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CIF-SS Large Enrollment Division Preview:
Pacific League 2001-02--(Nov. 25, 2001)

PACIFIC LEAGUE
Arcadia
Crescenta Valley
Glendale
Hoover
Muir
Pasadena

The Pacific League  covers the half of the San Gabriel Valley and Pasadena area not covered by the Rio Hondo League, and it's always competitive.  This year, Muir will be the favorite and it will be a battle to catch the Mustangs for the league's two other best teams, Crescenta Valley and Pasadena.  We don't see either Glendale, hoover, or Arcadia presenting a serious challenge, so the battle there will be to secure a post-season playoff spot.   The league features several Division I-calibre athletes, including several from Muir, led by Saint Louis University-signee Ryan Hollins.  Chris Tarne and Jimmy Goffredo at Crescenta Valley may be the smartest athletes and will also present the biggest perimeter threats in the league, while Pasadena will be led by a plethora of excellent guards including Dino Wilburn, Duwan Rice, Jesse Banks, Terron Redmond, and Travis Bean.

What follows is what we know about the teams thus far this season, which in some cases is a lot, and in others, it 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 and they have been provided by the CIF-SS office. 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.

Update 11/27/01:    The Pasadena Star News featured a preview of the Pacific League in today's edition (it's online at their great new "Prep Sports" website, and in the preview, local sportswriter Keven Chavez gave a rundown of every team in the league.  Here's an excerpt from the article, giving his overview of the league:

"Crescenta Valley High School was the consensus pick to win the Pacific League boys basketball title last season. Yet, Muir ended up taking the crown. This season, the consensus says Muir will repeat as champions, but Pasadena plans to prove everyone wrong again. The Bulldogs are on a mission to remind people that there are more than just two powerhouses in the Pacific League. "I think we're underestimated by everyone and don't get the respect we deserve," Pasadena coach Tim Tucker said. "We're out to gain respect." Respect comes from victories and the Bulldogs feature some of the league's most talented players who should keep them in every league contest. Guard Dino Wilburn is a two-time all-area selection and averaged 22 points and six rebounds last season. "Dino is one of the better guards in Southern California and doesn't get the recognition he deserves," Tucker said. "I never seen anyone stop him and he doesn't get mentioned with the elite group that he should be." Pasadena finished in third place last season but had a good run in the CIF-Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs and advanced to the quarterfinals. Pasadena plays its typical tough schedule. The Bulldogs face Dorsey, Fairfax and Compton Dominguez in the first two weeks alone. "It's a monster schedule," Tucker said. "But I'm not out to finish 25-1. If you're the best and say you're the best, then play the best."  Crescenta Valley has a new coach (Adam Jacobsen) and lost the league co-MVP (James Jenkins) but still has some of the best guards (Jimmy Goffredo, Chris Tarne) around. Arcadia could push its way into the top three and Glendale and Hoover figure to be somewhat stronger."

Pacific League Rosters Pacific League Schedules
Muir--10-0, 24-2 (1st) "Mustangs"

Muir was a Division II-A semifinalist last year,  drawing a first round bye as the No. 3 seed in the bracket.  In the second round, the Mustangs defeated Apple Valley, then advanced to the quarterfinals where they beat long-time section power Artesia.  Muir then faced Redondo, and simply didn't have enough, falling to the eventual Section Champs.

The Mustangs graduated 7 seniors, including three starters (talented point guard Horace Wormley, now at Pasadena City College, Brandon Willis, and Joseph Frazier, who is now playing at CSUN).  They return two starters, Seth Davis, a tough 6'-6" Sr. F, and Jamaal Hall a 6'-3" combo guard, and you can also look for Saint Louis (D-I) signee Ryan Hollins to join the starting lineup this season.  Muir also has some football talent on their basketball team, including quarterback Ryan O'Hara who could be a two-sport athlete in college as well, having committed to Arizona where he will play quarterback. He's an excellent rebounder and has a nice shot out to about 16' but is especially effective inside. We don't have a complete roster, but based on what we do know, here's who is returning for the 2001-02 season: 

Patrick Fuller 5'-10" So. G
Chris Dickson 5'-10" Sr. G
Anthony Jackson 65'-2" Sr. G
Ryan Hollins 6'-1`0' Sr. C (Saint Louis signee)
Jamaal Hall 6'-3" Sr. G
Devon Thomas 6'-2" Jr. G
Seth Davis 6'-6" Sr. F
Owen Duckworth 6'-3" Jr. G
Ryan O'Hara 6'-7" Sr. F

Updated 11/27/01:   Thanks to Keven Chavez from the Pasadena Star News, we now have another preview available to draw info from.  Here's what the PSN reported:

Muir Mustangs
Head coach: Don Grant
Tenure: Fifth year Record at school: 100-20

Top returnees:
Jamaal Hall (Sr. 6-3 G)
Ryan Hollins (Sr. 6-10 C)
Devon Thomas (Jr. 6-2 G)
Seth Davis (Sr. 6-7 F)

Top newcomers:
Owen Duckworth (Jr. 6-4 F)
Patrick Fuller (So. 5-11 G).

