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The Times' Top 25

November 25, 2001

The preseason rankings of the Southland's top 25 girls' basketball teams:

1. Harbor City Narbonne

(CS-Marine) Is there anyone who doesn't think the Gauchos are No. 1

2. Lynwood

(SS-San Gabriel) The obvious question with so many stars: Are there enough basketballs for everyone?

3. Lakewood Artesia

(SS-Suburban) All five starters back from team that lost last season's Southern California Division II Regional final to Hanford.

4. San Clemente

(SS-South Coast) Sophomore Lindsey Pluimer leads a solid core of returning players, despite senior Megan Blackshire's decision to concentrate on volleyball.

5. Fullerton Troy

(SS-Freeway) Demons on defense, Warriors are quicker and deeper than last season's team that won Division I-A title.

6. Redondo Union

(SS-South Bay Athletic) Three players over 6 feet, the Seahawks play big because they are big time.

7. Torrance Bishop Montgomery

(SS-Del Rey) Four starters, including junior Noelle Quinn and sophomore Nykia Peace, return to team that won its second consecutive Division III state title.

8. Brea Olinda

(SS-Orange) Everyone's ready to count out the Ladycats, but they won the big summer tournament in San Diego among some of West Coast's top teams.

9. Long Beach Poly

(SS-Moore) Aggressive defense helped Jackrabbits go 28-3, and all five starters are back for more.

10. Ventura

(SS-Channel) Cougars' shooting yielded 293 three-point baskets last season, and four starters are back on quick-but-smallish team.

11. Anaheim Esperanza

(SS-Sunset) Solid guard play should allow Aztecs to hang with the top teams, but they need somebody who can score inside.

12. Newhall Hart

(SS-Foothill) Teams win with guards, and junior Amanda Patton and freshman Ashlee Trebilcock should cause problems for opponents.

13. Norco

(SS-Mountain View) In semifinals three of last five years, but no finals appearances. With four starters and freshman Erika Arriaran, this could be breakthrough season.

14. Ventura Buena

(SS-Channel) As one coach said, "Buena's Buena," and Courtney LaVere is a good reason to believe in the Bulldogs.

15. La Puente Bishop Amat

(SS-Del Rey) Guard Erin Begonia is a difference-maker, and she will work with 6-2 forwards Tiffany Greenwood, Erin Myrick.

16. Irvine Woodbridge

(SS-Sea View) Tough matchup zone, good size, and some good athletes make the Warriors tough.

17. Santa Ana Mater Dei

(SS-Serra) Young team with tough schedule last season missed playoffs, but now gritty and boasting a scorer in transfer Amy Sanders from Huntington Beach.

18. Playa del Rey St. Bernard

(SS-Del Rey) Guard Alexis Kendricks and junior forward Shannon Clay are two of the area's top players at their positions.

19. Placentia El Dorado

(SS-Empire) Upset Ventura in quarterfinals last season, and junior point guard Melissa Jacob leads an experienced group on an oft-overlooked team.

20. Westchester

(CS-Western) There's talent here, but with five transfers, there are also chemistry issues that could determine the Comets' ultimate success.

21. Pasadena Muir

(SS-Pacific) Tyesha Fluker, a 6-4 center, has signed with Tennessee, and she has some talent around her.

22. Chino Hills Ayala

(SS-Sierra) Five starters are back from Division I-AAA quarterfinalist, but fortunes hinge on their shooting.

23. Fullerton Rosary

(SS-Serra) Hard-working group has tough press, big presence and playoff savvy, despite having no returning starters.

24. Santa Ynez

(SS-Los Padres) Four starters, including Meghan Gnekow, return to team that lost to Division III-AA champion North Hollywood Harvard Westlake in overtime.

25. Rialto Eisenhower

(SS-Citrus Belt) Extremely deep, extremely hard-working, extremely tough.

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