The New Southern California Basketball

CIF-SS Large Enrollment Division Preview:
Sunkist League 2001-02--(Nov. 21, 2001)

Martin Luther King
Norte Vista

We'll be honest:   We don't have a lot of good, solid info on many of the teams in this league, with the exception of Martin Luther King and Kaiser.  But based on wht we do know, the league favorite has to be MLK, which features some of the best players in the Inland Empire area.  And while it was only a partial preview, the LA Times Inland Valley edition also featured a very abbreviated preview of  some (but not all) of the teams in the Sunkist League on Nov. 21, 2001  While it covered some of the girls teams as well, we've editied James Lee's short LA Times' piece to include only the info pertaining to boys' teams like Kaiser (evidently the rest of the teams are considered to be outside the Time's coverage area, and we haven't seen anything yet from the Press Enterprise or the San Bernardino Sun, so this is really all we've got to go with for now other than what we know from last season's rosters and playoff results. Here's some of what the Times had to say:

It only took two seasons for Dick Bruich and Kaiser High's football team to win a league title. The timetable for the Cats to do the same in basketball should be slightly longer. Starting their second varsity season, Kaiser's boys' and girls' teams will be content with making sure they qualify for the playoffs.

* * *

King is also the boys' favorite. The Wolves reached the CIF Southern Section Division 3-AA quarterfinals in their inaugural varsity campaign, losing to San Dimas. All-CIF guard Marvin Lea leads King, which will have to deal with respected competition from Ramona and Norte Vista.

Kaiser boys' coach Steve Hickey said his team deserves to be in that mix, too. The Cats are undersized, but have depth in the backcourt with guards Phil Smith (19 points a game last season) and Steven Williams (11 points, 8 assists). Most of all, Hickey, a former Fontana High standout, knows his team is still maturing, which bodes well for the future.

"This is the third year for all of these guys, and we're starting to grow and understand," Hickey said. "That's been the fortunate thing about this year. Whether we get anything out of it remains to be seen."

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.

Sunkist League Rosters Sunkist League Schedules
King/ Riverside--8-2, 19-6 (1st tie)

Here's the roster for 2001-02 which we received from Coach Sweeney:

Marvin Lea 6’3’’ Sr.
Leon Rosborough 6’5’’ Sr.
Danny Doss 6’5’’ Sr.
Matthew Thomas 6’5 So.
Garrett Hilt 6’4’’ Sr.
Thomas Simms 6’4’’ Sr.
James Ellis 5’10’’ So.
Corey Harley 6’1’’ Sr.
Bret Goodman 6’3’’ Jr.
Dwayne Harris 5’10’’ Jr.
Rory Harley 5’8’’ Sr.
Antonio Peters 6’0’’ Jr.
Evan Palmer 6’1’’ Sr.
Angelo Thomas 6’0’’ Sr.

There are two very good freshman who were not on this roster, but who might be brought up during the playoffs or during the year depending on injuries, etc.:  Andre Borrows  5'11" Fr. G and Ronnie Bowlin  6'1" Fr. G. But for now it appears they will not be with the varsity.

Coach Sweeney also sent us a team profile: "This is our second varsity season. This also is our first senior class. Last years team finished 20-5. We were league champs 8-2 and went to the quarterfinals losing to San Dimas. We return all players on last year’s roster. The team will once again be led by Marvin Lea the second leading scorer in the Inland at 30.6 points a game. Leon Rosborough is also returning with 18.4 ppg. Matthew Thomas a 6’4" sophomore point guard and James Ellis are 2 returning starters. All-league center Danny Doss and transfer Thomas Simms will give the Wolves size and depth. 

"Team strengths are its athleticism, quickness, and overall size. The starting lineup will include only 1 player, Marvin Lea at 6’3, under 6’4’’. The preseason schedule will be very challenging with the Newport Harbour, Murrieta Valley, and Las Vegas Prep classic tournaments. Non-league games against Elsinore, Murrieta Valley, West Valley, and Ocean View will help prepare the team for league. This team had a great summer and beat most top opponents. The sky is the limit for the Wolves. This year we should be no surprise."

