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2000-01 BOYS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Century League

November 28, 2000

Canyon

Coach: Dave Taylor

1999-2000 record: 14-12

League record: 7-3

The Comanches have the talent and depth to contend for second place in league if their two returning starters, Derron Putnam and Darryl Parker, have another banner year. Putnam, a 6-1 junior guard, was a first-team all-league selection last season capable of scoring 20 points a game. Parker, a 6-4 senior forward, was a strong rebounder. Also back are James Lattos, a 6-6 senior center, Robert Miller, a 6-8 senior forward, and Matt Baranick, a 6-0 senior guard.

El Modena

Coach: Roger MacLachlin

1999-2000 record: 8-18

League record: 3-7

Coach Roger MacLachlin was set for a promising season when he learned that his top two players, junior Kyle Lan Franco and freshman John Houiser, had transferred to Villa Park. "We were kind of shaking our heads, wondering what's going on here," MacLachlin said. "They just disappeared." With no returning starters, the loss of the two players hits deep. Returning reserves David Mechling, a 5-11 senior guard, and Kyle Christensen, a 6-7 senior center, will be joined by a bunch of sophomore and junior newcomers who will try to work their way into the lineup.

Foothill

Coach: Tom McCluskey

1999-2000 record: 14-13

League record: 7-3

First-year Coach Tom McCluskey inherits one returning starter to build his team around, but at least that returner is standout Chad Bigler. The 6-5 senior guard averaged 19.3 points last year and was a first-team all-league selection. Brett Bigler, Chad's brother, is the only other player with varsity experience. The Knights will throw newcomers DeShaun Edwards, a 6-1 sophomore guard, Alex McCauley, a 6-4 senior swingman, and Brandt Bangs, a 5-8 freshman guard, into the fray.

Orange

Coach: Randy Castillo

1999-2000 record: 5-20

League record: 2-8

The Panthers have one returning starter in Anthony Neal, a 5-10 senior guard who must shoulder a heavy burden as leader of a team that continues to rebuild. George DeLamora, a 5-8 senior guard, will likely be elevated from reserve to starter. Guard Mickey Schulte, center Daniel Wall and guard Alex Hernandez are the top newcomers.

Santa Ana Valley

Coach: Ken Stancil

1999-2000 record: 9-18

League record: 1-9

The Falcons will be hard-pressed to surpass last year's win total with no returning starters and only two players who have varsity experience. Those players, 6-0 guard Lance Johnson and 6-0 forward A.J. Alaman, must mature quickly and develop into leaders for any chance of success. Coach Ken Stancil hopes the promotion of a group of junior varsity players that finished 19-5 last year pays dividends.

Villa Park

Coach: Kevin Reynolds

1999-2000 record: 26-3

League record: 10-0

With or without 6-11 big man Martin Iti, whose athletic eligibility remains in doubt, the Spartans will be a force to be reckoned with. Coach Kevin Reynolds has four returning starters from a team that finished undefeated in league and reached the quarterfinal round of the Division I-A playoffs. Leading the charge will be guard Matt MacGinnis, who averaged 18 points and led the county by converting 56% of his three-point attempts. Sean Phaler (12 points per game, 9.5 rebounds) and Kyle Egkan return in the interior, and guard Corey Miller (7.2 assists) should handle the ball with aplomb. Villa Park will need the firepower to survive one of the county's toughest schedules, which includes nonleague games against Mater Dei, Westchester and San Bernardino Pacific.

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