The New Southern California Basketball

CIF-SS Large Enrollment Division Preview:
Desert Sky League 2001-02--(Nov. 26, 2001)

Granite Hills
Victor Valley

The Desert Sky League has been one of those mysterious leagues that continually produces these desert giants (like 6'-11" Rory O'Neil), teams that we read about often, and that are seen rarely.   While most of the teams in the league, in fact all but Granite Hills last season qualified for the playoffs, either as an "automatic" entry or as an at-large, none of the teams were very successful in their respective divisions.  Whether that will hold true this year or not, is something only time will tell.  The Burros again look to be the favorites, but whether they have enough firepower to make another run at what we believe would be the third consecutive league title, is also something that only time will tell. What follows is what we know about the teams thus far this season, which means we're looking at old rosters and predicting who will be returning and which younger players will be stepping up.  The schedules are accurate as far as we know, We encourage coaches to send us their official rosters (via e-mail) and any other information about their teams so we can update these previews.

Desert Sky League Rosters Desert Sky League Schedules
Burroughs/Ridgecrest--8-0, 21-3 (1st) "Burros"

Burroughs graduated 4 seniors from last year's league champioons and III-AA No. 3 seed.  Graduated seniors included 6'-11" Rory O'Neil who is now at USC, as well as the solid shooting Levi Steinmetz.  The Burros blasted through their league last year, but then stalled when they hit the playoffs, taking an early exit in their only contested game (they received a first round bye) losing to Chaminade in the second round.  Based on last year's roster, here's who we would expect to return.

Travis Kincaid 5'-11" Sr. G
Eric Richison 6'-0" Sr. G
Chris Woodson 6'-3" Sr. F
Karl Williams 5'-9" Sr. G
Pat Graham 6'-0" Sr. G
Zach Daly 6'-0" Sr. F
Evan Moorehead 6'-4" Jr. F
Gavin MacGregor 6'-6" Sr. C

Subsequent to drafting the above, we received an e-mail from someone obviously in the know about the 2001-02 Burros.

Starting 5
C - Gavin MacGregor 6'8
PF - Chris Woodson 6'4
SF - Pat Graham 6'2
SG - Travis Kincaid 5'11
PG - Karl Williams 5'10

Evan Moorehead
Chris Veit
Phillip Madison
Nolan Toftner
Eric Richison
Zach Daly
James Jensen

Our observer added the following commentary: "This team has a good nucleus but really cant afford to substitue alot. Their starters really work well together and are all able to score at any time.  All their starters can pull up and bury a 3 except the center. If this team is on they will be dangerous. This team will likely go 8-0 in league with the lack of competition in the Desert Sky League and they'll make it past the first round...after that it will be tough but can be done. People shouldn't doubt this team so much after losing USC signee Rory O'Neil and outstanding shooter Levi Steinmetz."

Time will tell.....


Coach: Robert Campbell

N 26 Lancaster
N/29-D-1 @ Rosamond Tourn
D 04 @ Palmdale
11 Littlerock
14 @ Highland
18-22 @ Irvine Tourn
J 04 *Granite Hills
08 @ *Silverado
11 Serrano
15 @ *Victor Valley
18 *Barstow
25 @ *Granite Hills
29 *Silverado
F 01 @ Serrano
05 *Victor Valley
08 @ *Barstow

Silverado--5-3, 16-10 (2nd) "Hawks"

Silverado finished second in league, making it to the I-AA playoffs, where they beat Rancho Verde in the first round and then lost to San Clemente in the second round.  We don't have a complete roster, but here's who should be on it at a minimum:

Kyle Lewis 5'-9" So. G
Vince Alvarado 5'-8" Jr. G
Josh Brown 6'-2" Jr. F
Jaimie Lester 6'-0" So. G"
Jerry Amato 5'-8" Sr. G
Matt Kernan 6'-2" Sr. F
Anthony Elliott 6'-1" Sr. G
Ali Tillman 6'-3" Sr. F


Coach: Kurt Herbst

N-28/D-1 @ Serrano Tourn
D 04 Centennial
13 Ayala
19-22 @ Arroyo Grande Tourn
26-29 @ San Bernardino Tourn
J 02 Serrano
04 @ *Barstow
08 *Burroughs/R
11 @ *Granite Hills
15 @ Rim of the World
18 *Victor Valley
22 @ Apple Valley
25 *Barstow
29 @ *Burroughs/R
F 01 *Granite Hills
05 Rim of the World
08 @ *Victor Valley

Barstow--  4-4, 10-15 (3rd) "Aztecs"

Like Silverado, Barstow qualfied for the playoffs with an "automatic" spot, but the Aztecs were unlucky enough to draw a surprisingly good Fullerton team in the first round, and Barstow went home after making the trip to Orange County.  And like Silverado, we don't have a complete roster, but we can tell you who we believe will be returning based on last year's roster:

Daniel Robinson 6'-3" Sr. G
Josh Baca 5'-8" Sr. G
Jason Carpenter 5'-8" Sr. G
Andrfew Dado 5'-6' Jr. G
Ryan Rutualo 5'-10" Sr. G
Tim Craig 6'-1" Sr. F
Keith Morton 6'-2" Jr. F
Kevin Morton 6'-2" Jr. F

This is a pretty good nucleus with not a lot of size, but perhaps enough to make a difference.  The big question is who will be coming up from JV, and what incoming students will make a difference, and lastly, how much some of these guys have grown since last February when the rosters were previously compiled.


