The New Southern California Basketball

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

Corona del Mar
Costa Mesa
Laguna Beach


We've included this preview among the "small enrollment" principally because even though there are one or two Division I teams, most of the league is in Division III (Northwood has been in IV-AA but will move up this year due to large enrollment increases).    The Pacific Coast League  is one of those leagues that we just don't get to see a lot of during the season because they're so far south in OC, so we usually wait until the playoffs to get a really good look at these teams.  As a result, other than some information we had from last year's playoffs, we thought we'd wait until the LA Times and the OC Register put some information out on the league and the teams in it, and now that we've got some more solid info, we'll pass it along.    The OC Register's league preview was the most complete, and the coaches in the league also voted on the predicted order of finish for the 2001-02 season:  1.  Northwood, 2. University, 3 Costa Mesa, 4. Estancia, 5. Corona del Mar, 6. Laguna Beach.

University won tied for the league title last season with Costa Mesa, but as you'll see below, the Mustangs graduated 6 seniors from a 14 man roster, but Uni graduated 11 seniors, including 4 starters, so we're a bit surprised that they were picked to finish as high as second, but maybe the coaches in the league know a lot more (obviously) than we do.... Northwood finished 3rd, but returns everyone and will have their first ever group of seniors and as a result of their rising enrollment now that they have a full complement of students, they should move up a whole division for the playoffs.  Last year, CDM, Estancia and Laguna Beach brought up the rear, and they are again expected to do the same, but each hopes to contend for a playoff spot.

What follows is what we know about the teams thus far this season, which means we're either looking at old rosters or at the OC Register and LA Times previews,  and in some cases are left to predict who will be returning and which younger players will be stepping up based on last year's rosters.   The schedules are accurate as far as we know, having come from 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 as the season progresses.

Pacific Coast League Rosters Pacific Coast  League Schedules
University--7-3, 16-11 (1st tie) "Trojans"

University graduated 11 seniors including four starters, but they are still predicted by the coaches in the league (according to the Register) to finish second.  Mike Dineen is in his 12 year, and has compiled a 135-148 record, finishing 16-11 last year and 7-3 in league.   The Trojans made it to the Division I-AA playoffs, beating Palmdale (winner of a wild card game) in the first round and then lost to Murrieta Valley int he second round.   Based on last year's playoff roster, these are the players who should return:

Greg Asnon 6'-0" Sr. F
David Feistel 5'-10" Sr. G
Bobby Gomez 6'-0" Sr. G
Jon Asnon 5'-10" So. G
Ruben Boykins 6'-5" Jr. F

Updated 11/25/01:   The Orange County Register published their Pacific Coast League preview today.  Here's the information from that preview:

Coach: Mike Dineen (12th year, 135-148)
2000-01 records, league finish: 16-11, 7-3 (1st tie)

Greg Asnon 6'-0" Sr. F (8 ppg, 6 rpg)
David Feistel 5'-10" Sr. G (6 ppg, 4 apg)
Bobby Gomez 6'-0" Sr. G (5 ppg)

Newcomers to watch:

Jon Asnon  6'-1" So. G  (JV Co-MVP)
AJ Moskus 6'-2" So. F (JV Co-MVP)
Matt Nobe 5'-7" Sr. G
Nick Guyette 5'-10" Jr. G
Max Whelihan 6'-3" Jr. G
Justin Manafian 6'-1" Sr. G
Charles Valentine 6'-2" So. F
Kevin Rahani 6'-4" Jr. F
Matt Barley 6'-0" Jr. G

Outlook:  The Trojans broke the CIF-SS record with 303 three pointers made last year.  They won't be that good this season, but outside shooting is still a strength.  The Trojans will push Northwood in the league title race.


Coach: Mike Dinneen

N 30 @ St Paul
D 3-8 @ La Quinta Tourn
12 @ Pioneer
14 @ Woodbridge
18-22 @ Irvine World News Tourn
@ Marin Catholic Tourn
J 04 @ Irvine
09 *Costa Mesa
11 *Laguna Beach
16 @ *Corona del Mar
18 @ *Northwood
23 *Estancia
25 @ *Costa Mesa
30 @ *Laguna Beach
F 01 *Corona del Mar
05 *Northwood
07 @ *Estancia

Costa Mesa--7-3, 17-9 (1st tie) "Mustangs"

Last year the Mustangs tied for a league title and qualified for the III-AA playoffs, where they got a bye in the first round and then met the winner of the La Canada v. Covina game, and lost to La Canada in the second round (LC lost in the next round to Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, which in turn lost in the semifinals to two-time Section and State D-III champs Bishop Montgomery).   

