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SPRING SPORTS PREVIEW '98 | NOTEBOOK

Brea Basketball Coach Lloyd Resigns

March 17, 1998|PAUL McLEOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Longtime Brea Olinda boys' basketball Coach Gene Lloyd, The Times Orange County coach of the year in 1997, announced his resignation Monday after the school district rejected his offer to remain as Wildcats' coach but retire from his teaching position at Brea Junior High.

Lloyd, 59, a native of Indiana, had an overall record of 456-234 in 28 years of coaching, including two terms for a total of 17 seasons with the Wildcats. He posted a 334-133 record at Brea and led the Wildcats to 10 Orange League titles. Brea (24-4) finished second to Magnolia in league this season and was eliminated in the third round of the Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs by Compton.

In the 1970s, Lloyd founded elementary and junior high basketball feeder programs that are critically acclaimed for helping the high school maintain one of the most successful and consistent boys' and girls' basketball programs in the county.

Lloyd developed an ulcer last fall and hinted about retiring from coaching and teaching several times during the basketball season. He said he will continue to run the Rose Drive Friends Church Summer Basketball Camps, but plans to spend more time with his wife, Shirley.

"I'm going to do something like a no-brainer, maybe get a part-time job that doesn't involve a lot of my time," he said.

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Monique Mathews, the co-most valuable player of the South Coast League girls' basketball season, has left Capistrano Valley.

Mathews, a 5-10 senior forward who averaged 17.8 points and 13.5 rebounds, led the Cougars to a share of the league title.

According to Tom Ressler, athletic director and assistant coach, Eyvonne Mathews pulled her daughter from school on the Monday after Capistrano Valley's season-ending loss to El Toro. Mathews left school to be with her ailing father in Georgia.

Ressler said Mathews intends to take the GED to get her high school diploma without enrolling at school in Atlanta.

"Her father had been very ill and she almost left during Christmas," Ressler said. "She kept sticking it out.

"It's a disappointing conclusion because everything was on track for her to graduate."

Mathews had attended University before transferring to Capistrano Valley this year. She took additional classes to make up the units she needed to graduate on time.

"We're really proud of what she did at the school, but we also understand why she did what she did," Ressler said. "Knowing Monique as we did, it was made with a lot of thought. It wasn't a kid who was troubled who was trying to get away from something--she wasn't running from anything--I think she made a very open-minded decision about what she thinks is best for her future.

"Obviously, it was in agreement with her mom."

Eyvonne Mathews could not be reached for comment.

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Newport Harbor and Laguna Beach, ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in The Times Orange County preseason poll, will play their nonleague boys' volleyball match Wednesday at Laguna Beach High at 6 p.m. Both coaches agreed to move the match back one day.

Newport Harbor won the San Diego Tournament of Champions last weekend.

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The 22nd High School Senior boys' soccer all-star game will be Wednesday at Montebello High at 8 p.m. The South, featuring county players' Kevin Mehrens of San Clemente, Nick Tolman of Fountain Valley, Aaron McAthy of Huntington Beach and Brandon DeForrest of Western, will face the West. The South won its first game of the round-robin series over the North, 3-0, at Simi Valley Royal High on March 8.

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Sophomore April Ross of Newport Harbor is a glutton for punishment. She was the middle blocker on the Sailors' Southern Section Division I-AA girls' championship volleyball team and a center on the girls' basketball team.

She advanced to the state track finals in the high jump last season and is competing in that sport once again for the Sailors.

She's also the starting middle blocker on the state's top-ranked club volleyball team, the Orange County Volleyball Club girls under-18 team.

And that's still not enough.

She's also competing for the Sailors' coed badminton team this season, making her a four-sport high school athlete.

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Marina has had an outstanding year in girls' athletics. The Vikings have won Southern Section and state volleyball titles, a section title in water polo and a section title in basketball.

Three Vikings have played on at least two of the teams. Junior Sarah Smith played water polo and volleyball. Junior Chanda McLeod and senior Amy Pace played volleyball and basketball.

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Brea's Chelsea Trotter said a week ago that she was essentially a freshman player after having missed last season with a knee injury. On Saturday, she made a freshman mistake. She left her white jersey at home. The Ladycats were wearing white.

While Brea coaches discussed who they would ask to give up their uniform for Trotter, a 6-2 sophomore forward averaging 16.7 points and 8.8 rebounds, first-year player Jeri Armendariz settled the issue when she went to Trotter and volunteered hers.

"No one told me we had to take both," Trotter said. "I saw my green shooting shirt on my green uniform and assumed that was the one to take.

"I really owe a big one to her."

It was the first 26-point assist of Armendariz's career. A point guard, Armendariz would have played an important role in the second half of Brea's 64-52 victory when Lindsey Davidson picked up her fourth foul and Edison cut a 19-point deficit to four. Instead, she was introduced as the player "not in uniform.".

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Point/counterpoint: Fresno Edison girls' basketball Coach Bill Engel, on Brea Olinda's 2-3 zone defense that gave Edison fits: "They started in a zone against us [last year] and we busted it. We practiced for man. We thought they would play man-to-man."

Brea assistant Tony Matson, the defensive coach: "Last year was a different team, baby."

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Correspondent Michael Itagaki and Times staff writers Martin Henderson and Dave McKibben contributed to this report.

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