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2000-01 GIRLS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Private Schools

November 28, 2000

Brethren Christian

Coach: Kim Harris

1999-2000 record: 15-14

League record: 3-7

Brethren Christian returns four starters and five others who contributed last season. Heather Spowart, a 5-10 junior forward, was the Warriors' leading scorer last season, averaging 12 points a game. Sarah Amberry, a 6-2 senior center, led the team with 12 rebounds a game, and seniors Miwa Ganiko and Jesiree Dizon also return to their starting roles. Kim Harris (seventh year, 98-83), hopes to spoil the playoff hopes of Olympic League rivals Calvary Chapel, Cerritos Valley Christian and Orange Lutheran.

Calvary Chapel

Coach: John Barney

1999-2000 record: 19-9

League record: 8-2

Calvary Chapel returns its top eight players from last season's team, which advanced to the section finals for the third consecutive season. John Barney takes over for Russell McClurg (six years, 106-59). Barney was an assistant the last two years and the junior varsity coach before that. Richeal Werdel, a 5-9 junior forward, was a first-team All-Southern Section Division IV selection last season and is the team's best outside shooter. Lindsey Richelli, a 6-foot junior center, is a three-year starter who should dominate defensively inside. Senior guard Shayna Fabre averaged 10.2 points last season.

Capistrano Valley Christian

Coach: Ivana Kovacic

1999-2000 record: 17-7

League record: 10-2

There's no doubt who Capistrano Valley Christian will look to for points. Bethany Thom, a 5-7 junior guard, has been among the top five in scoring in the county the last two years, averaging 20.7 points a game last season, along with 5.6 rebounds and 5.3 steals. Thom was the Academy League's most valuable player last season and made second-team All-Southern Section Division V. Crystal Hickey, a 5-11 senior center, will keep opposing teams honest inside; she averaged just over 11 points and 13 rebounds her junior year. Ivana Kovacic (fourth year, 46-28) expects the Eagles to battle Downey Calvary Chapel and St. Margaret's for the league title.

Connelly

Coach: Nelson Herrera

1999-2000 record: 11-11

League record: 7-5

Nelson Herrera begins his second season at Connelly and two starters return for the Koalas. Herrera, who also coaches the women's basketball team at Cal State Los Angeles, is just beginning to get a feel for the newer players but expects to operate with a wide-open style of play, with heavy pressure on the ball and continuous man-to-man defense. Herrera said it is still too early to tell if he has the personnel to make that system work.

Eastside Christian

Coach: Andrew Patterson

1999-2000 record: 0-20

League record: 0-12

Andrew Patterson replaces Mark Berokoff (two years, 4-32). Two key players are back, including starting forward/guard Cindy Liskey, a 5-8 junior who averaged eight points. Also back is Jeanette Feria, a 5-7 forward. Stephanie Mata (5-5), a sophomore guard who came from recently closed Southern California Christian, should make an impact.

Fairmont

Coach: Jay Sadler

1999-2000 record: 13-10

League record: 6-6

Fairmont is off to a good start already under Jay Sadler (sixth year, 51-56), returning all five starters from a team that tied for fourth in the Academy League. Shari Tanizawa, an all-league selection last season, quit the team but had a recent change of heart. Sonia Hilson, who alternates between guard and forward, is the top returner after earning second-team all-league honors as a freshman.

Liberty Christian

Coach: Bryan Speer

1999-2000 record: 19-6

League record: 10-2

Liberty Christian has advanced to the Southern Section quarterfinals the last three seasons under Bryan Speer (fourth year, 48-24), but is still looking for its first Express League title during that span. The Minutemen return three members from last season's team that finished second in league. Reese Raia, a 5-7 senior forward, averaged six points and five rebounds a game for Liberty Christian last season.

Mater Dei

Coach: Ollie Martin

1999-2000 record: 22-7

League record: 5-1

This appears to be a rebuilding year for Ollie Martin (third year, 44-12), whose Monarchs don't have any returning starters. Forward Jessica Williams (Jr., 5-8), who averaged six points and five rebounds last season in a reserve role, and Ashley Voisenet (So., 5-9) are part of an athletic yet inexperienced group that will try to win with defense first and build toward the playoffs.

Orange Lutheran

Coach: Tony Matson

1999-2000 record: 16-9

League record: 7-3

Tony Matson (second year) plans to throw just about everything he has at opponents early on, then see what sticks. "I have eight kids that could start and the lineup will change day in and day out," he said. Matson's dilemma results from not having any standout players, but many who are quickly learning to play as a unit. His top returner is Rachel Cariker, a 5-8 junior forward, who is the leader on defense and should pick up some of the offensive slack.

Orangewood Academy

Coach: Jared Fulton

1999-2000 record: 5-18

League record: 2-10

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