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SoCalHoops LA City
Section Top 16
--(Nov. 25, 2000)

socalogominiLA16.gif (2408 bytes)Preseason Southern LA City Section Top 16
(as of Nov. 25, 2000)

LA City Section teams, like everyone else, play preseason, non-league games and tournaments (non-league games between City Section teams are sometimes referred to as "practice games" on the official LA City Section schedule).  LA City Section has two separate post-season tournaments:   The "City Championship" and the "Invitational Championship".   Only the top 16 teams in the City are selected to the "City Championship", and only the winner and runner up of that tournament are eligible to play in the California State Championship Tournament. The "Invitational" Champions are not eligible for further post-season tournament play. 




Defending City Champs will likely take the top spot again if they can stop the challenge from league rival Fairfax, and Fremont, Pali and perhaps Sylmar or Venice. Coach Ed Azzam has stockpiled most of the tall talent in the City Section, and there are three 6'-7" guys, a 7'-0" D-I signee and a bunch of guys at 6'-5".   Featuring New Mexico signee Chad Bell (7'-0" Sr. C), and Nike Camp attendee Brandon Heath (6'-2" Jr. Sg), they picked up a great transfer in Hassan Adams (6'-4" Sr. G) from Verbum Dei, and return a solid group of young juniors like Keith Everage (6'-5" Jr. F), top point guard Ashanti Cook (6'-2' Jr PG), and Trevor Ariza (6'-7" Jr. F).  Other solid contributors include Scott Cutley (6'-5" Jr. F), David Warsaw (6'-3 Jr. G), Da Von Morton, John Clemmons, Wyshawn Wade,  Brandon McNeel,  Brandon Bowman (6'-7" Jr. G), Brice Buchanan (6'-5" Sr. F), and Anthony Jones (6'-7 Sr. F).
2 Fairfax Craig Smith (6'-8" Sr. PF) who just signed at Boston College, and Evan Burns (6'-7" Jr. SG/SF) rated as the No. 1 junior in the country by many, lead the Lions this year.   Kevin Bell (5'-10" So. PG), a young point guard, and Alex Bausley, a promising replacement for Smith will also help as Fairfax tries to get back to the finals again after missing out twice. Others who will provide depth for Fairfax this season will include Joshua Shipp (6'-4" Fr. G/F)--(brother of Cal's Joe Shipp), Randell Jackson (6'-0" Jr. G), Fernando Sampson (6'-2" Jr. G), Julio Medina (6'-0" Sr. G), Cameron Yancy (6'-0" Jr. G), Aaron Mitchell (6'-4" Sr. G/F), Jason Fergeson (5'-10" So. G), Jasha Bluntt (6'-3" Jr. G/F), Christian Chavarria (5'-10" Jr. G) and Reggie Johnson (6'-6" Sr. F/C)
3 Washington With the addition of UCLA-commit Andre Patterson (6'-7" Sr. G/F) the Generals become the contender they've always threatened to become, and Antoine Parker (5'-10" Sr. PG) now has the marquee player to find in the open court.  Wayne Chamberlain returns (6'-6" Jr. F) and they also have some excellent guards like Tim Fettoko, Dontae Foster, Travone vickers, Jacquon Momson, Julian Taylor, and Willie Asbury.   David Warsaw and Wyshawn Wade who played with Washington in the summer, transferred to Westchester, but the Generals are still very deep, maybe not as deep as Westchester, but it could be a three-way race, maybe a four-way if Fremont can gel.
4 Palisades Rasheed Oliver (6'-7" Sr. PF) and James Matthews (6'-8" Jr. F) a transfer from Manual Arts last season, and Marko Miahailovic (6'-5" Sr. SG/SF) make up the core of this very talented team
5 Crenshaw Marcus Williams (6'-2" So. PG), Terrence Jones (6'-6" Sr. SF) , Jamaal Walls (6'-6" Jr. PF) Lester Clay (6'-5" Sr. SF/SG), MJumbe Williams (6'-1" Jr. PG), Marcus Roberson (6'-2" Sr. SG), Raynell Watts (5'-11" So. G) are a few of the names we'd expect to see playing for Crenshaw this season