Update 11/27/01:   Today's edition of the Riverside Press Enterprise contained the paper's Riverside and San Bernardino region team previews and player profiles written and compiled by PE staff writer Richard Chaplin. The original story can be found at this link, and there's also a separate overview piece too,  but we've excerpted the portion pertaining to King HS:


Coach: Tim Sweeney

2000-01 record: 21-7 (reached Division 3AA quarterfinals)

Outlook: The Wolves return Marvin Lea, who averaged 31.2 points and more than six rebounds a game last season, but have depth as well. Even with two players out (center Danny Doss is recovering from neck strain suffered in a car accident two weeks ago and guard James Ellis will miss two weeks with an ankle sprain), the Wolves should have the bodies to compete well in some tough early-season tournaments.

The overview piece also had the following info:

"King returns Marvin Lea, who averaged 31 points a game last year, tops among returning players.  In summer play, the Wolves lost to Los Angeles Westchester, the top-ranked team in the nation by USA Today, but by only eight points. Lea (6-3, 185 pounds), who also averaged seven rebounds a game, has the power, speed and moves to be almost unstoppable inside the paint. His jump shot had been suspect, but King coach Tim Sweeney said his form has greatly improved from last season.'(Lea) is real athletic and real tenacious going for the ball,' Riverside Poly coach Yancy Dodson said. Defense and team play will be the keys to the Wolves' success this year, Sweeney said.  'I think the biggest change that you will see on our team is defensively,' he said. 'I think one of the reasons we weren't able to get past the (quarterfinals) is that we weren't fundamentally sound on defense. Talentwise, if (the Wolves) are all working towards the same goal, it appears they have the athletes to be a very good team,' Riverside Arlington coach John Seydel said.  'From top to bottom, they are very athletic,' added Dodson. 'It's going to be a matter of chemistry for those guys.' And Sweeney's got a lot of chemicals with which to work. 'Normally, we're a good nine deep,' Sweeney said. Senior forward-center Thomas Sims, a transfer from Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, will start at center in front of the injured Danny Doss. Leon Rosborough, a senior guard, scored 18 points a game last year and is expected to do at least that well this year on a team that Sweeney said will be far more multi-dimensional than last season's."


Martin Luther King
Coach: Tim Sweeney

N 20 West Valley (scrimmage)
N 28 Ocean View @ Glendora
D 3-8 @ Newport Harbor Tourn
11-15 @ Murrieta Valley Tourn
17 @ West Valley
26-29 @ Las Vegas, NV Tourn
J 5 Murrieta Valley
J 09 @ *Ramona
11 *Norte Vista
16 @ *Rubidoux
18 *Kaiser
21 MLK Extravaganza
     @ MLK HS vs. Elsinore 8:00 p.m
23 *Bloomington
25 *Ramona
30 @ *Norte Vista
F 01 *Rubidoux
05 @ *Kaiser
07 @ *Bloomington


Martin Luther King Day Inland Classic
January 21,2002 @ Martin Luther King HS. One-day extravaganza will feature the following teams and games.

2:00 Cathedral City vs. Ramona
3:30 Murrieta Valley vs. Bloominigton
5:00 S.B. Pacific vs. Ayala
6:30 Glendora vs. Temescal Canyon
8:00 King vs. Elsinore

Ramona-- 8-2, 18-10  (1st tie)   "Runnin Rams"

Ramona finished in a tie for first but graduated several seniors. Here's who we anticipate returning for the 2001-02 season:

Johnny Diaz 6'-2" Sr. C/F
Rodney Lewis 5'-9" Sr. G
Melvin Valentine 6'-2" Jr. G
Steven Mosqueda 5'-10" Jr. G
Harvey Ruiz 5'-11" Sr. G
Alberto Lerma 6'-2" Sr. F
Sergie Hinojosa 6'-0" Sr. G
Dennis Cooley 6'-1" Sr. F

The Runnin Rams qualified for the playoffs by virtue of a first place finish in league, entering the II-AA playoffs, but lost in the first round to Elsinore, an at large entry from the Southwestern League.