The Mustangs graduated 6 seniors from 14 man playoff roster, and despite never winning a playoff game yet in school history, they hope to defend their league title with the following players:

David Conte 5-10 Sr. PG *
Freddy Rodriguez 6-1 Sr. G
Danny Krikorian 6-0 Jr. G *
Justin Rowe 5-11 Sr. G
Jeremy Ball 5-9 Sr. G
Dean Kohara 5-10 Sr. G
Dan Trinh 5-8 Sr. G *
Chad Vakili 5-11 Sr. G *
Nolan Clark 5-10 Sr. G/F
Carlos Jaime 6-1 Sr. F
Jordan Stroman 6-3 So. F
Jason Millward 6-3 Sr. F *

The LA Times ran a preview of Costa Mesa written by staff writer Barry Faulkner, on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2001.  Here's an excerpt:

If the CIF Southern Section had a 6-foot-and-under league, the Costa Mesa High boys basketball team might very well be the favorite.

As it is, Coach Bob Serven's Mustangs have no shortage of talented perimeter players as they attempt to follow up the program's watershed season.

"We're going to try to build on last year," said Serven, who guided Mesa to a share of the 2001 Pacific Coast League title, the school's first league crown in its 41 varsity campaigns. The Mustangs have gone 17-10 the last two years under Serven, whose arrival brought a crisp halt to the school's 16-year streak without a winning season.

"Our goal is to try to defend our league championship (shared with University)," Serven said. "That has to be our goal."

Senior guards David Conte and Chad Vakili, who both started last season, lead a nucleus of returners that also includes senior Nolan Clark, junior Danny Krikorian and senior Jason Millward.

The 5-10 Conte committed early to Cal State Los Angeles and Serven believes he will be one of the top point guards in Orange County. "He's a good passer, a good floor leader and he can score," Serven said of the first-team All-PCL and All-Newport-Mesa District performer, who averaged 12.2 points, 5.8 assists and drained 49 three-pointers as a junior. "He's also a good defender and he has a good basketball IQ."

The 5-11 Vakili, whose 52 three-pointers were second only to senior Steve Whittaker's 80 last season (the sank 242 from beyond the arc),
averaged 10.9 points as a junior. "Chad has really worked hard on his game," Serven said. "His medium-range jumper and his ball handling have improved and he is another guy with a high basketball IQ."

Clark (5.6 ppg last year) and Krikorian (3.9 ppg) will help fill the perimeter void left by the graduation of Whittaker, now coaching Mesa's freshman team.

Filling the sizable shoes of 6-7 center Mike Payne, however, is a bit more problematic. Payne averaged 10.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and four blocks en route to all-district and second-team all-league honors last year. But Serven believes Millward, and fellow 6-3 senior Carlos Jaime, up from the junior varsity, will contribute their fair share in the paint. "We need those guys to rebound and be efficient for us," Serven said.

Jordan Stroman, a 6-3 sophomore up from the freshman team, is another option inside, though Serven also likes his potential as a perimeter player. Senior Estancia transfer Freddy Rodriguez, a 6-1 guard, should also help out, though Serven said a nagging hamstring injury sustained in football, as well as his inability to work with his new teammates during the 11-game football season, could postpone Rodriguez's ascent in the rotation. "I'm not counting on him until around Christmas," Serven said.

Senior guards Jeremy Ball, Dean Kohara, Justin Rowe and Dan Trinh are all four-year members of the program, who have shown they will push their teammates by working hard in practice, Serven said. Serven identified defense and rebounding as the keys to this year's success, since he is not worried about offensive production.  "Our players are very complementary to each other and nobody is worried about how many points they get," Serven said. "And these guys are all very,
very coachable."

In his continuing commitment to build a program worthy of respect, Serven scheduled Mater Dei for a Dec. 7 nonleague home game. The Mustangs, who open Monday at 6 p.m. against Servite in the first round of the Taco Company Tournament at Loara High, will also face the Friars in the Nike Extravaganza, scheduled Feb. 2 at the Long Beach State Pyramid. Serven believes Northwood, led by former Estancia High and Orange Coast College head man Tim O'Brien, is the favorite in the PCL. Also on the Mustangs' list of goals is to record the school's first win in the CIF playoffs. "My main goal is that we go out and play hard every night," Serven said. "If we play hard every night, the other things will take care of themselves."

Updated 11/25/01:   The Orange County Register published their Pacific Coast League preview today.  Here's the information from that preview:

Coach:  Bob Serven (3rd year, 34-20)
2000-01 records, league finish:  17-10, 7-3 (1st tie)

David Conte 5'-10" Sr. G (12 ppg)
Nolan Clark 5'-9" Sr. G (6 ppg)
Chad Vakili 5'-11" Sr. G (11 ppg)
Danny Krikorian 6'-0" Jr. G (4 ppg)
Jason Millward 6'-3" Sr. F

Newcomers to watch:
Carlos Jaime 6'-1" Sr. F
Freddie Rodriguez 6'-1" Sr. G
Jeremy Ball 5'-9" Sr. G
Jordan Stroman 6'-3" So. F

Outlook:  The Mustangs' senior-laden team will contend for an automatic playoff berth and hopes to be in the hunt for the league title.


