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2000-01 BOYS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Freeway League

November 28, 2000

Buena Park

Coach: Ed Matillo

1999-2000 record: 12-15

League record: 2-8

Big man Chris Ingram will give the Coyotes a force inside the paint, but Buena Park has little else to be optimistic about. The Coyotes lost a four-year starter and three two-year starters to graduation. Returning reserves Zach Barker, a 6-2 junior guard, Eugene Ikahihifo, a 6-0 junior forward, and Steve Clark, a 6-6 senior center, will get plenty of chances to show their mettle.

Fullerton

Coach: Bill Czech

1999-2000 record: 19-8

League record: 5-5

The Indians, who finished third in league last season, are probably looking at another middle-of-the-pack finish. Senior forward Daniel Fells, who last season averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game, is the only returning starter. The other returners are Jack Thompson, Jimmy Gentry, Phillip Gross and Virgil Bobar. Fullerton is athletic but inexperienced, and Coach Bill Czech said he would be satisfied with a playoff berth. Every team that wins at least 11 games is eligible for postseason play, so it looks like the Indians are a lock.

La Habra

Coach: Craig Falconer

1999-2000 record: 14-13

League record: 6-4

Prolific scorer Tristen Gadberry, who last season averaged 19.1 points per game for the third-place Highlanders, will once again lead a team that is looking to step up in league. Coach Craig Falconer fears his team, whose tallest players are 6-2 guard Carver Kennerson and 6-2 center Sean McDonough, is too small in a "much-improved league," but La Habra should have more than enough talent to ease into the playoffs.

Sonora

Coach: Mike Murphy

1999-2000 record: 8-17

League record: 3-7

The Raiders are loaded with five returning starters who accounted for 41 points per game last season, so common sense says Sonora will challenge for the league title this time. Coach Mike Murphy said this is the deepest team he's had in 11 years at the school, adding that there is little drop off in talent among his top 12 players. The returning starters are junior guards Travis Rogers and Jake Tredo, junior forward Marcellus Robertson, junior center Matt Salina and senior guard Robert Abreu. Murphy says his team is still young with four junior starters but makes up for its inexperience with talent.

Sunny Hills

Coach: Randy Wellen

1999-2000 record: 14-14

League record: 5-5

The youthful Lancers are a team on the upswing, and there's no telling how high they could finish in league if sophomore Tony Gonzalez Jr. continues his meteoric rise. Gonzalez, a 6-5 forward, averaged 11.9 rebounds last season--fifth-best in the county--and chipped in 12 points a game on the way to becoming a first-team all-league selection. Now he's a co-captain along with senior point guard Adam Castillo. Junior guard Gerard Rivera and forwards Anthony Van Wyk and John Shaw are the other returners with varsity experience.

Troy

Coach: T.J. Hardeman

1999-2000 record: 25-3

League record: 9-1

With no returning starters from last year's league champion, it would be easy to envision a first-to-worst scenario for the Warriors. But T.J. Hardeman is simply too good a coach to allow his team to fall so far so quickly. Senior guard Garv Chadha and sophomore swingman Nate Gilkes, the only experienced returners, will be charged with leading a group of former junior varsity players who are accustomed to success, coming off a 20-4 season.

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