Coach: Matt Howell

N 27 @ San Gorgonio Tourn
D 4-8 @ Kiwanis Tourn
17 @ La Sierra
18 Paloma Valley
20 @ Arlington
26-29 @ San Bernardino Tourn
J 09 *Martin Luther King
11 @ *Kaiser
16 *Bloomington
18 @ *Rubidoux
21 @ MLK Classic
23 @ *Norte Vista
25 @ *Martin Luther King
30 *Kaiser
F 01 @ *Bloomington
05 *Rubidoux
07 *Norte Vista

Rubidoux--5-5, 17-10 (3rd)

While Rubidoux made the Division I-A playoffs, losing in the first round to Temescal Canyon, unfortunately we don't have a current roster, or even the roster from last season, and thus can't even anticipate who might be returning from a team which won 17 games overall, which is a very respectable record.   We have the schedule, but if anyone has a roster, you are encouraged to send it in.   Thanks.

Coach: Dale Johnson

N-26/D-1 @ Beaumont Tourn
D 03 Santiago
4-8 @ Kiwanis Tourn
11 Colton
14 @ Hemet
19-29 @ West Valley Tourn
J 09 @ *Norte Vista
11 @ *Bloomington
16 *Martin Luther King
18 *Ramona
23 *Kaiser
25 *Norte Vista
30 *Bloomington
F 01 @ Martin Luther King
05 @ *Ramona
07 @ *Kaiser

Norte Vista--4-6, 8-18 (4th) "Braves"

Norte Vista graduated 9 seniors from an 11 man roster, and will be starting over after finishing 4th in league, so there's a bit of good news-bad news here.  The two players slated to return are:

Wayne Pettigen 6'-0" Sr. F
Lawrence Rene 6'-4" Sr. C

Beyond that, we don't know anything else yet.  The schedule is at the right.

Norte Vista
Coach: Robert Morrow

N-27/D-1 Norte Vista Tourn
D 6-8 @ Woodcrest Chr Tourn
10 @ La Sierra
17 @ Poly/R
19 Corona
26-29 @ Estancia Tourn
J 09 *Rubidoux
11 @ *Martin Luther King
16 @ *Kaiser
18 *Bloomington
23 *Ramona
25 @ *Rubidoux
30 * Martin Luther King
F 01 *Kaiser
05 @ *Bloomington
07 @ *Ramona

Kaiser--3-7, 10-16 (5th) "Cats"

Kaiser didn't make the playoffs, and as a result, we have no old roster info to go from, but here's what the LA Times' had to say in their Sunkist League preview:

Coach: Steve Hickey (second year at Kaiser, second year overall)

Top returners:
*Phil Smith (6-1, G, Sr.)
*Steven Williams (5-10, G, Sr.)
*Gianni Williams (6-3, F, Jr.)
*James Fajarda (6-1, G/F, Jr.)
Chris Davidson (6-1, G/F Jr.)

Top newcomer:
Alphonso White (6-5, F, Sr.)

"Outlook: The Cats got their first taste of varsity competition last season and didn't fare badly, leading in a number of games before faltering. Hickey hopes those lessons carry over serve as inspiration this season. At the very least, he has an experienced group to work with, starting with Smith who averaged 19 points. A potential problem is size, since White is the tallest player. A serious playoff run is expected to be a year away, but Kaiser may exceed expectations."


Coach: Steven Hickey

N 27 San Gorgonio Tourn
D 4-8 @ Kiwanis Tourn
10 @ Garey
13 Rim of the World
17 @ Yuciapa
19 Colton
26-29 @ San Bernardino Tourn
J 09 @ *Bloomington
11 *Ramona
16 *Norte Vista
18 @ *Martin Luther King
23 @ *Rubidoux
25 *Bloomington
30 @ *Ramona
F 01 @ *Norte Vista
05 *Martin Luther King
07 *Rubidoux

Bloomington--2-8, 3-19 (6th)

Bloomington finished last in league and didn't make the playoffs, so like Kaiser, we have no roster info to work from .  We have a schedule but that's about it for now.

Coach: Gregory Hunter

N-26/D-1 @ Beaumont Tourn
D 04 Yucaipa
05 Rim of the World
07 Chaffey
12 Colton
19 @ West Valley Tourn
J 09 *Kaiser
11 *Rubidoux
16 @ *Ramona
18 @ *Norte Vista
21 @ MLK Tourn
23 @ *Martin Luther King
25 @ *Kaiser
30 @ *Rubidoux
F 01 *Ramona
05 *Norte Vista
07 *Martin Luther King

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