Costa Mesa
Coach: Bob Serven

N-26/D-1 @ Loara Tourn
D 07 Mater Dei
10-15 @ Sonora Tourn
19 Saddleback
26-29 @ Chapman Tourn
J 03 @ Orange
09 @ *University
11 *Northwood
16 @ *Estancia
18 @ *Corona del Mar
23 *Laguna Beach
25 *University
30 @ *Northwood
F 01 *Estancia
02 @ *Servite
05 *Corona del Mar
07 @ *Laguna Beach

Northwood--6-4, 19-7 (3rd)  "Timberwolves"

Northwood returns everyone from last year's team and that fact alone has caused other coaches in the league to fear them and to predict a No. 1 finish for the Timberwolves this year.  This will be the first season that Northwood, a new high school in the Irvine area, will have a full enrollment, from freshmen to seniors, so look for them to move up to either Division III or II.  Last year Northwood competed post-season in the Division IV-AA bracket, making it to the semifinals where they lost to Section runner-up St. Paul (which lost to Crespi in the Section finals).

The roster will include the following guys (based on last year's playoff roster):

Matt Susson  5'-10" Sr. G
Bryan Sentrott 6'-0" Sr. F
Drew Howard  5'-10" Jr. G
Adam Roggero  6'-1" Sr. F
Drew Terry 6'-4" Jr. F
Shawn Bailey  6'-1" Jr. G
Scott Sanchez  5'-8" Sr. G
Wei-En Lee  6'-0" Sr. F
Brian Sipkovich   6'-1" Sr. F
Tom Gray 6'-5" Sr. C
Rob Selway  6'-5" Jr. C
Mike Delong  6'-2" Jr. F

Our view is that this is a pretty talented group. Matt Susson has developed into a solid point, and Drew Terry is a threat both inside and outside.

Updated 11/25/01:   The Orange County Register published their Pacific Coast League preview today.  Here's the information from that preview:

Coach:  Tim O'Brien (2nd year, 21-8)
2000-01 records, league finish:  21-8, 6-4 (3rd)


Matt Susson 5'-10" Sr. G
Bryan Bentrott 6'-0" Sr. C
Adam Rogger 6'-3" Sr. F
Drew Terry 6'-4" Jr. F (20.9 ppg)
Shawn Bailey 6'-2" Jr. G
Wei-En Lee 6'-1" Sr. G
Scott Sanchez 5'-9" Sr. G
Tom Gray 6'-5" Sr. C

Newcomers to watch:

Dan Selway 5'-11" Fr. G
Larry Krahelski 5'-10" Sr. G
Steve Lucas 6'-3" Sr. F
Nick Galloway 5'-8" Sr. G
John Chrispens 6'-5" Jr. F
Rob Selway 6'-6" Jr. F

Outlook:  The T-Wolves return everyone from last year's 21-8 team and are picked to win the league title this year by the other coaches in the league.


Coach: Tim OBrien

N-26/D-1 @ La Habra Tourn
D 07 @ Laguna Hills
11 Aliso Niguel
14 @ *Trabuco Hills
18-22 @ Irvine World News Tourn
@ Hawaii Tourn
J 09 *Estancia
11 @ *Costa Mesa
12 @ Woodbridge
16 @ *Laguna Beach
18 *University
23 *Corona del Mar
25 @ *Estancia
30 *Costa Mesa
F 01 *Laguna Beach
05 @ *University
07 @ *Corona del Mar

Corona Del Mar--5-5, 12-17 (4th) "Sea Kings"

The Sea Kings qualified for a playoff spot, getting an at-large berth in the III-AA bracket.  In the first round they beat Gabrielino the No. 2 team from the Mission Valley League and then lost to San Dimas in the second round.   CDM graduated 9 seniors from a 14 man roster, so they will be largely rebuilding based on the playoff roster from 2000-01, here's who should return:

Luis Jajar 5'-10" Sr. F
Brett Matsen 5'-10" Jr. F
Kevin Mancillas 5'-11" Jr. G
Eric Glass 6'-1" Sr. G
Patrick Libuda 6'-3" Sr. C

Updated 11/25/01:   The Orange County Register published their Pacific Coast League preview today.  Here's the information from that preview:

Coach:  Ryan Curry (1st year)
2000-01 records, league finish: 12-17, 5-5 (4th, tie)