Strengths:
Muir's interior size should be difficult for most opponents to match. Hollins and Davis give the 'Stangs one of their most talented frontcourts in years. That factor alongside Muir's perennial quickness should create some solid balance on offense and defense. Hall should provide some reliable outside shooting.

Concerns:
Muir lost the heart and soul of last year's team with the graduation of seniors Joseph Frazier, Horace Wormely, and Brandon Willis. Someone will have to step up and take Frazier's role of defensive stopper, Wormely's skills as floor general, and Willis' leadership role.

Bottom line:
Muir was the area's best team last season and surprised some outsiders by making it all the way back to the CIF-SS Division II-A semifinals. This year's group may not be much better than last year's in terms of talent. But last year's team had a glaring weakness in the perimeter, and there is no such hole in this group. The league and division are among some of the toughest around, but Muir should be able to hang with the big boys and could be playing late into March.

 

Muir
Coach: Don Grant

N 28 Verbum Dei
D 4-8 @ Los Alamitos Tourn
14 @ Compton (@Westchester)
15-22
@ La Canada Tourn
26-29 @ Brea Olinda Tourn
J 08 @ *Hoover
11 @ *Arcadia
15 @ *Glendale
18 *Pasadena
19 @ TBA (@ PCC)
22 *Crescenta Valley
25 *Arcadia
29 *Hoover
F 01 @ *Crescenta Valley
05 *Glendale
07 @ *Pasadena

Crescenta Valley-- 8-2, 21-7 (2nd)  "Falcons

Crescenta Valley gets a new coach and a new look, shorter and faster, and the Falcons won't be as deep or nearly as tall as they've been the past few years without the inside presence of James Jenkins (6'-7" F) who graduated in June and is currently on the roster at San Jose State.  Based on what we know about the returners, here's who is coming back:

Justin Tagawa 5'-7" Sr. G
Jimmy Goffredo 6'-1" Jr. G
Chris Trarne 6'-1" Sr. G
Brian Kang 6'-5" Sr. F/C
Chris Luansing 6'-0" Sr. G
Brendan Couper 5'-11" Sr. G

This is still a very talented nucleus, and with Chris Tarne and Jimmy Goffredo, two players with D-I potential, this team will still challenge for a league title, but it will be tough knocking off a deeper and taller Muir squad.

The LA Times' Glendale-La Canada edition also featured some short capsules of a few teams in the region this past Friday (11/23/01) and here's some of what the Times had to say:

Coach: Adam Jacobsen, first year.
League: Pacific.

Last Season: 21-7, 8-2 in league for second place. Lost in second round of CIF Southern Section Division IAA playoffs to J.W. North, 78-69.

Players to watch:
Jimmy Goffredo 6'-0" Jr. SG
Chris Tarne, 6'-1" Sr. PG
Brendan Couper 5'-11" Sr. G/F
Brian Kang 6'-5" Sr. C

Jacobsen's quote: "Tarne and Goffredo are our main guys, but the key for us will be our inside/outside production. We need Kang to really step in the low post."

LA Times local sportswriter Hamlet Nalbandyan, who covers the La Canada-Crescenta Valley region, had this to say about the Falcons:

"Goffredo and Tarne lead the area's next best team [in the opinion of the Times, that was La Canada], Crescenta Valley. With new Coach Adam Jacobsen at the helm and a new gym, it should be exciting in Falcon land. The duo of Tarne and Goffredo could average 20 points a game this season, but if CV doesn't get any inside help -- speaking primarily of 6-6 center Brian Kang -- the Falcons will do no better than a second-place finish in the Pacific League."

And don't look now, because while the Falcons might have trouble with Muir, those footsteps they'll be hearing behind them will be the Pasadena Bulldogs, also a very talented team this year.

