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CIF-SS Large Enrollment Division Preview:
Empire League 2001-02--(Nov. 4, 2001)

EMPIRE LEAGUE
Century
Cypress
El Dorado
Katella
Kennedy
Loara

The Empire League sent every team to the playoffs last season in various divisions, including several "wild card" entries, but the league didn't enjoy much post-season success, with Kennedy, the 4th place team, making it the farthest, into the second round;  everyone else either lost in the first round or in the wild card rounds.  But that's not a sign at all that the league is not competitive, far from it.  This league historically has produced some of the best teams in Orange County (well, ok, we're excluding whatever leagues Mater Dei, Santa Margarita and Mater Dei have been in over the past decade), and they do have one of the top players in Orange County again this year, David Patten.  From where we're sitting right now, with limited roster information, we'd have to say that the favorite for the league title appears to be El Dorado, which will be led by Patten, a 6'-9" legitimate D-I prospect and All-CIF player.   El Dorado also appears to be returning much of it's team from last year, despite having graduated 5 seniors.  Who else will step up this year is really something only time will tell, but from the standpoint of a league race, this league is always extremely competitive.

What follows is what we know about the teams thus far this season, which means we're looking at old rosters and trying to predict 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, not on the message board, please) and any other information about their teams so we can update the previews and rosters as the season progresses.

Empire League Rosters Empire League Schedules
Loara--9-1, 20-8 (1st) "Saxons"

We would expect to see the following players at a minimum:

Hassan Cook 6'-1" Sr. F
Scott Bright 6'-0" Sr. G
Tyler Roberson 5'-10" Sr. G
Bryce Sheldon 6'-2" Sr. F
Bob Revelle 6'-4' Jr. C
Chad Lozano 6'-4" Sr. C
Delsandro Dean 6'-0" So. F

Update 11/20/01 from OC Register:

Returners:

Bryce Sheldon 6'-2" Sr. G (12 ppg)
Tyler Roberson 5'-10" Sr. G
Chad Lozano 6'-4" Sr. C
Bob Revelle 6'-4" Jr. C

Newcomers to watch:

Delandor Dean 6'-3" G
Drew Howard 6'-0" G
Hassan Cook 6'-3" F
Rommel Laura 5'-10" G
James Olivarez 6'-0" G
Andrew Avelino 6'-2" F

[Note: Why is it that some coaches don't provide the class/year of their players?It's a small detail, but it influences how a player may be viewed....there is a difference after all between a senior and a freshman or soph....]

OC Register Outlook 11/20/01:  "The Saxons, who graduated four starters, will use the preseason to gain experience for league."  

SoCalHoops original review 11/4/01: "The Saxons graduated 6 seniors from last season's roster, and their biggest league challenge appears to be from El Dorado, which looks to be bigger, and perhaps faster and deeper this year.  Loara had a very good season last year, and qualified for the I-A playoffs by virtue of the league title, but had a disappointing experience, losing in the first round to St. John Bosco. Whether they will have the talent this year to repeat as league champs is an open question.

Loara
Coach: Ed Prange

N-26/D-1 Loara Tourn
D 1-8 @ Valley Christian/C Tourn
13 @ Savanna
18 @ Glen
26-29 @ Covina Tourn
J 02 Sunny Hills
04 @ Magnolia
09 *El Dorado
11 @ *Century
16 *Katella
18 @ *Kennedy
23 @ *Cypress
25 *Century
30 @ *El Dorado
F 01 *Kennedy
06 @ *Katella
08 *Cypress

El Dorado--8-2, 22-5 (2nd) "Golden Hawks"
At a minimum, we'd expect to see the following players:

Adrian Burnett 5'-9" Sr. G
Kyle Miller 5'-9" Sr. G
David Patten 6'-9" Sr. C
Dustin Price 6'-0" Jr. G
Kevin Cook 6'-2" Sr. F
Matt Gartner 6'-3" Sr. F
Peter Bond 6'-1" So. G (JV)
Steve Ewart 6'-12" Sr. F  (JV)
Keith Cherry 5'-11" So. G (JV)

Roster Update from 11/20/01 OC Register:

Other newcomers:

Jeff Barrette 5'-10" Sr. G
Jason Le Shana 5'-11" So. G/F
Joe Martinez 6'-6" So. F/C

SoCalHoops analysis: El Dorado, while returning a lot of starters, did graduate 5 seniors from last season's roster, but they appear poised for a run this year.  David Patten is one of the regions top big men, a mobile and agile forward who will clearly play the post on his high school team but who probably projects as a very face-the-basket foward who can step out and hit the jumper, either long or short.  We have no idea who else will step up, but Patten will certainly be the big target for all of El Dorado's opponents this season.   El Dorado last season made the playoffs  in I-A, and like Loara, lost in the first round, defeated by Canyon Anaheim, which went on to the quarterfinals, and they are looking to improve on that performance this season.

