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BOYS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW | PRESEASON NOTEBOOK

Brethren Christian Games Remain in Cypress Despite School's Move

November 24, 1998|PAUL McLEOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Brethren Christian, although forced to move its campus to South Huntington Beach, will continue to play its home games at the Warrior Center in Cypress.

The Anaheim Union High School District opened a magnet school on Brethren's former site, and the Warriors secured a lease on a closed elementary school site just before school began in September.

The Warrior Center is a converted warehouse near the corner of Katella Avenue and Valley View Street. The school leased the building four years ago and built three basketball/volleyball courts, a wrestling room, locker room and some small offices.

But just how long Brethren continues to keep the facility is undecided because of finances, according to Athletic Director Marsella Flippin.

"It's been a struggle," Flippin said. "We are hanging in there, but we aren't sure how much longer we can keep the Warrior Center at this pace."

When it opened, Brethren Christian officials figured they could break even on the Warrior Center by renting it out when it wasn't being used by their school. But revenue projections have fallen short of the $3,000 a month it takes to pay for the lease, Flippin said.

"There's no one in there between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.," she said. "Obviously, we may have to let go of the facility if it doesn't pay for itself."

Flippin said Brethren Christian is looking for land in Seal Beach or Cypress and would like to move by next season.

*

Servite Coach Scott Hamilton likes to think of himself as an optimist. Despite the fact the Friars compete against Ocean View and Tustin, two top-10 teams, Hamilton sees the Golden West League race as wide open.

"Last year, no doubt, Ocean View was the front-runner," he said. Servite finished second behind the Seahawks, who went on to win the Southern Section Division III-AA title.

Hamilton said the league will be one of the county's most competitive.

"The team that will determine how the race goes could be Santa Ana," he said. "This is the second year for that coach [Adrian Gomez] to be working with those kids, and their goal is to make the playoffs."

Gomez, a former lower-level assistant at Ocean View, won't go quite as far as Hamilton, but he believes his team will be improved.

"We hope to surprise a few people," he said.

Gomez said he spent most of last year getting the Saints' lower-level teams squared away to build a foundation from which to feed the varsity.

"I had to take care of that first and I believe we are on the right track," he said.

*

Robert Aviles, athletic director at Whittier Christian, is going it alone this season as head basketball coach, now that longtime co-coach Bob Brown is in the front office full time as the school's vice principal.

Brown coached the Heralds for 10 seasons and had a record of 151-115. Aviles joined Brown in 1995 and has a record of 35-45.

Aviles' lower level coach is Bob Holland, another former lower-level coach at Ocean View, who was the basketball coach and athletic director at Fairmont last season.

Aviles and Holland are friends from their days playing basketball for Southern California College.

"We are really excited to have him here," Aviles said. "We hired him four days before school started."

Fairmont replaced Brown with J.T. Cameron, who coached basketball for nine years and was athletic director at Southern California Christian High. His replacement is Eric Stenlake, formerly the junior varsity coach at Brethren Christian.

Holland's responsibilities at Whittier Christian will include overseeing all girls' sports, as well as being boys' junior varsity coach.

As for the Heralds this season, 'We'll probably open it up a little more and be more aggressive defensively," Aviles said.

*

The county's newest basketball team is also its best-kept secret.

Tiny 2-year-old Tarbut V'Torah of Irvine (enrollment of about 50) will field a freshman-sophomore boys' team this season, with the goal of playing a freelance varsity schedule in 1999-2000, Athletic Director Cindy Schaaf said.

Among the amenities at Tarbut V'Torah are a gymnasium with capacity for two side courts and one main court and a regulation-sized soccer field. The Lions will also field a freshman-sophomore girls' soccer team this season.

"We are playing it by ear how big we get," said Schaaf, who spent 11 years as girls' cross-country and track coach at Santa Margarita.

"We have a waiting list right now to get in the school, but we want to keep it small."

*

The first Edison International Basketball Tournament will be Dec. 8-12 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Seven of The Times Orange County's preseason top 10 teams are entered: Capistrano Valley, Katella, Newport Harbor, Los Alamitos, Sonora, Tustin and Villa Park.

Proceeds from the 16-team affair will go toward improving and expanding middle school after-school athletic programs in the Anaheim Union High School District.

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