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Basketball Preview

Girls' Top 10

Times' Orange County rankings

November 28, 2000

1. Troy

Veronica Johns-Richardson is one of the county's best players, Alicia Komaki is one of its best point guards, Amanda Livingston is one of the best centers. . . . you get the idea.

2. Brea Olinda

Jackie Lord, Tara Hefferly and Jennifer Katsuyama give the Ladycats the county's best guard combination, and Daveri Bonnewitz's quick return from a torn ACL puts Brea over the top.

3. Rosary

Seven players, four of them starters, are back from last season's Division III-AA finalist. The Royals' typically tough schedule provides a chance to prove how tough they really are.

4. Esperanza

Though the Aztecs need to show they can win big games against quality opponents, they have solid guards and a very good post player, Bethany Blair, as well as a decent defense.

5. San Clemente

Kristin Jenkins is the only returning starter, but Megan Blackshire and Kim Buffum might as well be. Could start slow, but transfer Sara Brown might help lift Tritons by season's end.

6. Woodbridge

Coach Eric Bangs thinks his athletic Warriors are still a year away, but the thinking here is that senior Lara Gray doesn't want to wait that long, and she might not be content to rest at No. 6.

7. Capistrano Valley

There's not much separation between South Coast rivals San Clemente and Capistrano Valley, and additional depth should make it easier on sophomore talents Hallie Steube and Jessica Voisard.

8. Huntington Beach

The Oilers could rise to No. 3 if they stay healthy. That's a big if, because oft-injured Lauren Murray and Kelsey Ball will need to play important roles if Huntington Beach is to make a legitimate challenge.

9. Irvine

Soft schedule last season took its toll when games really mattered. That won't be a problem this season because the Vaqueros will be tested. Now, it's up to them to prove last season was no fluke.

10. Edison

Sonora, Villa Park, El Dorado, Foothill, Laguna Hills. . . . One can justify any of them, but Edison has the advantage with its overall guard play, and in girls' basketball, guards make winners.

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