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Empire League

November 28, 2000


Coach: Greg Coombs

1999-2000 record: 11-17

League record: 2-8

The Centurions finished fifth in league last season and got into the playoffs by virtue of the Southern Section's 10-win rule. They actually won a wild-card game against Saddleback before getting blasted by Long Beach Poly in the first round. Things could be different this season. Century has a couple of talented returning starters to go with some depth, and the Centurions could contend for an upper-division league finish. Christopher Ferretti, a 6-2 senior swingman, will lead the way along with fellow returning starter Ruben Pineda, a 5-9 senior guard.


Coach: Jeff Russell

1999-2000 record: 14-12

League record: 3-7

Although Cypress finished fourth in league last season, the Centurions might be poised to challenge El Dorado for the league title with four returning starters: forward Joshua Smith, a 6-3 senior, and guards Jon Uyloan, a 6-1 senior, Matt Reid, a 6-2 junior and Mohammed Azie, a 5-11 senior. These players combined for more than 34 points a game last season. Reserve guard Austin Choi also returns to what Coach Jeff Russell said should be a quick, good-shooting team that lacks height.

El Dorado

Coach: Tim Tivenan

1999-2000 record: 25-4

League record: 9-1

The Golden Hawks should be the class of the league with three big-time returning starters and solid depth. Senior center Evan Bull and senior forward Mike Wulff were both first-team all-league selections last year for a team that cruised to the league title. They will be joined by a third returning starter Kevin Cook, a junior forward, and key reserves David Patten, Nick Lehnert and Kyle Miller.


Coach: Sal Glorioso

1999-2000 record: 12-14

League record: 6-4

The Knights hope to take a step forward in league in Coach Sal Glorioso's second season behind returning starters Phillip Tyson and Marcus Espinosa. Tyson, a 6-4 forward, averaged 13.8 points and 5.9 rebounds last season and was a first-team all-league selection. Espinosa, a 6-0 guard, averaged 10.8 points and 4.2 rebounds and made the second team. Experienced returners Mike Ywakiem and Ivan Martinez will crack the starting lineup.


Coach: Pat O'Hern

1999-2000 record: 9-16

League record: 2-8

The Fighting Irish will be nothing if not explosive. Junior guard Rhema McKnight has built a reputation as a flashy dunker and senior forward Chris Johnson can flat-out play. Johnson averaged 13 points and three rebounds last season as a first-team all-league selection, and McKnight averaged eight points and made the second team. Junior forward Ikechi Njoku, Kennedy's third returning starter, also is a high-impact player. Returning guards Ed Quintero and Robert Reyes will battle Capistrano Valley transfer Eric Aragon and Savanna transfer Jason Eastman to make the starting lineup.


Coach: Ed Prange

1999-2000 record: 18-10

League record: 8-2

After a disappointing showing in spring and summer league games, Coach Ed Prange has set his sights on making the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year. The guard-oriented Saxons have the potential to surprise a few teams if Collin Brennan and Chris Moses can set the right tone on offense and defense. Inside, Loara will look for forwards Nate Von Achen--who, along with Moses are the only returning starters--Bryce Sheldon, Chad Lozano and Mike Graham for production.

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