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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Teams To Watch

November 24, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER

THE PROVEN: Thousand Oaks is ready to challenge Simi Valley's two-year reign as Marmonte League champion. Kyle Kegley, who averaged 18.4 points as a junior, leads four returning starters. Any team that holds the Lancers under 50% shooting should celebrate. . . . Simi Valley hopes to build around 6-9 Dustin Villepigue, who averaged 12.4 points and 7.8 rebounds. . . . Chaminade could topple Notre Dame in the Mission League if the Eagles find some support for three-time All-Southern Section center Scott Borchart. Guard Jeff Hufford is much improved and 6-4 freshman Marcel Jones is being billed as an impact player. . . . Coach Bort Escoto of Sylmar is so confident about his team that he scheduled a January home game against City power Crenshaw. The Spartans are 10 players deep and will rely on shooting guard John Valdez, 6-5 Earnest Williams, 6-6 George O'Garro and 6-4 Louis Darby. . . . Grant was 21-5 last season and returns all-leaguers Mike Charleston and DeWayne Anderson. Sophomore point guard Gino Riney was so impressive in summer ball he could be an All-City player by season's end. . . . Crescenta Valley would win a Southern Section three-on-three championship considering it returns center James Jenkins (20.8 ppg, 12.1 rpg) and guards Chris Tarne and Jimmy Goffredo. If the Falcons find other contributors, a Pacific League title is within reach. . . . Oxnard has one of the region's top returning players in 6-7 Nicholas Curtis, who averaged 14.7 points and 14.1 rebounds. Junior point guard Jonathan Davis was all-league and junior forward Lee Abair was a key reserve. . . . Nordhoff should run away with another Frontier League championship, led by 6-5 Eric Bensley and guard Jeff May. . . . Canoga Park returns four starters, none better than 6-4 Cecil Brown, a prolific outside shooter.

THE PROMISING: Westlake has the size and depth to be a dangerous team in the Marmonte League. Guards Kole Anderson and Adam Mazarei combine with 6-5 Deven Entrikin, 6-7 Eric Weidner and 6-6 Crespi transfer Brandon Duplessie to make the Warriors a team to watch. . . . Oak Park was 20-6 last season and returns Tri-Valley League MVP Jeremy Murphy and all-leaguer Jason Adams, both 6-4 swingmen. . . . Lancaster is the Golden League favorite because of its explosive guards. Teddy Myers, Aaron James and Anthony Gamboa are all-leaguers. . . . North Hollywood lost its point guard to Crenshaw, but Kenny Hauser, Guz Ruiz and Nathan Stern are veterans from a 20-8 team. . . . First-year Coach Chad Phillips of Canyon returns five starters but the Foothill League is wide open. . . . Rio Mesa is ready for a big improvement with four returning starters, led by point guard John Moreno. . . . Buckley could replace Montclair Prep and Campbell Hall as the region's best small schools team behind Colin Ward-Henninger, the Liberty League MVP, and guard David Gale. . . . Taft has little height but lots of quickness, and any team with Steve Smith can't be underestimated. . . . Burroughs returns Foothill League MVP Keith Jarbo and point guard Graham Locke. . . . La Canada returns seven players, including sophomore point guard Billy Hoffman and three-point shooter Robbie Neyland.

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