CIF-SS Small Enrollment Division
Liberty League 2001-02--(Oct. 6, 2001)
Small enrollment division schools may not feature the same numbers of college prospects as you're likely to find at some of the larger enrollment schools, but that's not always the case. Just look at schools like Verbum Dei, Serra, Santa Clara, and others. But simply sheer numbers of potential college players isn't the only guage of a league's competitiveness. This past season, the Liberty League demonstrated once again that it was one of the most successful small enrollment division leagues in CIF Southern Section, as 6 out of 8 teams qualified for post-season playoff action, and two of those teams, Buckley and Yeshiva both made it to the quarterfinals, and both were also consistently ranked in the top 10 all year among their division opponents. Buckley finished ranked at No. 3 in the SCIBCA poll, and Yeshiva finished at No. 11. The league had four players named to the All-CIF Division V-AA teams, including Buckley's Colin Ward-Henninger and David Gale, who were selected 1st Team, and Yeshiva's Abey Malkin and Oakwood's Nick Mark, selected 2nd Team. This year should be interesting, as some teams rebuild and others continue to exert dominance. Players to watch will be Buckley's David Gale, Tristan Seisa and soph Baron Abdul-Monsour, as well as senior post Alex Marshall.
|Liberty League Rosters||Liberty League Schedules|
The Griffins finished 23-3 overall last season, 12-2 in league and were ranked No. 3 in Southern Section V-AA SCIBCA and SoCalHoops polls, No. 7 in State by Cal-Hi, and finished in the quarterfinals of the CIF V-AA playoffs, losing to Hillcrest Christian Granada Hills by one point at the buzzer. In the last two years, Coach Dan Haasch's teams have won back-to-back league titles with a total overall record during that time of 56-4. While this will be be a rebuilding year, the Griffins still will be among the top 10 teams in their division, returning two-time All-CIF selection David Gale (6'-1" Sr. PG) who averaged 16 ppg, 8 apg, 6 steals, who is receiving attention from a number of Division I schools and had a good showing at the prestigious ABCD Camp. Even with the graduation of 8 seniors, the Griffins will return some very talented players, including strong outside shooters and ballhandlers like Nick Brar (6'-3" Sr. SG), and Tristan Seisa (6'-3" Jr. G/F), a very tough defender and athletic wing who can dunk or hit the mid-range jumper. The Griffins also add athleticism and rebounding with transfer Baron Abdul-Mansour (6'-3" So. G/F), who comes over from Montclair Prep. Others will include Alex Marshall (6'-4" Sr. F), Phil Kim (6'-1" Sr. F/G), Shaun Hillman (5'-11" Sr. G), Daniel Broukhim (6'-2" Sr. G), and newcomer Reilly Scannell (5'-11" Fr. G). The Griffins have been in Division V-AA for the past five years, but with the expected realignment of divisions should be in IV-A in the playoffs this year.
Coach: Dan Haasch
N 28 AGBU
The Providence Pioneers finished 15-8 overall, 11-3 in league, and were eliminated in the first round of playoffs. They graduated 7 seniors, including all five starters, and will largely start from scratch this year. Players expected to return are James Jimenez (5'-6" Sr. G), Harout Messrelian (6'-1" Jr. G) who averaged 5 ppg last year, Edwin Carvajal (6'-2" Sr. C) averaged 3 ppg, Armen Youseffian (5'-11" Jr. G) 2 ppg, Ian Breckenridge-Jackson (6'-2" Jr. F) and Phillip Sison (5'-6" So. G). A very young team, that will depend on fastbreak and outside shooting. Providence was in the small and not especially strong Division IV-A playoffs last season which were easily dominated by Crossroads, but this year, assuming they qualify for playoffs, they will face a much more crowded and difficult IV-AA division with some top teams to contend against, including returning CIF Champion Crespi (which is also rebuilding).