El Dorado will also host their own tournament again this year, which will feature Chino, Diamond Ranch, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Corona, Corona Santiago, Blair and Warren

From the Register:
"Outlook:  The Golden Hawks are experienced and deep. New coach Mounce has inherited a potential league champion."

El Dorado
Coach: Ryan Mounce

N-26/D-1 @ La Habra Tourn
D 05 Troy
10-15 @ El Dorado Tourn
21 @ Brea Olinda
26-29 @ Mt Carmel Tourn
J 02 @ Marina
04 Valencia
09 @ *Loara
11 @ *Cypress
16 *Century
18 @ *Katella
23 *Kennedy
25 *Cypress
30 *Loara
F 01 *Katella
06 @ *Century
08 @ *Kennedy

Cypress--6-4, 15-10  (3rd)  "Centurions"

Based on last season's playoff rosters, we'd expect to see these guys returning:

Austin Choi  5'-10" Sr. G
Charlie Semaan 5'-7" Sr. G
Ronald Dross 5'-10' Sr. G
Matt Reid 6'-1" Sr. G
Dominique Ricks 6'-3" Jr. F
Chad Young 6'-2" Jr. F

Roster Update OC Register 11/20/01:

Returners:
Matt Reid 6'-2" Sr. G
Austin Choi 5'-10" Sr. G
Dominique Ricks 6'-4" Jr. F
Ronald Dross 5'-10" Sr. G
Chad Young 6'-1" Jr. F
Charlie Semaan 5'-8" Sr. G
Newcomers to watch:
Ryan Wong 5'-8" Jr. G
Mike Poynter 6'-0" Sr. G
Mike Higgins 6'-5" Jr. C

OC Register Outlook: "The Centurions hope to use a good shooting touch to land a playoff berth."

SoCalHoops Outlook: Cypress made the playoffs in II-AA, and lost in first round to La Quinta (La Quinta).  They'll need to bring some solid players up from the ranks of the JV to help these returning players if they are to have a shot at the league title, particularly given the fact that El Dorado and Loara return a lot of very good players. 

Cypress
Coach: Jeffery Russell

N-26/D-1 @ Cerritos Tourn
D 12 @ Bolsa Grande
14
17-22 @ Anaheim USD Tourn
26-29 @ Century Tourn
H 02 @ Huntington Beach
04 @ La Mirada
09 @ *Katella
11 *El Dorado
16 @ *Kennedy
18 @ *Century
23 *Loara
25 @ *El Dorado
30 *Katella
F 01 *Century
06 *Kennedy
08 @ *Loara

Kennedy--4-6, 14-12 (4th)  "Fighting Irish"

Roster Update from the OC Register 11/20/01:

Rhyema McKnight 6'-2" Sr. G/F
Eric Aragon 6'-3" Sr. F
Ikechi Njoku 6'-3" Sr. F
Casey Fien 6'-2" Sr. F
Phillip Tucker 6'-1" Sr. G
Jonathan Branham 6'-1" Sr. G/F
Gregor Suzuki 5'-8" Jr. G

Newcomers to watch:

David Arreguin 6'-3" Jr. F
Eric Taylor 6'-0" So. G
Mike Burow 6'-7" Sr. C
Jordan Meadows 5'-10" Jr. G

OC Register Outlook: "The Fighting Irish have a good mix of experienced returners and are looking to challenge for the league title."

SoCalHoops original outlook: Kennedy made the playoffs in Division II-AA, but lost in the second round after defeatring Los Amigos in first round. The loss which knocked them out was to Santa Margaraita, which made it to the semifinals of the division race.  Like a couple of other teams in this league, we don't have current roster information on these guys, but we do know that they graduated one of their leading scorers,  All-CIF player Chris Johnson, and will look for someone to take over that responsibility.  So why are we posting a "preview" without complete info?  Why not. There are just too many teams and not enough hours in the day to call every coach.  Besides, in a few weeks, all the roster info will become clear anyway. Unfortunately, the boys team doesn't have a website (the girls team does though), so we can't give you a current update.

