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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | SOUTHERN SECTION BOYS'
NOTEBOOK

Basketball Court Second Home to Cvijanoviches

March 07, 1998|LAUREN PETERSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

IRVINE — If Cvijanovich is the name, basketball is the game.

That much was obvious from one look at the Santa Clara High bench Friday night at the Southern Section Division V-AA game at the Bren Events Center.

At one end of the bench was Santa Clara head coach Lou Cvijanovich.

To his right was Cvijanovich's son and assistant coach, Steve. At the other end of the bench was daughter Sherri Cvijanovich, the Santa Clara girls' basketball coach who served as an assistant to the boys' team in the playoffs.

And between all the adult family members, sitting about halfway down the bench, was Stefan Cvijanovich, who has played for his grandfather as a freshman reserve on the varsity all season.

At 6 feet 2, he could be starting for the Saints next season.

In the meantime, he concentrated on enjoying his experience this season.

"I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world," said Stefan, the son of Scott, the sixth of Lou's eight children, and the oldest of the coach's four grandchildren.

"The whole experience, of practices, of games, isn't like any other team I've ever played for," Stefan said.

"Coach is a legend, and he's my grandfather. The whole team is like a family."

Seemingly, almost the whole team is family.

*

Santa Clara's game with Pacific Hills matched a pair of traditional lower-division powerhouses.

Santa Clara has made the playoffs 38 times in Cvijanovich's 40-year tenure, and the defending-champion Saints on Friday were trying for their 15th title in 17 final-game appearances.

Pacific Hills competed in the V-AA Division for the first time after winning V-A championships four of the past five years, and capturing Southern California regional titles in 1989 and 1994.

*

Before 1993, Pacific Hills was known as Bel Air Prep. Bel Air Prep's most well-known alumnus could be former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, who graduated in 1991.

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