Coach: Paolo Velasco/Robert Mena
N-29/D-1 Providence Tourn
The Yeshiva Panthers finished 16-5 overall, 10-4 in league last year and were ranked consistently in the top 10 in D-VAA poll, ultimately finishing in the quarterfinals of CIF playoffs, losing to section champion, Calvary Chapel Downey by 2 points. The Panthers lost most of their starters to graduation including All-CIF guard Abey Malkin, and other starters like Kenny Pollack and Seth Dorfman, and coach Ed Gelb should be challenged to mold mostly non-starters and new players into competitive group. Yeshiva is always tough, and should compete again for a shot at a league title and a playoff berth. Returning players will include: Isaac Gabbai (6'5 Sr F), Daniel Nagel (5'-9" Sr PG), Danny Glass (6'-0" Sr F), Rafi Ryzman (6'-1" Sr C), Joshua Halle (6'-2" Sr C), Adi Isaacs (5'-8" Jr G), Nadav Geft (5'-10" Jr G), Tamir Akwa (5'-11" Jr F), Mike Pollack (6'-0 Jr G-F), Yossi Tsur (5'-9" Jr G), Alex Fenigstein (5'-8" Jr PG), William Appel (5'-8" Jr G), and Jonathan Stieglitz (6'-1" Jr F). Will not have the height or athleticism of past teams, and will be young. They competed in V-AA in playoffs last year, and depending upon enrollment are anticipated to be moving up to IV-A with the expected realignment.
Coach: Ed Gelb
D 3-5 @ Milken Comm Tourn
The Oakwood Gorrillas finished 15-6 overall, 9-5 in league, one of their best finishes since the 80's when former UCLA and NBA player Mitchell Butler led them to their best years ever. Oakwood hasn't won the league in a long time, but last year made it to the playoffs by upsetting Providence in their final league game (and the loss by Providence also resulted in Buckley winning it's second consecutive league title outright). The Gorrillas lost six seniors out of 10 players, including All-CIF post player Nick Mark (6' 8" F), and starting point guard Eric Noble. The Gorillas will rebuild this year and are expected to return only three varisty players, including Julian Mintz (5'-8" Sr. G), Derek Fetty (6'-0" Jr. G), and Ian Stuart (6'-1" Sr. F). Presently unknown is whether Oakwood's best returning player, Stan Musgrave (6'-3" Sr. F), who tore his ACL and missed most of last season will return, as it was rumored that he was transferring at the end of last year. The Gorrillas will likely struggle a bit and will be very young, but if Musgrave returns could be a factor in the league race. Oakwood previously competed in V-AA for playoffs, but will move to IV-A if the realignments expected occur.
|Did not submit schedule to CIF-SS|
Finished 11-12 overall, 5-9 in league
Coach: Varant Vartabedian
N-28/D-1 @ Bishop
The Windward Wildcats finished 11-13 overall, 5-9 in league, and like the Holy Martyrs Armens, the Wildcats were lucky to make the playoffs by virtue of the "11-win" rule, and were eliminated in the first round. Windward will return most of the team from last season, having graduated just 3 players. Expected to return are Brad Pregerson (5'-10" So. G), Aryan Sarbaz (5'-8" Jr. G) average 10.9 ppg, David Yadegaran (5'-9" Sr. G), Lance Jackson (5'-11" Sr. G), Ben Hagooli (5'-8" Sr. G), Matt Wapnick (56-1" Sr. F), Alex Ben-Bassat (6'-2" Sr. C), and Ethan Emerson (6'-1" Sr. F). Windward was previously a V-AA team, but is expected to be moved into Division IV-A with the realignment of playoff divisions expected to occur this year.
Coach: Ken Asher
N-28/D-1 @ Laguna Blanca
Avalon's Lancers did not qualify for the playoffs last year, finishing 6-16 overall and just 2-12 in league. We just don't know at present who they will return from last season and who is coming up from junior varsity. A virtually unknown quantity.
Coach: Steve Hall
N-28/D-1 @ Borego Springs
The Viewpoint Patriots will be returning second year head coach Greg Patterson, who moved over from his prior co-coaching position at Montclair Prep and had a brand new rude awaking at the Calabasas-based school last year: Finishing in dead last, at 2-12 in league and winning just one non-league game to end a disappointing season at 3-17 overall. The team didn't qualify for playoffs, and we are making no predictions on who is returning and who isn't. One thing is certain: They'll be a year older and more experienced. We'll see if they can turn that into some wins this year.
Coach: Greg Patterson
N-28/D-1 @ Laguna Blanca Tourn
©Copyright SoCal Hoops 1997-2002
All rights reserved