 

Crescenta Valley
Coach: Adam Jacobsen

N-27/D-1 @ Saugus Tourn
D 04 Victor Valley
11-14 @ Crescenta Vly Tourn
17 @ Burroughs
21 @ Saugus
J 02 Hart
08 @ *Pasadena
11 *Glendale
14 *hoover
18 *Arcadia
22 @ *Muir
25 @ *Glendale
29 *Pasadena
F 01 *Muir
05 @ *Hoover
07 @ *Arcadia

Pasadena-- 5-5, 12-13   (3rd)  "Bulldogs"

Tim Tucker returns a senior-laden and very talented squad

Despite only a third place league finish, the Bulldogas were a talented team which qualified for the II-AA playoffs last season, and they beat some quality teams.  Pasadena beat Agoura (Marmonte #2) in the first round, then beat Laguna Hills in the second round, finally drawing an ironic game against former Bulldog Doug Thomas who transferred to Inglewood at the beginning of the 2000-01 season, and Pasadena fell to the eventual section finalist (Inglewood lost to Section champs and three-time State Champs Dominguez).  We haven't seen a complete roster for this season's (2001-02) team, but here's who we expect to see on the team:

Dwuan Rice 5'-9" Sr. G
Jesse Banks 6'-3" Jr. G
Dino Wilburn 6'-3" Sr. G
Terron Redmond 6'-4" Sr. F
Imani Leonard 6'-4" Sr. F
Mark Pugh 6'-2" Sr. G
MacKenzie Clark 6'-7" Sr. F/C
Jame Avery 6'-5 sr. C
Greg Finey 6'-1" Jr. G
Travis Bean 6'-3" Sr. F

Pasadena has scheduled an aggressive set of games, and they'll be appearing in the 1st Annual Westchester Tournament starting next week, as well as the McDonald's Invitational games over the MLK weekend.

Updated 11/27/01:   Thanks to Keven Chavez from the Pasadena Star News, we now have another preview available to draw info from.  Here's what the PSN reported:

Pasadena Bulldogs
Head coach: Tim Tucker Tenure: Seventh year

Top returnees:
Dino Wilburn (Sr. 6-3 G)
Duwan Rice (Sr. 5-8 G)
Mackenzie Clark (Sr. 6-7 C)
Imani Leonard (Sr. 6-4 F)
Terron Redmond (Sr. 6-4 F)

Top newcomers:
Anthony Phillips (Jr. 6-2 G)
Brandon Sweeney (Jr. G).

Strengths:
Pasadena's three returning starters will match up well with just about any opponent. Wilburn can score from anywhere on the court and will gain a lot of attention from opposing defenses. Clark gives the Bulldogs a serious shot blocking and rebounding threat. Rice is a pesky defender and solid ball handler.

Concerns:
A brutal schedule is almost certain to put a dent in Pasadena's overall record, just as it did last year. The team will need someone to step up as a consistent scoring threat alongside Wilburn and as a team leader.

Bottom line:
Pasadena will not have the area's best record, but by the end of the year the Bulldogs just might have the best team. They are a team that is easily overlooked for several reasons. They play a lot of nonleague games out of the area, including tournaments in Santa Barbara, Westchester and Upland. They haven't had a high-profile Division I prospect in a couple years and, like their top player, compete with a quiet kind of intensity. Muir and Crescenta Valley may get the most headlines early, but it wouldn't be a shocker if PHS grabs the biggest one late with a Pacific League championship.

 

Pasadena
Coach: Tim Tucker

N 26 Dorsey
D 3-8 @ Westchester Tourn
11-15 @ Upland Tourn
17 Canyon Springs
26-29 @ Santa Barbara Tourn
J 08 *Crescenta Valley
11 *Hoover
15 @ *Arcadia
18 @ *Muir
19 @ McDonalds Invitational
22 @ *Glendale
25 @ *Hoover
29 @ *Crescenta Valley
F 01 *Glendale
06 *Arcadia
07 *Muir

Hoover--3-7, 10-14 (4th) "Tornados"]

Hoover didn't make the playoffs, and as a result, we have very little info on them other than what we know from last year's roster and what the LA Times published this past Friday 11/23/01 in their short capsule on teams in the Glendale-La Canada region.  We believe that the following guys will be returning:

Armen Bagdasarian  5'-11" Jr. G
Haik Stepanyan  5'-10" Sr. F
Chris Rivera  6'-0" Jr. F
Lonnie Abernathy  6'-1" Sr. F

The Times evidently agrees on three of the four.   Here's what they had: 

Coach: Kirt Kohlmeier, 22nd year.
League: Pacific.
Last Season: 10-14, 3-7 in league for fourth place.
Did not qualify for playoffs.

Players to watch:
Armen Baghdasarian, junior, guard;
Haik Stepanyan, senior, guard;
Chris Rivera, junior, forward.

Kohlmeier's quote: "We went 20-8 in the summer, so hopefully that will carry over."