 

Kennedy
Coach: Pat O’Hern

N-26/D-1 @ Buena Park Tourn
D 03 @ Diamond Bar
12 Norwalk
14 Magnolia
18-22 @ Anaheim Conv Tourn
26-29 @ Orange Tourn
J 04 La Habra
09 *Century
11 @ *Katella
16 *Cypress
18 *Loara
23 @ *El Dorado
25 *Katella
30 @ *Century
F 01 @ *Loara
06 @ *Cypress
08 *El Doardo

Century--2-8, 11-15 (5th) "Centurions"
Century went to the playoffs as a wild card entry in division I-AA, losing to Palmdale (which also lost the first round game to University).  Unfortunately, we don't have their roster information, but we do know that they lost their leading scorer, All-CIF player Ruben Pineda to graduation.  Century has a basketball website, but it hasn't been upadated since prior to the 2000-01 season (last year in other words).   Still, it serves as a great reminder that Century has had some great players in the past (e.g., Mike Zepeda who is at UCR, Ike Harmon who played at CSUF, etc), and they will likely have some great players come through again.

Century also hosts one of the more competitive local tournaments in December, which this year is slated to have El Modena, Santa Ana Valley, Cypress, Sunny Hills, Los Amigos, Pacifica, Rancho Alamitos, GG Santiago, Saddleback, Santa Ana, Calvary Chapel Santa Ana, Orange Lutheran, Laguna Beach, St. John Bosco, and Dana Hills.

OC Register 11/20/01 Update:

Returners:

Vince Martinez 5'-8" Sr. G

Newcomers to watch:
Dadi Sok 5'-9" Jr. G
Hugo Sanchez 6'-1" Jr. F
Fabio Gudino 5'-7" Sr. G
Jessie Rangel 5'-11" Sr. F
Robert Iores 5'-11" Sr. F
Ivan Preciado 5'-10" Sr. F
Ramon Mendoza 6'-0" So. F
Mike Ibarra-Torres 6'-09" So. G
Scott Dodge 6'-4" So. F
Kha Sok 5'-11" Sr. G

Outlook (Register): The Centurions are young and will need to rely on their quickness to stay competitive.

 

Century
Coach: Greg Coombs

N 26 Santiago
30 @ Western
D 3-8 @ La Quinta Tourn
14 @ Anaheim
17-22 @ Garden Grove Tourn
26-29 Century Tourn
J 05 Estancia
09 @ *Kennedy
11 *Loara
16 @ *El Dorado
18 *Cypress
23 *Katella
25 @ *Loara
30 *Kennedy
F 01 @ *Cypress
06 *El Dorado
08 @ *Katella

Katella--1-9, 12-14 (6th) "Knights"
These are the players we'd expect to see returning:
Mo Nabulsi 5'-9" Sr. G
Robert Alvarez 6'-0" Jr. F
Brett Avery 5'-9" Jr. G
Pat Parker 6'-2" Sr. F
Chris Alva 6'-2" Sr. F
Eric Zinser 6'-5" Sr. C

OC Register update 11/20/01:

Returners:

Chris Alva 6'-3" Sr. F
Robert Alvarez 6'-1" Jr. G
Brett Avery 5'-9" Jr. G 2.3 apg
Pat Parker 6'-1" Sr. G
Eric Zinser 6'-6" Sr. C

Newcomers to watch:

Nick Araiza 5'-9" Sr. F
Jeff Clement 6'-1" Jr. G
Bob Cutler 6'-3" Sr. F
Steve Gaona 5'-8" Sr. G
Keith Smith 5'-11" Sr. G
Austin Tucker 6'-0" Sr. G
Elliott Tucker 6'-2" Jr. F
Andre Weldon 5'-5" Jr. G
Tim Willimas 6'-0" Jr. G

SoCalHoops original 11/4 analysis: Katella graduated 5 seniors, 3 starters from last year's roster.  The Knights entered the 1-A division playoffs last season as a wildcard entry, played Ventura and lost (Ventura went on to lose their first round game to section finalist Corona Centennial, which as we all know, lost to Mater Dei).  Again, we don't have better roster information right now, but rather than delay things, at least we've got an accurate schedule. 

11/20 OC Register outlook: "The Knights have experienced returners and will look to challenge for a playoff berth."

 

Katella
Coach: Sal Glorioso

N-26/D-1 @ Buena Park Tourn
D 05 Sunny Hills
07 Savanna
12 Magnolia
18-22 @ AUHSD Tourn
26-29 Katella Tourn
J 09 *Cypress
11 *Kennedy
16 @ *Loara
18 *El Dorado
23 @ *Century
25 @ *Kennedy
30 @ *Cypress
F 01 @ *El Dorado
06 *Loara
08 *Century

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