Coach: Andre Clemmer

N 26 @ Littlerock
N-28/D-1 @ Serrano Tourn
D 6-8 @ Silver Valley Tourn
11 Hesperia
26-29 @ San Gorgonio Tourn
J 04 *Silverado
08 @ Sultana
11 @ *Victor Valley
15 *Granite Hills
18 @ *Burroughs/R
22 Serrano
25 @ *Silverado
29 Sultana
F 01 *Victor Valley
05 @ *Granite Hills
08 *Burroughs/R

Victor Valley--3-5, 12-12 (4th) "Jackrabbits"

The Jackrabbits made it to the Division II-AA playoffs as an "At Large" entry and lost in the firs round.  They took a hit over the summer when the Dillon brothers, Kevin and Josh tranferred out to Victor Valley Christian, but the rest of the squad returning looks like it should be sufficient to at least form the core of a nice group which will be competitive.

DeJesus Brown 6'-1" Sr. F
Jonathan Ackermann 6'-4" Sr. F
Mike Thompson 6'-4" Sr. F
Joe Holly 6'-1" Sr. F
Jason Collins 6'-0" Sr. G
Steve Thompson 6'-4" Sr. F
Devion Price 6-1" Jr. G
Corey Cabriales 6'-0" Sr. G

Josh Dillon 5'-9" Sr. G (transferred to Victor Valley Christian)
Kevin Dillon 6'-0" Jr. G (transferred to Victor Valley Christian)


Victor Valley
Coach: Matt Denny

N-28/D-1 @ JW North Tourn
D 04 @ Crescenta Valley
6-8 @ Sanger Tourn
11 Apple Valley
13 @ Sultana
18 @ Rialto
26-29 @ San Gorgonio Tourn
J 04 Hesperia
08 @ *Granite HIlls
11 *Barstow
15 *Burroughs/R
18 @ *Silverado
25 @ Hesperia
29 *Granite Hills
F 01 @ *Barstow
05 @ *Burroughs/R
08 *Silverado

Granite Hills--0-8, 7-17 (5th)

Granite Hills didn't qualify for the playoffs, and tghey finished last in league a year ago, so we don't have much to say about them.  We did receive what we believe is a pretty accurate roster.   Here's what we know about the 2001-02 Granite Hills team:

Nick Alexander 6'0" Jr. G .
Randy Courtney 5'10" Jr. G .
Matt Hoskins 6'2" Jr. F
Joe Keele 6'1" 160 Jr. G
Gerard Kiamco 6'2" Sr. G
Daniel Lee 6'7" Sr F.
Michael Maloney 6'2" Sr. G
Ramell Mitchell 6'5" Sr. F
Lawrence Mixon 6'1" Jr. G
Ammar Rabadi 5'10" Jr. G
Daniel Rincon 6'2" Sr. F
Brian Tocts 6'2" Jr. G
Montae Weathers 6'3" Jr. F
Nate Wilkins 6'4" Sr. C
Jarrett Woodward 6'4" Jr. C

Head Coach-Tom Dudgeon
Asst Coach-Matt Heckmer
Asst Coach-Jim Peters
J.V. Coach-Tim Dexter

The coaching staff also sent us a small preview of the team for the upcoming season:

"Granite Hills will have a new look this year in the schools third year of
existance. Tom Dudgeon was hired on August 1st to build the Boys Basketball  Program. There is no where to go for the cougars but up as they went 0-10 in the Desert Sky league last year. The Desert Sky league is a strong league with every team in the league having advanced in the playoffs with Victor Valley and Barstow advancing to the finals in recent years. Burroughs of Ridgecrest is the defending champions of the league but Silverado should be the pre-season favorite.


Granite Hills
Coach: Tom Dudgeon

N-28/D-1 @ Serrano Tourn
D 04 Desert Hot Springs
11 Sultana
14 Hesperia
17 @ Serrano
20 @ Antelope Valley
28-29 @ Highland Tourn
J 04 @ *Burroughs/R
08 *Victor Valley
11 *Silverado
15 @ *Barstow
18 Apple Valley
25 *Burroughs/R
29 @ *Victor Valley
F 01 @ *Silverado
05 *Barstow
08 Apple Valley

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