 

Hoover
Coach: Kirt Kohlmeier

N 28-30 Hoover Tourn
D 4-8 Fullerton Tourn
05 @ Burbank
11 Burroughs
14 South Pasadena
26-29 @ Estancia Tourn
J 04 @ Alhambra
08 *Muir
11 @ *Pasadena
14 @ *Crescenta Valley
18 *Glendale
22 @ *Arcadia
25 *Pasadena
29 @ *Muir
F 01 *Arcadia
05 *Crescenta Valley
07 @ *Glendale

Arcadia --2-8, 13-13 (5th tie) "Apaches"

Arcadia qualified for the playoffs last year as an "at-large" entry under the 11-win rule, and were placed in the Division I-AAA bracket, pulling Canyon Springs in the first round, where the the Apaches promptly lost by 30 points, 71-41.  We're not sure exactly who is going to return and who is coming up from the jv team, but here's who we think will be returning from last year's playoff roster:

Brent Dohling  5'-10" Sr. G
Aaron Anderson  6'-2" Sr. F
Ryan Newton   6'-0" Sr. G
Donte Owens  6'-4" Sr. F
David Gaulton  6'-2" Sr. F
Chris Handy  6'-0" Sr. G

Updated 11/27/01:   Thanks to Keven Chavez from the Pasadena Star News, we now have another preview available to draw info from.  Here's what the PSN reported:

Arcadia Apaches
Head coach: Darvin Jackson
Tenure: Second year Record at school: 13-14

Top returnees:
Brent Dohling (Sr. 5-11 G)
Donte Owens (Sr. 6-4 F)
Aaron Anderson (Sr. 6-4 C)
Chris Handy (Sr. 6-1 G).

Top newcomers:
Tony Larkins (Jr 6-0 G)
David Gaulton (Sr. 6-4 F)
Scott Buzin (Sr. 6-1 G).

Strengths:
Arcadia's outside shooting, led by Dohling, should keep the Apaches in most games. Owens is a solid second scoring option from mid-range. Eleven of 14 players on the rosters are seniors and should provide plenty of veteran leadership.

Concerns:
No player taller than 6-4. The Apaches will have trouble matching up with Muir, Arcadia and Crescenta Valley inside. They also may not have the horses to keep up 32 minutes against a faster team. Team needs to keep winning attitude, even though the school hasn't won a league title since before any of its players were born.

Bottom line: Arcadia will be hard-pressed to crack the upper half of the Pacific League. But the Apaches are also no longer pushovers and could come up and bite an unsuspecting opponent. The Apaches may live and die with the 3-pointer and Dohling's 35 percent ratio from long range will certainly help. Even though they may take their lumps during league, Arcadia is perfectly capable of playing with the area's better teams and Jackson is a skilled and charismatic coach who should lead his group back to the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

 

Arcadia
Coach: Darvin Jackson

N 28 @ Maranatha
30 @ Bassett
D 3-8 @ Arroyo Tourn
11-15 @ Alhambra Tourn
19 @ La Salle
26-29 @ San Gabriel Tourn
J 04 Campbell Hall
08 @ *Glendale
11 *Muir
15 *Pasadena
18 @ Crescenta Valley
22 *Hoover
25 @ *Muir
29 *Glendale
F 01 @ *Hoover
05 @ *Pasadena
07 *Crescenta Valley

Glendale--2-8, 10-16 (5th tie) Nitros/Dynamiters

Glendale didn't qualify for the playoffs last season, but the LA Times on Friday, Nov. 23, 2001 did publish a series of small preview capsules on some of the teams in the Glendale, Verdugo Hills, La Canada area.  Here's what the Times' said about Glendale:

Coach: Steve Snodgress, sixth year.
League: Pacific.
Last Season: 10-16, 2-8 in league for sixth place.
Did not qualify for playoffs.

Players to watch:
Hugo Guerrero, senior, forward;
Riley Van Patten, senior, guard;
Isa Hall, senior, center.

Snodgress's quote: "This is the first time in a long time that I could really pencil in my starting five."

Er, um, based upon the LA Times' preview, the Nitros are two players short then. . . .  Hopefully we'll get some more complete info from someone who knows so we can update the Times' short preview.

 

Glendale
Coach: Steve Snodgress

N-28/D-1 @ Saugus Tourn
D 12 Saugus
14 @ Burroughs/B
17-22 @ La Canada Tourn
26-29 @ Hart Tourn
J 02 @ Mark Keppel
04 @ La Canada
08 *Arcadia
11 @ *Crescenta Valley
15 *Muir
18 @ *Hoover
22 *Pasadena
25 *Crescenta Valley
29 @ *Arcadia
F 01 @ *South Pasadena
05 @ *Muir
07 *Hoover

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