6 Fremont Fremont returns All-City players Mark Bradford (6'-3" So. SG) and kenton Paulino (6'-1" Sr. G). Decent height with Darren Brown (6'-7" Jr. F) and Willie Dunn (6'-5" Sr.F), Curtis Hines (6'-4" Jr. F) Shelvion Williams (6'-3" Jr. G) and Jay Guillory (6'-3" So. G), and some other good athletes like Chase Crosley (6'-1" Sr. G), Darryl Sanford (5'-11" Sr. G) and Jamal James (6'-1" Sr. G).  Not as deep as Westchester, and not as athletic as Fairfax, Sam Sullivan's squad could challenge.
7 Venice Coach David Goosen's squad made it to the quarterfinals of the City Section Invitational bracket as the No. 1 seeded team (i.e., No. 17 overall), and they are vastly better and improved from last year's squad.   They feature some new young players, including starters Kevin Green (5'-10" Jr. PG), Marlon Conerly (6'-0" Sr. SG), who might be one of the most underrated players in the City, Lanier Brown (6'-4" Sr. SF), Tremaine Tyler (6'-1" Sr. F), and Donte Jones (6'-4" Sr. F). Only missing element is a top true post player, but they have lots of other height with 6 players 6'-4 or taller.  Will likely finish 4th in league behind Westchester, Fairfax, and Palisades, but they might get lucky. Other players include Eric Netter  (6'-2" Sr. F),  Ryan Vickers (6'-4" So. F),  JeffParker (6'-4" Jr. F), Marcel Brown (6'-4" Sr. F), Terrance McGee (5'-9" Sr. G), Dante Jones (6'-3" Sr. F), Mark Dewig  (6'-4" Jr. C), Mychal McQueen (5'-10" Fr. G),  Jose Cavazos (6'-0" Sr. F), John Paul Adigwu (6'-4" Jr. F), Obaid Ahmadi  (5'-10" So. G) and Deandre Horton   (5'-11"  Jr. G).
8 Sylmar Here's what Eric Sondheimer had to say in yesterday's LA Times (11/24):  "Coach Bort Escoto of Sylmar is so confident about his team that he scheduled a January home game against City power Crenshaw. The Spartans are 10 players deep and will rely on shooting guard John Valdez, 6-5 Earnest Williams, 6-6 George O'Garro and 6-4 Louis Darby."
9 Dorsey Donald Wilson (6'-3" Jr. SG), Raphael Lee (6'-7" Jr. F) and point guard Drew Gibson lead a surprisingly talented team for Dorsey.
10 Grant Coach Howard Levine (Grant '72) doesn't have Gilbert Arenas anymore, but as Eric Sondheimer noted, "Grant was 21-5 last season and returns all-leaguers Mike Charleston (6'-6" Sr. SG/SF) and DeWayne Anderson.  Sophomore point guard Gino Riney was so impressive in summer ball he could be an All-City player by season's end."
11 LACES Jamal Johnson, (6'-2" Sr. PG/SG) a first team All-Conference last season will lead Ernest Baskerville's LACES team, along with Brishen Foley (6'-6" Sr. F/C) Keion Millsaps (6'-4" Sr. F/G) and Adam Walton will help as will Aaron Burrus (6'-3" Jr. PF).
12 Locke Coach M.Crumrine brings in some quick guards, but without any real height besides Robert Clayton (6'-4" Sr. PF) and Kevin Lewis (6'-6" So. PF) , Locke will likely be a contender for the City Invitational, particularly with teams in their league like Dorsey, Crenshaw and Fremont.   Locke has Calvert Wright (6'-1" Sr. PG/SG) Damane Wright (6'-2" So. PF),   Stafine Booth (6'-5" Sr. C), DAwayne Tywman (6'-0" Sr. PG/SG),   Rickey Beasley (6'-2" Sr. SG/SF), Monta L. (6'-2" So. SF), Richard Marshall (5'-11" So. PG) Dawayne Andrews (6'-1" So. SF) and Johnathen Dotson (6'-0" Sr. PG/SG)
13 North Hollywood North Hollywood lost its point guard to Crenshaw, but Kenny Hauser, Guz Ruiz and Nathan Stern are veterans from a 20-8 team. Team finished 2nd last year in Sunset 6 league.  William Kim (5'-9" Sr. PG) takes over at the one, and Josiah James (6'-4" Jr. F) will also start. David Danipour, Richard Jenkins, Aaron Ruiz,and Jamar Lett also will contribute.
14 Manual Arts From City Section Champs two years ago, to losing their coach of 12 seasons, Randolph Simpson, there's no telling what's going on there this season.
15 Taft Taft has little height but lots of quickness, and any team with Steve Smith can't be underestimated


