 10 rebounds) and 5-6 senior guard Tamara Inoue (13.3 points, 5.2 assists), who also was an all-county selection. Whitney Houser, a 5-11 senior forward, was a first-team all-league selection last year who averaged 11 points and six rebounds. Another returning starter is senior guard Mary Tims (5-5), who averaged three steals last season.

University: 15-11, 6-4 in 1995-96. Coach: Bob Bernal (fifth year, 62-40). Prospects: The Trojans tied for second place in league last year and earned a spot in the playoffs, where they lost to Capistrano Valley in the first round. University returns just two starters from that team. But with the addition of Chris Wuillemin, a transfer from Switzerland, Bernal expects that the Trojans will battle Laguna Hills for the league title. Wuillemin, a 5-10 junior guard, has played with Switzerland's junior national team. University's returning starters are: all-league junior forward Monique Mathews (5-11, 15.6 points, 9.9 rebounds) and senior guard Lyz Day (5-4, 9.5 points).

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