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BOYS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Olympic League

November 24, 1998

Brethren Christian: 7-18, 2-8 in 1997-98. Coach: Jon Bahnsen (first year). Joseph Mamaradlo, a 5-9 guard, is the only starter back, prompting Bahnsen to call the program "in a state of flux." But Bahnsen says the team can produce 10 victories and make the playoffs. Freshman Kyle Painter, a 6-2 sophomore, is the tallest player, so guard play will be key. Chris Austad, Joe Gaynor and Mike Oparah, all 6 feet 1, figure to share backcourt responsibilities.

Calvary Chapel: 27-5, 10-0 in 1997-98. Coach: Bernie Francis (first year). Francis, a veteran of youth leagues, takes over for Craig Falconer, who was hired at La Habra after leading the Eagles to back-to-back appearances in the Southern Section finals. Francis has plenty of guards to work with. "We hope to develop a great running game with tenacious defense," he said. The lone returning starter is 6-4 forward Brett Young, who made 85 three-pointers last season. Returning players Jeremy Ampe, a 5-9 senior guard, Tyler Ohanian, a 5-10 junior guard, and Joshua Sherman, a 6-2 junior forward, join newcomers James Samimi, a 5-9 senior guard transfer from Corona del Mar, Keith Short, a 5-11 junior guard, and Paul Welker, a 6-3 senior center.

Sierra Madre Maranatha: 10-13, 5-5 in 1997-98. Coach: Eric Smith (third year, 22-30). The Minutemen, who previously played in the Alpha League, are stepping up to the larger Olympic. Six-foot guards Ben Hamady and Bryan Pistole, and 6-5 forward David Newkirk are returning starters.

Ontario Christian: 9-14, 2-8 in 1997-98. Coach: Dave Smith (third year, 18-25). With three returning starters back, Smith says the Knights have a realistic chance of earning a playoff berth for the first time in five seasons. Guards Ryan Fuqua and Rommel Agee, and forward Brent Tillema return.

Orange Lutheran: 13-12, 6-4 in 1997-98. Coach: Shawn Cassidy (fourth year, 32-29). Cassidy calls the Olympic League "extremely even." He says, "Every team has at least one player who has the ability to take over the game." The Lancers have three returning players in all-league junior guard Jason Whieldon, 6-5 senior center Chad Kasha and 6-2 junior guard Dustin Smith. Pat Salyer, a 6-7 forward who sat out last season because of a hamstring injury, is expected to start. Senior guards Brent Didion and Brian Willey also return.

Cerritos Valley Christian: 12-14, 4-6 in 1997-98. Coach: Kris Korver (third year, 23-28). The Crusaders have a lot of height. Erick Streelman, a 6-5 senior forward who was a second-team all-Southern Section selection returns, as do 5-9 senior guard Brent Boekestein and 6-6 senior center Brian Kuyper. Streelman averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds and Boekestein averaged six assists. Esperanza transfer Chris Coleman, a 6-5 junior center, and Brethren Christian transfer Adam Holliday, a 6-3 senior forward, add depth.

Whittier Christian: 16-12, 6-4 in 1997-98. Coach: Robert Aviles (fourth year, 35-45). With four starters back, Aviles figures the Heralds will run a bit more and pick up the pressure defensively at midcourt. Jon Stoa, a 6-6 swingman who averaged 23 points, returns. Also back are 6-foot guard Matt Martinez, 6-5 center Josh Streeter and 6-6 forward Steve Zieman. Tim Layton is a 6-6 post player, and 6-1 Jason Chacon and 6-foot Josh Martinez add strength at the guard spots.

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