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2000-01 GIRLS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

South Coast League

November 28, 2000

Capistrano Valley

Coach: Pete Belanto

1999-2000 record: 18-10

League record: 6-4

The Cougars should be one of the county's better teams under Pete Belanto (eighth year, 110-80). Two of his best players, sophomore forwards Jessica Voisard (5-11) and Hallie Steube (5-11), are another year better and senior forward Lindsay Peloza (5-9) was a first-team all-league player last season. Senior guard Sarah Flanagan is the fourth returning starter. Defense and rebounding are again strengths, and there is more depth than last year so foul trouble should be less a factor.

Dana Hills

Coach: Yvonne Sturgeon

1999-2000 record: 4-22

League record: 2-8

The inexperienced Dolphins struggled under Yvonne Sturgeon (second year). But a year of maturity should mean that Dana Hills will be more competitive this season. Christina Boyer (So., 5-4), Theresa Abernathy (Sr., 5-3), Rachel Anderson (Jr., 6-0), Kelly Leifer (Jr., 5-11) and Alicia Garcia (Sr., 5-3) started last season.

El Toro

Coach: Greg Yeck

1999-2000 record: 23-7

League record: 9-1

Greg Yeck coached the Chargers from 1985-90 and won three South Coast League titles, compiling a 107-37 record over five seasons. He takes over for Vincent Avitabile (four years, 90-25), but doesn't have the benefit of the county's all-time leading scorer, Giuliana Mendiola. Despite transfers by Amy Shaw (Huntington Beach) and Sara Brown (San Clemente), Yeck is convinced El Toro will be OK. Carrie Twaddell (Sr., 6-3) is the only experienced varsity player and should be a defensive force. They'll need big efforts from point guard Keri Garcia (So., 5-5), shooting guard Tara Sickmeier (Jr., 5-6) and forward Candice Quiroz (Sr., 5-8).

Mission Viejo

Coach: Brandon Bedell

1999-2000 record: 12-16

League record: 4-6

Brandon Bedell (second year) and the Diablos' quest for third place is certainly legitimate. Senior point guard Abbie Mecham, a four-year starter who averaged four assists, athletic guard Sahar Mandegary (Sr., 5-6) and junior forward Meghan O'Donogue (5-11, 15.5 points) are reasons for optimism. Mission Viejo is quicker and more athletic than last season's squad. There's not much height, but Tanya Kaltschmid (Sr., 5-10) and Amy Clyburn (Sr., 5-8) have improved their speed to make up for it.

San Clemente

Coach: Mary Mulligan

1999-2000 record: 26-4

League record: 9-1

Only one starter returns from last season, senior forward Kristin Jenkins (6-0, 8.4 points, 4.5 rebounds). Still, Mary Mulligan (16th year, 246-133) ran a lot of reserves into the lineup, and center Megan Blackshire (6-0, 7.4 points, 5.3 rebounds), guards Kim Buffum (5-9, 3.7 points, 2.2 assists) and Ashley Housley (5-9, 3.0 points, 4.1 rebounds)--all juniors--aren't likely to be intimidated. They are also strengthened by the addition of Sara Brown, a 5-9 sophomore guard from El Toro who shot 35% from the three-point arc last season.

Trabuco Hills

Coach: Michelle Macintyre

1999-2000 record: 5-20

League record: 0-10

Michelle Macintyre begins her second season as coach of a team led by second-team all-league junior guard Susan Leary (7.9 points, 6.1 assists). The Mustangs return all of their starters, guards Meghan McGovern (Jr., 5-7, 6.3 points) and Genvielle DeCicco (Sr., 5-5, 5.9 points) and forward Kim Carl (Jr., 5-11, 4.4 rebounds). Forward Jessie Mitchell (So., 5-9, 6.5 rebounds)) started until she tore her ACL late in the season. Her replacement, center Madeline Goelzer (Sr., 6-2, 3.4 rebounds), also returns.

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