SoCalHoops High School Previews
CIF-SS Large Enrollment Division
Almont League 2001-02--(Oct. 30, 2001)
We actually have very little information this year on the Almont League. In fact we don't have anything at this moment on Montebello, which won the league last season. The teams below are listed in order of finish last season. We're not going to make any grand predictions of who is going to finish first again this year. What follows is simply a listing of players from last year's teams who are anticipated to return. Where we know about younger players coming up to take the place of players of last year's graduating seniors we've listed them; where we don't, we haven't. The team records shown are the official CIF-SS season records, (league records first, and then overall records). If you have information on a team that we're missing please send it in and we'll update the rosters. We don't have any info on Keppel at all, because they didn't make the playoffs, and we simply haven't had time to look through the archives here at SoCalHoops. Again, if you have info on these teams, send it in and we'll add it.
Update 12/01/01: The San Gabriel Tribune and Pasadena Star News published its "Almont League Preview" prepared by staff writer Keven Chavez. We've added Keven's observations to our individual team capsules (below). Here's what he had to say about the league in general:
If nothing else, the Almont League's boys basketball season is always a battle. Five of the six teams were separated by just a four-game margin in the league standings last season, including a three-way tie for second place. With no runaway favorite, another close finish appears likely. "The league is kind of the same very year,'' said Alhambra coach Joe Petralia. "The talent level is the same with everybody and if you have a real good player then you have an advantage. But nobody has a really good player.'' Two of the league's three locals, Keppel and San Gabriel, have first-year coaches. Al Parga seems to have the best early chance for success with his group at San Gabriel, which returns six seniors. Alhambra is one of the league's most consistent teams and seems to have a good shot at knocking off defending champion Montebello.
|Almont League Rosters||Almont League Schedules|
roster not available.
From what we've heard from other coaches in the league, Montebello is actually not considered the favorite this year for the league title. Instead that distinction goes to Alhambra, which is widely considered to have one of the deepest teams in the league. Again, we don't know much about Montebello, but do know that they'll be in three tournaments in the early season: El Rancho, Alhambra and the LaSalle Tournament.
Update 11/27/01: The Whittier Daily News and their "Prep Sports" website featured a preview of the Del Rio League today written by Roger Murray, (the original article can be found at this link). What follows is the portion pertaining to Montebello:
Last season: 17-15, 8-2, first; Div.I-AA playoffs: defeated Aliso Niguel, 62-47, first round; lost to Glendora, 76-62, second round.
Other key returnees:
"Parks represents the defending league champion Oilers' lone height and first-year coach Marino Angulo said it is imperative they feed him and Jimenez in the low post to be successful. 'Right now, our front court is a concern because our guards are new,' Angulo said. 'They're strong in some phases of the game, but it will be learn-as-we-go early in the season.' "
|San Gabriel-- 6-4, 15-11 (2nd tie) "Matadors"
The roster for 2001-02 includes:
Milo Alarcon 5'8 Sr. G
Coach Al Parga
San Gabriel Matadors
Strengths: Six seniors help make the Matadors one of the most experienced teams in league. Tran is a returning all-league player and could carry some of the scoring load.
Concerns: Not much size, even for Almont League standards. Have to replace three other all-league players, including three top scorers.
Bottom line: San Gabriel has hovered at or around the top of the league standings for several years and should stay there a while longer. The Matadors will likely have to shoot outside jumpers from all over the court, but it's something at which they're already pretty good. They are likely in for some tough battles and may have a few matchup problems underneath, but San Gabriel should remain in the hunt for the league crown.
|Alhambra--6-4, 18-8 (2nd tie)
Returning players include:
Erich Chung 5'-8" Sr. G
No other roster information available.
Head coach: Joe Petralia
Strengths: The Moors are a disciplined, well-balanced group with good defensive skills. They will rely on quickness, like most other teams in the league. Breazeale, though relatively inexperienced, does give the team one inside presence.
Concerns: A somewhat inexperienced group lost two all-league players from last year. Petralia thinks his team does not shoot 3-pointers consistently well.
Bottom line: Alhambra almost always has a say in the league championship race and this year figures to be no different. The youthful Moors will look to Chung for veteran leadership and should be carried quite nicely by their all-league point guard. Alhambra finished in a three-way tie for second place last year, but if the team can find a second scoring threat and remains consistent on defense, there's little reason to think they can't end up back on top.
|Schurr--6-4, 10-15 (2nd tie)
Returning players include:
Shawn Oshita 5'-9" Sr. G
Update 11/27/01: The Whittier Daily News and their "Prep Sports" website featured a preview of the Del Rio League today written by Roger Murray, (the original article can be found at this link). What follows is the portion pertaining to Schurr:
Last season: 10-15, 6-4, tied for second.
Other key returnees:
"Fine-tuning the defense in preparation for a run at the league title will be the priority in nonleague, according to coach Paul Chavez, who listed overall team quickness as a strength and the usual lack of height as an area of concern. 'The difference between this team and last year's is that the kids seem to jell; they're a more cohesive team, very unselfish,' Chavez said. Oshita and Lowrey are the cornerstones, with the addition of Torres, who was the junior varsity MVP last season."
Gardens--4-5, 11-14 (5th)
Varela 6'-2" Sr. F
The roster information above was provided by Bell Gardens Assistant coach Al Cuevas, so it's assumed to be accurate for this season. Bell Gardens also has a website devoted their basketball teams, so you can follow them throughout the season by checking in there as well.
|Mark Keppel -- 0-10, 4-19 (6th)
Roster not available.
We'll be the first to admit, we have no idea who will be on the Mark Keppel team this season. They didn't turn in a CIF Playoff media sheet, for obvious reasons. It can only get better this season. . . .
Schedule information for Keppel is at the right........----------->
Strengths: Keppel will run up and down the court and play a full-court pressing defense. Duong, who has coached freshman basketball at Keppel for the past two years, is relatively familiar with the players and system.
Concerns: Just one senior starter returns, leaving a fairly inexperienced group behind Lai. Not much depth in the frontcourt.
Bottom line: Keppel may have the shortest turnaround time for the teams with new coaches. Duong led some of these players to a freshman league title and should blend in quickly. The Aztecs were a non-factor last season (0-10, 4-19) but figure to be a little improved. A second consecutive winless league mark seems unlikely and with so many other programs going through wholesale changes, Keppel may have a chance to sneak into the league's upper half.
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