The New Southern California Basketball

CIF-SS Large Enrollment Division Preview:
Desert Valley League 2001-02--(Nov. 23, 2001)

Cathedral City
Coachella Valley
Desert Hot Springs
La Quinta/La Quinta
Palm Desert
Palm Springs

The Desert Valley League has been dominated for the past 5 seasons by Cathedral City, and the big question is whether anyone else has enough talent to take the Lions on this season.  Thomas Shewmake, a 6'-10" senior from Cathedral City who will play Division I basketball in college at CSUN is their big man, and the question is whether anyone else will be able to stop him down low.  Other teams in the league, notably La Quinta and Palm Desert have excellent guard play (e.g., Josh Zazulia), and all of them are gunning for Cathedral City this year.  We don't have a lot of complete roster information for teams that didn't do well last year (e.g., Coachella Valley, Desert Springs or Indio), but what we do have is pretty reliable.  What follows is what we know about the teams thus far this season, which in the case of La Quinta, Palm Desert and Cat City is pretty good info, and in the case of Palm Springs is just so-so.   As for the rest, 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 Valley League Rosters Desert Valley League Schedules
Cathedral City--12-0, 22-5 (1st)   "Lions"

Last season, Cathedral City made it to the II-AA playoffs, with a very good first round win against Victor Valley (Desert Sky at large) and then the Lions had to travel all the way to Santa Barbara for their second round game, a very long way to go to lose, and it was a very tough loss for the seniors on that team, who had hopes of a Section title.  Maybe this never know.  As for this season, our friend Rob Hanmer, the head coach at Cathedral City, sent us a current roster:

#   Name   Grade   ht   wt
2   Baron Holmes   11   5'11   195
3   Daryll Aguinaldo   11   5'7   125
4   Bear Simerson   10   6'2   175
5   Nick Lee   10   5'11   160
10   Chris Green   11   6'0   175
12   Jason Bluedorn   11   5'8   125
13   Matt Buchheit   12   5'10   150
15   Austin Oglesby   10   6'3   165
20   Isreal Wilder   12   6'0   165
22   Brandon Brown   11   6'4   155
23   Jared Otteson   11   6'3   190
32   Brandon Gray   12   6'5   285
33   Nathan Lewis   12   6'5   200
34   Thomas Shewmake   12   6'10   240
42   Paul Bradley   11   6'0   185
44   Steven Shewmake   10   6'6   175

That's a pretty good core of returning players, one which will shoot for a sixth straight DVL championship and which will look   to replace the scoring from the guys who left (e.g., Paul Heredia, Gerald DeVance).  Thomas Shewmake just signed a letter of intent to play at CSUN next year and he's definitely the biggest "big" man in the desert region. We've also been hearing very good things about Everett "Bear" Simerson, who is supposed to be really good.

Along with the roster (above) Coach Hanmer also gave us his assessment of the team for 01-02, and the league race, as well as some insight into the players on this year's team:

"The 2001-2002 Cathedral City High School Boysı Basketball Team will be the tallest and hopefully most successful in school history. Senior co-captains, Thomas Shewmake (6'-10" Sr. F) and Brandon Gray (6'-5" Sr. G) lead the way. Both young men are four year varsity players and have been All Desert Valley League selections the past two years. Thomas was spectacular last season averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds earning all county recognition and is the most recruited athlete in C.C.H.S. basketball program history. Thomas will set school records in wins, league wins, rebounds, blocked shots, and could reach 1000 points and 1000 rebounds for his career. Brandon was a big time player at the end of last season scoring 20 points in a first round C.I.F. win last season, and the team is looking forward to solid performances from "Big Daddy" once football is over.

Other returning letter winners from last seasonıs fifth consecutive 20 win season include grid-hoop senior stars Nathan Lewis and junior Jared Otteson. Also returning to the varsity team is junior sharp shooter Brandon Brown. All five returning D.V.L. champions are expected to have a major impact on the success of our team. This group of players has had an incredible amount of success including last yearıs undefeated run through the D.V.L. and looks forward to adding to their legacy.

