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2000-01 BOYS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Sea View League

November 28, 2000

Aliso Niguel

Coach: Paul Wachenheim

1999-2000 record: 12-14

League record: 3-5

Coach Paul Wachenheim is oozing enthusiasm over his Wolverines, who return three starters and have nine seniors "who love playing [together]." The proven leader is 5-9 senior guard Brandon Sievers, but Wachenheim is equally impressed with 6-5 big man Ricky Ebel, who had a monster summer. Dino Lamela, a 5-9 senior guard, and senior Zach Zanolli are the other returning starters in addition to Sievers.

Irvine

Coach: Mark Decker

1999-2000 record: 5-20

League record: 0-8

Coach Mark Decker would like to think that his Vaqueros could take a step forward in his second year but probably realizes they are headed for more of the same. Irvine has only two returners, starting guard Jorian Guinn and reserve guard Jontel Carter, so there's not much depth. Senior center David Cox and senior guard Massud Naderi have been promoted from the junior varsity and must contribute immediately. The small and quick Vaqueros will attempt to set an up-tempo pace and capitalize on pressure defense.

Laguna Hills

Coach: Dave Brown

1999-2000 record: 17-11

League record: 4-4

The Hawks are a question mark, but there's no doubt they will get Coach Dave Brown his 500th career victory in his 32nd year overall and 12th at Laguna Hills. Brown needs four wins to reach the milestone. Three experienced guards return but only one post player, 6-5 senior center Chris Williams, is back, so the Hawks will be vulnerable in the interior. Chris Lee, a 6-0 senior guard, and Jim Vollenhals, a 5-10 junior guard, will provide strong play along the wings. Guard Chris Steiger, a 6-0 senior, will add depth at the position.

Newport Harbor

Coach: Larry Hirst

1999-2000 record: 18-9

League record: 6-2

The Sailors last won a league title in 1985 under Jerry DeBusk, who's now at Santa Margarita, so they're certainly due. Returning starter Aaron Yarnal, a 6-1 senior guard who averaged 15.7 points last season en route to becoming a first-team all-league selection, is one reason to think Newport Harbor's drought might be over. Two more are returning starter Greg Perrine, a solid 6-0 junior point guard, and key reserve Tony Melum, a 6-5 junior forward who knows how to throw his weight around. And don't forget Jordan Spigner, a 6-3 senior guard who last year shot 53% from the field. Newcomer Erik Peterson, a 6-2 forward, is expected to see immediate playing time.

Woodbridge

Coach: John Halagan

1999-2000 record: 19-9

League record: 7-1

Returning league co-MVP Danny Lambert and Mater Dei transfer Patrick Haddan will lead a deep Warrior team that could easily run away with the league title. Lambert averaged 12.3 points a game last season, while Haddan toiled on the Mater Dei bench. He is, however, considered one of the top junior point guards in the state. Haddan averaged only 1.2 points per game last season but could increase that figure tenfold. Woodbridge will also look to returning starter Doug Koeller, a 6-4 senior forward, and Tashaan Forehan-Kelly, a 6-3 senior guard who last season was one the best sixth men in the county. Also back are reserves Aaron Szekel and Brian Thompson. The top newcomer is David Burgess, a 6-8 freshman center who is the brother of Utah center and Woodbridge alum Chris Burgess. Coach John Halagan said his team, which also features five players promoted from the junior varsity, could go 12 deep. That will allow the Warriors to play an up-tempo game and apply constant pressure defense while shuffling between large and small lineups.

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