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Basketball Preview | GIRLS' BASKETBALL

We're Putting Up Threes, Hitting Nothin' but Net

November 28, 2000|MARTIN HENDERSON

Another season, another batch of stuff you need to know to impress those folks on the Internet. . . .

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

* Megan Aaker, Laguna Hills, Jr.--Led the Hawks to Orange County's only section title, but she had more complementary players, including Shannon Owens. This season, Laguna Hills doesn't have a proven second threat to take pressure off Aaker.

* Kristin Thawley, Irvine, Jr.--An outstanding talent, Thawley tries to lead a team that didn't show much fortitude in high-profile games last season and will face plenty of quality opponents this season.

* Brandi Davis, Sonora, Sr.--Maybe the most athletic offensive player in Orange County since Melody Peterson of Mater Dei (1993-96). Davis will probably have, or take, every opportunity available to lead the county in scoring.

THREE INJURIES TO MONITOR

* Hayley Munroe, Rosary, Sr.--Her torn anterior cruciate ligament required surgery on July 26. At 6 feet, Munroe is the Royals' most legitimate presence in the middle. She expects to play at the end of January, which will give her a couple of weeks before the Royals begin the playoffs.

* Daveri Bonnewitz, Brea Olinda, Jr.--Bypassed summer surgery for a torn ACL and underwent rehabilitation. She is the difference in Brea being ranked second in the county or being lumped in that interchangeable 3 through 9 group.

* Kelsey Ball, Huntington Beach, Sr.--Torn tendon in her ankle limited her to five games last season. She shot 50.2% and averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds in the second half of her sophomore season.

THREE YOU'LL GET TO KNOW

* Lara Gray, Woodbridge, Sr.--She came off the bench a year ago and was rock solid, earning first-team All-Sea View League honors. She is scrappy, tough and fun to watch.

* Jen Farner, Rosary, Sr.--All-county guard Maggie Barnett is gone, but the most consistent player last season for the Royals was Farner, who is a capable scorer and a tough defender.

* Megan Blackshire, San Clemente, Jr.--A strong defender who averaged 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds off the bench. She will probably double those totals this season.

THREE TEAMS WORTH NOTING

* El Dorado finished an uncharacteristic third last season in the Empire League. Twins Nicole and Kim Gerber are now juniors. The thinking here is the Golden Hawks will be good. Very good.

* Westminster is always getting overlooked when considering the county's top teams, yet the Lions' hard work on defense always yields results. They don't attract much attention, but that didn't stop them from going 23-6 last season.

* Mater Dei doesn't have any returning starters and didn't register much of an impression over the summer, but this we know: The Monarchs typically play good defense, and games over the summer don't matter . . . usually.

THREE ONE-LINERS

* Woodbridge's Eric Bangs won't get outcoached.

* Best one-Mann team: Kristen Mann, Foothill.

* Best game of the day: No. 5 San Clemente at No. 4 Esperanza, tonight at 7.

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