Eric Glass 6'-2" Sr. F
Kevin Mancillas 6'-1" Jr. G

Newcomers to watch:

Pancho Seaborn 6'-3" So. G--Mater Dei transfer
Brett Matsen 5'-11" Jr. G (JV scoring leader)
Jay Northridge 5'-8" So. PG
Ryan Inman 6'-3" Sr. F
Bart Welch 6'-0" Jr. G
Brandon Sherick-Odom 6'-2" Jr. F
Sean Hildebrandt 6'-3" Sr. F
Sean Soans 6'-0" So. G
Justin Wald 6'-0" Sr. C
Luis Najar 5'-9" Sr. PG

Outlook:  The Sea Kings have good perimeter shooters and are working on establishing a low-post game and defensive presence.   Curry, who led Nevada Union of Grass Valley to a 26-6 record and the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals last year, said CDM will be competitive.


Corona del Mar
Coach: Ryan Curry

N 29 @ Newport Harbor
D 3-8 @ La Quinta Tourn
10-15 @ Sonora Tourn
19 Laguna Hills
21 Fallbrook
26-20 @ Estancia Tourn
J 02 @ El Monte
09 *Laguna Beach
11 @ *Estancia
16 *University
18 *Costa Mesa
23 @ *Northwood
25 @ *Laguna Beach
30 *Estancia
F 01 @ *University
05 @ *Costa Mesa
07 *Northwood

Estancia--5-5, 10-15 (4th tie) "Eagles"

Estancia didn't qualify for the playoffs last season, failing to get that 11th win which would have allowed them to contend for a wild-card spot.  The Eagles though did submit a playoff roster and based thereon, it looks like they graduated 7 seniors from an 11 man roster.   These are the guys who should be returning, barring transfers:

Freddy Rodriguez 6'-1" Sr. G
Matt Cachola 5'-109" Jr. G
Micah Young 6'-2" Sr. F
Jorge Prado 5'-9" Sr. G

Updated 11/25/01:   The Orange County Register published their Pacific Coast League preview today.  Here's the information from that preview:

Coach: Chris Sorce (2nd year, 10-15)
2000-01 record, league finish: 10-15, 5-5 (4th tie)

Micah Young 6'-3" sr. F (17.7 ppg, all-league)
Jorge Prado 5'-9" Sr. G (6 ppg)
Matt Cachola 5'-11" Jr. G (3 ppg)

Newcomers to watch:
Joey Lindquist 6'-7" Jr. C
Fernando Maldonado 6'-0" Sr. G (2-time MVP JV)
Zack Novak 6'-1" Jr. G

Outlook:  Young and Lindquist are capable fo double-doubles any night, and Prado and Maldonado are three-point threats.  The Eagles made great strides in the summer and should be in the hunt for a playoff berth.


Coach: Chris Sorce

N 28 Santa Ana
D 3-8 @ La Quinta Tourn
12 Irvine
13 La Quinta
17-22 @ Garden Grove Tourn
26-29 @ Estancia Tourn
J 04 @ Century
09 @ *Northwood
11 *Corona del Mar
16 *Costa Mesa
18 @ *Laguna Beach
23 @ *University
25 *Northwood
30 @ *Corona del Mar
F 01 @ *Costa Mesa
05 *Laguna Beach
07 *University

Laguna Beach--0-10, 4-20 (6th) "Artists"

Prior to the OC Register's preview, we didn't have a thing on the Artists.  The paper published their Pacific Coast League preview 11/25/01 and while they have some info (but some players' class isn't identified, so it's less than complete) here's the information on Laguna Beach from that preview:

Coach:  Rod Cullinan (1st year)
2000-01 records, league finish:  4-15, 0-10

Alex Norfleet 5'-11" G
Brandon Leahy 6'-0" G
Walt Gabbard 5'-8" Sr. G
Shawn Ridet 6'-3" Sr. F

Newcomers to watch:
Jesse Duker 6'-2" Sr. F
Trevor Lyle 6'-4" Sr. G/F
Jason Boyd 5'-9" Sr. G
Austin Sands 6'-9" C

Outlook:  The Artists lack depth, size and experience, which means they will have to overachieve to make the playoffs. 


Laguna Beach
Coach: Rod Cullinan

N 26 @ Marina
28 @ Irvine
D 3-8 @ La Quinta Tourn
11 @ Dana Hills
17-21 @ Irvine Tourn
26-29 @ Century Tourn
J 02 @ Edison
09 @ *Corona del Mar
11 @ *University
16 *Northwood
18 @ *Estancia
23 *Costa Mesa
25 *Corona del Mar
30 *University
F 01 @ *Northwood
05 @ *Estancia
07 *Costa Mesa


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