Brandon Robinson (6'-5" Sr. SG) from Sylmar HS (who also played for Rockfish)  transferred to Chatsworth HS. and is eligible. Point guard Shayne Berry (5'-10" Sr. PG), Scott Johnston (6'-5" Jr. F), Ahmad Wasifi (5'-11" So. G) David Nazarians (5'-10" So. SG), Reyshawn Davis (6'-0" Jr. G) and Deshone Marshal (6'-1" Jr. G) are expected to be on the roster.
16T Reseda Reseda is up in  the air with their new coach, Mike Wagner. They do have the tallest player in the league in Nashid Beard.
16T Carson Actually gain some excellent height with Curtiss Battles (6'-9" Jr. F) and Ekene Ibekwe (6'-6" So.F).   Others include Willie Riley, Marques Washington, Sam Hill (really, although where in the Sam Hill he's from we don't know), Chris Thomas, Reagan Gabon, Errol Jackson, Lamont Peters, Davion Cummings, Brandon Jones, John Harvey.

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Southern Section
Other Promising Possibilities
(In no particular order)

Others to consider.   Unlike the Southern Section, the City is broken into two tournaments, the City Championship and the "Invitiational"  The following teams will, in our view, at the very least contend for the Invitiational. We may not know enough about them right now, but we know just enough to know that they are good enough to be in the top half of the teams in the City. By the way, these are not listed in the order of ranking, but just randomly listed:

  Narbonne Narbonne's tallest player is Tyjon Norris (6'-5" So. F) and whether they have what they'll need to make some noise is a mystery. Feature Tony Franklin, Uzoma Mmeje, Brannon Nicholas, Dozie Nzenwa, Marcus O'Keith, Kendal Oliver, Reggie Simms, Matt Terry, Greg Williams, Beto Delgado, and Christian Fleytas.  At least that's who they had the last time we saw them.
  Kennedy Kevin Kanemura, second year coach at Kennedy left Van Nuys two years after winning the City Invitational. Kennedy finished 10-15 overall and 4-6 in league last year, and could be a bit better this year. Roster will include no one except one guy bigger than 6'-1", with most everyone at 5'-10 or under: James Norris, Brandon Haywood, Gervell Byrd, and Brandon Robinson . Others include Jonathan Messenger,  Billy Medley, Matthew Maynard, Simeon Cooper,   William Broadnax, Maleek Valentine,  Aaron Akodu, Markeith Wheeler, Charles Tilford, Andy Tanaka, and Terence Freeman at 6'-5", is the big man on the team.
  Canoga Park We know that they've had their share of transfers, but according to Eric Sondheimer's report in the LA Times yesterday, "Canoga Park returns four starters, none better than 6-4 Cecil Brown, a prolific outside shooter." That's as much as we currently know about Ralph Turner's team right now, but they are always well coached. 
  Cleveland With the loss of their marquee player, Long Beach State signee Anthony Davis (6'-4" Sr. SG), and a tumultuous season last year in which both of its co-coaches quit, then each returned, and finally Adam Leavitt kep the job, Cleveland is virtually starting over. Possible contender for the Invitational division, but not City Championship material, at least not this year. 
  San Pedro New coach John Bobich takes over.  We'll see what he can do with a team that has under-performed the last few years.
  Monroe Unlike San Pedro, Don Loperena's teams the past two years have over-achieved. He's said this team has the same potential.   We'll see.
  El Camino Real Lost All-City Justin Saad-Anthony to graduation.  Young Todd Wolfson (6'-5" So. SF) will be the big man at El Camino. Who the rest of the guards will be is a mystery.
  South Gate Can't be sure right now who will be playing for South Gate, but if it's the same group who showed up this summer in Fresno at the EBO Mats Madness in early June, South Gate won't have much height, but they will have a ton of heart with guys like Richard Castillo (6'-3" Jr. F), Edwin Castro (5'-10" So. G), David Murillo (6'-2" Jr. G), Keymon Maddox (6'-2" Jr. G), Robert Sanchez (6'-2" Jr. G/F) and Hugo Manzo (6'-0" Fr. G)
  King-Drew Probably better than we know:   Players should include seniors Raheem Collins and Keith Claybon, juniors Jermaine Williams, Dhane Stewart, Rayvon Phillips, Terrell Burgess, Shaheed Rahh, Tyron Mallard, Ike Ofoegbu, Brian Quash, Wendell Enish and frosh Marvin Mills, Marcus Rogers.  At least that's who played this summer at the Slam N Jam Carson summer tournament we watched in June.
  Granada Hills Someone sent us a roster, but it had no heights listed. Reportedly, there's a 6'-9" or bigger guy somewhere among these players. We haven't seen them yet, so we can't say for sure: Martin Gasparians,   Eddie Degerman,  Gene Nubla, Ryan Hicks, Andrew Phongsamran, William Seals, Josh Rosenfield, Mike Louthain, Casey Bednash, Taku Uechi, Manny Cortez
  Hamillton David Fisher (6'-4" Sr. G/F) will be the lead player as far as we can tell. Don't know the rest of the roster, but we'll find out at the Beverly Hills Tournament where Hamilton is a regular participant.
  Los Angeles Greg Gomez from Harvard-Westlake takes over for Hernando Planells who left for Las Vegas where he is finishing up his degree at UNLV and working for the basketball program (Congratulations Hernando to you and your wife on the new baby). Whether Gomez can have any greater success here than Planells is something only time will tell.
  The Rest Gardena,   University,   Jefferson,   Banning,   Belmont, Eagle RockFranklin,   Lincoln,   Marshall,   Wilson,   Hollywood,   Polytechnic, Verdugo Hills, San Fernando, Van Nuys, Birmingham, Bell, Garfield, Huntington Park, Jordan,   Roosevelt, Bravo Medical Magnet, Business Magnet, Elizabeth Learning Center, Foshay Learning Center, Marlton, Middle College, SOCES, USC-MaST, Valley Alternative