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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Girls' Basketball Teams to Watch

November 27, 1998

* THE PROVEN: There might be some new banners in Buena's future. Since Coach Joe Vaughan took over the program in 1975, the Bulldogs have won five Southern Section championships and two state titles. A loss in the Division I-A semifinals last season to Marina ended eight consecutive years of championship appearances. Don't expect an early exit this season. Besides returning 6-foot-3 sophomore Kelly Greathouse, the Bulldogs have two excellent guards, Amrit Chima and Kelly Murray. The Bulldogs will face a challenge in the Channel League from Ventura, which finished second in the Watts Summer Games to Palisades and returns 6-foot Kristine Gleisberg and 5-9 Alex Gientke. Channel Islands has the region's best guard combination, Jaline Bradley and Chenne Tuimoloau. Don't feel sorry for Crescenta Valley now that Michelle Greco has moved on to UCLA. Point guard Kristie Umemoto and forward Sinnamonn Garrett will keep the Falcons rolling. North Hollywood has aspirations of facing Palisades in the City Section championship game. The Huskies, led by guard Tashean Thomas, forward Markia Derby and center Richelle Sherman, will be tested by a tough nonleague schedule. Is there a better league than the Mission? Alemany and Harvard-Westlake shared the league title last season, then won section titles. Alemany lost in the state Division III final. Both teams are loaded again. Kate Beckler, Karina Siam and Nyasha Bralock return for Alemany. Brooke Porter and Omelogo Udeze are key players for the Wolverines. Don't miss their two league games, Jan. 12 at Harvard-Westlake and Feb. 4 at L.A. Baptist.

* THE PROMISING: Any team with Damaris Hinojosa on it is good. So don't dismiss Moorpark from challenging for the Marmonte League title. But defending champion Royal, coming off a 25-4 season, has the personnel to repeat. Kristen Galbreath, a 5-11 junior, was the Bell-Jeff tournament MVP. Teresa Russell is a dominating rebounder. Annette Wilson is as tough as her father, Tim, a former All-City catcher at Poly. Canyon could be ready to win the Foothill League title behind 5-11 Letricia Fleming. Littlerock returns guard Jameka Taylor, a two-time All-Golden League selection with consecutive seasons of more than 100 steals. Add forwards Kristel Jones and Lizette Rams and the Lobos look solid.

* FAST FACT: Buena's Vaughan enters the season with a 559-58 career coaching record and is the winningest girls' basketball coach in the state.

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