"Seniors new to the team include Matt Buchheit and Isreal Wilder. These seniors are expected to provide leadership, enthusiasm, and give the Lions spark plugs off an incredibly deep bench. Under classmen new to the team include juniors Daryll Aguinaldo, Jason Bluedorn, P.J. Bradley, Chris Green, and Baron Holmes. In addition, our team includes one of the best sophomore classes in school history with Nick Lee, Austin Oglesby, Steven Shewmake and Bear Simerson. Each youngster will compete for serious playing time and should continue the tradition of success.

"The summer of 2001 saw this year's winter Varsity team work extremely hard playing 45 games and competing very well on several occasions. The keys for success this winter for our team will be to listen, learn, improve, and play hard together as a team for all 32 minutes of each and every game. Scoring points has been our programs strongest attribute the past five years, but this team must play tough defense, and if they do, success will be the result. We look forward to another exciting season, and hope to hang our sixth straight league championship banner in the Lions' Den!"


Cathedral City
Coach: Rob Hanmer

N-29/D-1 @ JW North Tourn
D 3-8 Cathedral City Tourn
14 *La QUinta/LQ
19-29 @ West Valley Tourn
21 *Coachella Valley
J 08 @ *Desert Hot Springs
11 @ *Indio
14 @ *Palm Desert
16 *Palm Springs
18 @ *La Quinta/LQ
25 @ *Coachella Valley
29 *Desert Hot Springs
F 01 *Indio
05 *Palm Desert
07 @ *Palm Springs

La Qunita/ La Quinta--10-2, 21-5 (2nd)  "Blackhawks"

La Quinta made it to the II-AA playoffs last year

The Blackhawks have their own very complete basketball website, with schedules, player profiles and complete information about the La Quinta "Gamer" Tournament.  Based on the information posted by the school, here's the roster for 2001-02:

Mohammad Ahmad 5'11" Sr. G
Jonathan Beavers 6'-3" Sr. F
John Beck 5'-9" Sr. G
Josh Brodt 6'-4" Jr. F
Ryan Burt 6'-1" Sr. G
Michael Dowd 6'-2" Jr. G
Renado Gouldlock 6'-0" Jr. G
Andrew Kehl 6'-3' Jr. F
Jerry Lopez 5'-9" So. G
Bill Matthews 6'-1" So. G
Leo Ramirez 5'-9" Jr. G
Paul St. Angelo 5'-9" Sr. G

The Blackhawks don't appear to have anyone on the roster with the size and bulk who can stop Shewmake, but they will have some good guard play and perimeter shooting.  The Blackhawk website also has a short season preview of the team and some predictions for the season, so if you want to know the coaches' view, check it out.


La Quinta/La Quinta
Coach: Bill Ciancio

N 27-30 @ San Gorgonio Tourn
D 4-8 @ Arlington Tourn
14 @ *Cathedral City
17 @ Valley View
18 *Indio
21 @ *Palm Springs
26-29 @ La Quinta Tourn
J 09 *Coachella Valley
11 *Desert Hot Springs
15 @ *Palm Desert
18 *Cathedral City
22 @ *Indio
25 *Palm Springs
29 Central
F 01 @ *Coachella Valley
05 @ *Desert Hot Springs
07 *Palm Desert

Palm Springs--7-5, 13-12 (3rd) "Indians"

Palm Springs graduated 7 seniors from a team that made it to the I-A playoffs, but lost to No. 3 seed Villa Park in the first round.  We don't have a current roster, but here's who we expect to be returning based on last year's playoff roster:

Lucas Berry 5'-6" Sr. G
Joseph Johnson 5'-8" Jr. G
Kevin Howard 5'-9" Sr. G
Donald Whitted 5'-11' Sr. F
Brandon Fenton 6'-6" Sr. F
Andrew Gonzales 6'-1' Jr. F

Randy Small's teams haven't yet won a league title, and we don't think that's likely to happen this year either, but they will compete and build toward next year, looking to knock off Cathedral City and La Quinta, and hoping to come out on top of Palm Desert, which is on the rist this year.


