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2000-01 GIRLS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Pacific Coast League

November 28, 2000

Corona del Mar

Coach: Elbert Davis

1999-2000 record: 22-6

League record: 7-1

Elbert Davis (fourth year, 34-43) was a candidate for coach of the year last season because of his team's impressive performances, which led the Sea Kings to the Division III-AA quarterfinals. Corona del Mar, which won its first league title in 18 years, has six players back from that squad, including four starters: forward Kristin McCoy (Sr., 5-9, 15.8 points, 10.1 rebounds), guard Jackie McCoy (Soph., 5-8, seven points, 48.4% FG), point guard Andrea Gruber (Jr., 5-4, three assists) and forward Carrie Hawkins (Jr., 5-10, four points). Davis also has tried to make the nonleague schedule tougher to better prepare for the playoffs.

Costa Mesa

Coach: Jim Weeks

1999-2000 record: 18-11

League record: 5-3

Jim Weeks (ninth year, 128-92) is hopeful that the Mustangs' inconsistencies shooting the ball will be offset by their ability to get easy baskets from its pressure defense. With a lot of depth, and a few breaks, the Mustangs could be in the hunt for the league title. Floor leader Nancy Hatsushi (Sr., 5-4, nine points, 6.2 assists) leads three returning starters, who include guard Leigh Marshall (Sr., 5-6, four points) and forward Christine Caron (Jr., 6-0, four points).

Estancia

Coach: Paul Kirby

1999-2000 record: 17-10

League record: 6-2

The Eagles present the biggest challenge to Corona del Mar. Paul Kirby (fifth year, 58-47) has a smallish squad with a lot of experience and a penchant for putting away its shot attempts. The group is led by guards Zuyin Barrera (Sr., 5-5) and Lisa Hirata (Sr., 5-4). A sophomore forward, Xochitl Byfield (5-9), also returns to the starting lineup. The experience is bolstered by seniors Tory Matsufuji (5-4), Jessica Orellana (5-8) and Hilda Vasquez (5-7) and junior Marie Rodriguez. Sophomore Tisha Gray was the junior varsity's most valuable player.

Laguna Beach

Coach: Michelle Miles

1999-2000 record: 1-22

League record: 0-8

A half-dozen victories would be a major step forward for the Artists and Michelle Miles, their second-year coach. Over the last three seasons, Laguna Beach's record is 4-65, and the Artists have gone four seasons without a league victory. Their best short-term goal probably centers on beating Northwood for fifth place. To do that, they'll rely on sophomore Leslie Schmalzried (5-11) and senior Kelsey Offield (5-11).

Northwood

Coach: Ryan Bettencourt

1999-2000 record: 0-0

League record: 0-0

The Timberwolves will play their first varsity season after playing a lower-level schedule in 1999-2000. They have no seniors, but three starters return from last season: junior guard Elmira Rezaei, sophomore center Aabria Lipscomb and junior forward Leslie Curtis.

University

Coach: Bob Bernal

1999-2000 record: 11-17

League record: 2-6

With its three returning starters for Bob Bernal (eighth year, 107-103), University figures to challenge Corona del Mar. In Kirsten von Tungeln (Sr., 6-2, eight points, 12.9 rebounds), the Trojans have quality height the rest of the league doesn't. Von Tungeln and Lillian Pontell (5-7) are the only seniors among the top six returners. Others key players are Danielle Janda (Jr., 5-11, 4.1 points, 4.2 rebounds), Kristen Yeo (Jr., 5-2, 3.2 points, 1.7 steals), Shaadi Ariazand (Jr., 5-4, 24 three-point baskets) and Ashley Farrell (Soph., 5-9). The Trojans' outside shooting may be weak, but rebounding, quickness and team speed could help them go a long way.

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