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BOYS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Pacific Coast League

November 24, 1998

Aliso Niguel: 12-14, 4-6 in 1997-98. Coach: Ken Goldstein (sixth year, 51-55). The Wolverines were a big disappointment last season. Goldstein says that this year, without the county's leading scorer, J.J. Sola or starting guard/forward Nathan Hair, the "players want to prove that they can have more success without them." Sola, headed for Loyola Marymount, and Hair, who will attend USC, transferred to Capistrano Valley. That leaves Seneca Kern, a 6-6 post, as the only returning starter. Robert Deven, a 6-4 senior forward is back, while newcomers Dave Camadini, Dino Lamela, Ryan Ross and Zach Zanolli, all guards, figure to see plenty of playing time.

Costa Mesa: 4-20, 0-10 in 1997-98. Coach: Erich Allen (third year, 8-40). Juniors Nathan Jones, a 6-2 forward, and David Weir, a 5-10 point guard, are the only returning players, but Allen says the Mustangs "intend to upset some teams." Newcomers Shaun Ferryman, a 6-2 forward, and Stephen Whittaker, a 5-11 guard, are expected to see a lot of playing time. "We expect to make strides upward," said Allen, who favors Laguna Hills to win the league title.

Estancia: 19-9, 7-3 in 1997-98. Coach: Rich Boyce (third year, 39-17). With no player taller than 6-3, the Eagles will have to rely on quickness, defense and good shooting to survive, Boyce said. Starters Pete Andersen, a 6-2 senior guard, and Brett Valbuena, a 6-2 senior forward, who averaged 10 points and eight rebounds, are back. A 6-3 junior guard, John Campbell, is expected to earn a starting spot. Others fighting for playing time include Travis Chandler, Darshaun Garner, Stephen Rodriguez, Jason Simco and Mike Stapleton.

Laguna Beach: 17-11, 5-5 in 1997-98. Coach: Bret Fleming (ninth year, 110-101). Injuries and illness depleted the Artists down the stretch last season, but Fleming sees the league race as a toss-up among all six teams. Starter Kurt Beimfohr, a 6-5 senior forward who averaged 9.8 points and 5.8 rebounds, returns along with Sean Donnelly, a 5-9 senior guard. Austin Butters, a 6-foot junior guard, Morgan Reynolds, a 6-5 senior center and Chase Satrappe, a 6-foot senior forward, are also back. Travis Hanour, a 6-6 junior guard who sat out last season, is also expected to see action.

Laguna Hills: 21-6, 8-2 in 1997-98. Coach: Dave Brown (10th year, 109-87). Brown begins his 30th season of coaching, including 20 at Fountain Valley, where he had a record of 353-195. "It will be a very tight race, just like last year," Brown said of the upcoming campaign. The Hawks return 6-3 senior forward Jeffrey Eittreim, a second-team all-league choice, and 6-foot senior guard Josh Pierson, a first-team all-league choice who averaged 12 points a game. Both are good shooters, Brown said. Randy Craft, a 6-1 senior forward, Nick Homyak, a 6-3 junior forward, Kyle Prior, a 6-foot senior guard and Christian Scaglione, a 6-2 junior guard, should play a lot.

University: : 15-10, 7-3 in 1997-98. Coach: Mike Dinneen (ninth year, 86-117). A pair of out-of-state transfers and the return of second-team, all-league forward Chet Johnson (eight points, 5.5 rebounds) has Dinneen optimistic. Senior guard Larry Brown, who averaged 17 points and seven assists in Japan at E.J. King High, and junior Andy Lawrence, a 6-1 guard who averaged 12 points and 3.5 assists at Salt Lake City Rowland Hall, are major additions. Mike Dale, a 6-3 junior forward, and Jarvohn Shivers, a 6-1 senior forward, have shots at starting berths.

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