Palm Springs
Coach: Randy Small

N-26/D-1 @ Beaumont Tourn
D 04 @ Chaparral
07 @ San Gorgonio
11 @ Yucaipa
14 West Valley
18 @ Palm Desert
19-29 @ West Valley Tourn
21 *La Quinta/LQ
J 08 *Coachella Valley
11 *Desert Hot Springs
14 @ *Indio
16 @ *Cathedral City
22 *Palm Desert
25 @ *La Quinta/LQ
29 @ *Coachella Valley
F 01 @ *Desert Hot Springs
05 *Indio
07 *Cathedral City

Palm Desert-- 6-6, 16-9 (4th) "Aztecs"

Palm Desert made it to the II-A playoffs as the No. 4 team out of the DVL, and were unlucky enough  to lose to Bishop Amat in the first round.  This year, the Aztecs are looking to make a run at a league title, and a deeper run in the playoffs.  The school has it's own basketball website, with complete rosters, scores, photos, notes and schedules, and based on what's there, this is the roster for 2001-02:

Blake Ryan  5'-10" Sr. G
Mario Barraza 5'-8" Sr. G
Josh Zazulia 6'-4" Sr. G
Chase McQuillen 6'-1" Sr. G
Quintin Watkins 6'-4" So. G/F
Joe Taran 5'-6" So. G
Donald Brady 6'-1" Sr. G
Guillaume Levrault 6'-4" Sr. F
Jacob Broyles 6'-4" Sr. F
Jimmy Bohm 6'-3" Jr. F
Aki Sator 6'-3" Sr. F/C

We had expected to see Dionte Harris 6'-2" Jr. G and Myles Nielson 6'-1" Sr. F returning, but evidently they are not on the team, at least according to the team's website.  The Aztecs have a solid front line and good guard play, and whether they can challenge Cathedral City this year will be the big question, which won't really be answered until February. 


Palm Desert
Coach: Don Brady

N 26 @ *Desert Hot Springs
27 @ Brawley
D 3-8 @ Palm Desert Tourn
11 Hemet
14 @ *Coachella Valley
18 *Palm Springs
20-22 @ Las Vegas, NV Tourn
26-29 @ West Valley Tourn
J 07 @ *Indio
11 *Cathedral City
15 *La Quinta/LQ
18 *Coachella Valley
22 @ *Palm Springs
25 *Desert Hot Springs
29 *Indio
F 05 @ *Cathedral City
07 @ *La Quinta/LQ

Coachella Valley--5-7, 9-14 (5th)

We've looked and looked for roster information but can't find anything. The school was in Division I-AA last year, but without 11 wins, failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Coachella Valley
Coach: Rob Diaz

N 26-29 @ Beaumont Tourn
D 4-7 @ Arlington Tourn
11 Southwest
14 *Palm Desert
18 *Desert Hot Springs
21 @ *Cathedral City
26-29 @ Ontario Chr Tourn
J 08 @ *Palm Springs
11 @ *La Quinta/LQ
16 *Indio
18 @ *Palm Desert
22 @ *Desert Hot Springs
25 *Cathedral City
29 *Palm Springs
F 01 *La Quinta/LQ
07 @ *Indio

Desert Hot Springs--1-11, 5-13 (6th)

Desert Hot springs last season only had sophs and juniors, and competed in IV-AA (they did not make the playoffs though).  We do not have current roster information but the schedule is complete:

Desert Hot Springs
Coach: Steve Lake

N 20 Desert Christian
26 *Palm Desert
27 Southwest
D 04 @ Granite Hills
06 @ Yucca Valley
14 *Indio
18 @ *Coachella Valley
20-26 @ West Valley Tourn
J 07 *Cathedral City
09 @ *Palm Springs
11 @ *La Quinta/LQ
15 Central
18 @ *Indio
22 *Coachella Valley
25 @ *Palm Desert
29 @ *Cathedral City
F 01 *Palm Springs
05 *La Quinta/LQ

Indio--1-11, 4-20 (6th tie)

With only 4 overall wins, Indio didn't make the I-AA playoffs, and as a result, we have no roster information.   We don't expect them to make a serious run at the league title; post-season competion may or may not be a realistic goal depending on who returns.

Coach: Henry Viveros

N 20 Yucca Valley
N-26-D-1 @ Beaumont Tourn
D 04 @ Calexico
07 Brawley
11 Valley View
14 @ *Desert Hot Springs
18 @ *La Quinta/LQ
19-29 @ West Valley Tourn
21 @ Southwest
J 08 *Palm Desert
10 *Cathedral City
14 *Palm Springs
16 @ *Coachella Valley
18 *Desert Hot Springs
22 *La Quinta/LQ
29 @ *Palm Desert
F 01 @ *Cathedral City
05 @ *Palm Springs
07 *Coachella Valley

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