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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Girls' Basketball At A Glance

November 26, 2000|DAVE DESMOND

* THE PROVEN: With league most valuable player Bridget Harris back from knee surgery, along with the core of a 24-5 team, Newbury Park is favored to repeat as Marmonte League champion. . . . Harvard-Westlake has reached the state Division III playoffs the last three seasons and should be a section power again. Coach Melissa Hearlihy moved over from traditional power Alemany, as did All-Mission League players Karina Siam and Nyasha Bralock, joining an already talented group that includes Lyndsey Medders, Chantal Kazay and Danielle Butte. . . . Ventura, The Times' top team last season, lost much of its size to graduation but might have the region's best three-point shooting team with Katy O'Brien, Jenni Dooley and Kelly Fay. . . . Last year, Antelope Valley had a breakout season, winning its first Golden League title since 1988 and challenging Newbury Park in the Division II-A quarterfinals. With four starters back, including All-Valley guard Crystal McCutcheon, the Antelopes will make another run. . . . Oxnard, Channel Islands and Camarillo will engage in their annual dogfight for Pacific View League supremacy. . . . With All-City guard Liz Sun, West Valley League champion Chatsworth advanced to the City semifinals last season before losing to USA Today national champion Narbonne. Sun and Co. could mount another challenge. . . . Valencia won its first Foothill League title last season and should contend again with league most valuable player Valerie Pina, a guard, and forward Marissa Meadows, who will miss the start of the season with a knee injury. . . . All-Valley guard Alexis Weatherspoon, forward Krystal Clay and guard Deja Cruz make Grant the favorite to repeat as Sunset Six League champion, although Noth Hollywood, with guard Kaipresha Price and forward Richelle Sherman, could retake the title that was theirs for nine consecutive seasons. . . . Defending champion Kennedy will again be a force in Valley Mission League with Jevay Grooms, who averaged 13.2 points, 19 rebounds and 8.8 blocks last season. . . . Montclair Prep's Eshaya Murphy was arguably the region's top freshman last season and should another charge through the Division V playoffs. . . . Santa Clara and Santa Paula tied for the Frontier League title last season and will battle it out again. Ashley Biggins of Santa Clara, a 6-3 center, averaged 18.3 points and 17.4 rebounds as a junior. Sarah Ruiz of Santa Paula averaged 16.1 points as a freshman.

* THE PROMISING:

If anyone can make a run at Newbury Park in the Marmonte, it's Agoura. The Chargers have the league's most dominant player in Pepperdine-bound forward Jennifer Lacy. . . . Simi Valley guard Teresa Cooper and Royal guard Novey Woodard-Parker make both threats if Newbury Park or Agoura falter. . . . Hart failed to win the Foothill League title for the first time since 1992 and its 12-14 record was the first losing record in 11 seasons under Coach Dave Munroe. With sophomore guard Amanda Patton and senior forward Briana Brigandi, it won't happen again. . . . The addition of All-City guard Christina Aguinaga and the return of former Coach Mark Drucker make Taft one of the most intriguing teams in the region. . . . A challenger to Harvard-Westlake in the Mission will emerge from Notre Dame and All-Valley guard Sierra Hauser-Price, Chaminade and sophomore guard Christina Zdenek or Louisville and the tandem of Megan Wiser and Sarah Kelso. . . . Longtime Golden power Palmdale struggled with a talented but young team last season. The Falcons are a year older and benefited from the transfers of Shanna Demus from Quartz Hill and Juanita Newsome from Antelope Valley. . . . Saugus has size and savvy guard Brusta Brown.

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