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SoCalHoops Tournament News

Anaheim Convention Center Tourney:
Complete Overview Of Teams Participating--(Dec. 10, 2002)


Anaheim Prep Sports/Activities Foundation
& Jack Renkins Recruiting Realities, Inc., present
The 2002 Anaheim Convention Center Holiday Basketball Classic


Dec. 17-21, 2002


Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA


16 Top Orange County Teams

We went looking for information about the teams competing in this tournament, and since we've been a bit remiss about doing high school team previews this season, we thought we'd put some mini-previews out for this tournanent (and others to come). Here's what we know about the teams competing in the tournament:

Game 1:  Tuesday, December 17, 2002 @ 3:00 p.m.
El Toro vs. Magnolia

El Toro:  Picked by the South Coast League's coaches to finish second in the preseason poll right behind Mission Viejo, El Toro will play in the opening game of the tournament against Magnolia on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 at 3:00 p.m. at the Convention Center.  Players to watch include Darryl Best (6'-3' So.G), Patrick Carney (6'-1" Sr., G) and Jonathan Johnson (6'-2" So., G).  Should be a very competitve team.

Magnolia:  Picked by other Orange League coaches to finish dead last in league (6th out of 6), the Sentinels actually have a pretty good group of sophomores and are building toward the future.   They will play El Toro, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, in the first game on Tuesday, December 17, at 3:00 p.m. at the Convention Center. The lone returning notable senior is Talal Trablosi (6'-3" Sr. F).  Newcomers include Louis Villa (6'-2" Sr F/C); Matt Oatman (5'-10" So. PG); Ruben Valdez (6'-3" So.F); Jose Hernandez (5'-11" So. G); and Patrick Bahrami  (5'-9"  So.,  PG/SG).

Game 2:  Tuesday, December 17, 2002 @ 4:40 p.m.
Newport vs. Orange Lutheran

Newport Harbor:   The Sailors will have five returning players, and have been picked to finish second in the competitive Sea View league behind Woodbridge in the coaches' preseason poll.  Returning starters include Nedim Pajevic (6'-8" Sr., F) who averaged 11.2 ppg, and 6.4 rpg; Chase Cameron (6'-0" Sr. G) who averaged6.1 ppg, and 3.1 apg last season, as well as Chad Rorden (6'-1" Sr. G), Andre Pinesette (6'-0" Jr., G); and Nic Glassic (6'-3" Sr., F).

Orange Lutheran Playing on Tuesday, 12/17 against Newport in the first round at the Convention Center, Orange Lutheran is new to the Empire League this year, and the team is very balanced, and thus, the Lancers should be competitive right away.  So competitive that other coaches in the league have picked them to finish second overall in the preseason poll.  Team features Travis Tanner (6'-2" Jr. G) and Sean Luecke (6'-6" Jr. F), making them one of the best combinations in the league, not to mention one of the tallest frontlines when you also consider they have Andrew Romberg (6'-6"), Kenny Craik (6'-7"), and Nathan Klitzing (6'-4" Sr., G).

Game 3:  Tuesday, December 17, 2002 @ 6:20 p.m.
Los Alamitos vs. Katella

Los Alamitos:  The team this year will have several new faces, but most of the Sunset League's coaches think they'll have enough talent to challenge for the championship, and they've been picked to finish No. 2 right behind Esperanza.  Players to watch include Kyle Brucculeri (6'-7 Jr. F),   Jon Kahraman (6'-3" Sr., G) who has been very good in the early season, and Darryl Morris (6'-0" Jr., G).  Tied for the league title last year at 7-3.

Katella:  Picked by the Empire League coaches to finish 3rd in the preseason poll, the Knights have strong shooters and a deep returning roster with six seniors coming back for their final campaign.  Katella will play Los Alamitos in the first round on Tuesday, 12/17 at 6:20 p.m. at the Convention Center.   Brett Avery (Katella, Sr., 5-10, G); Robert Alvarez (Katella, Sr., 6-1, G); Jeff Clement (Katella, Sr., 6-1, G);

Game 4:  Tuesday, December 17, 2002 @ 8:00 p.m.
San Clemente vs. Villa Park

San Clemente: Another top team in the super-competitive South Coast League, the coaches in the league this year have picked the team to finish 6th out of 6 teams, and while that may not sound impressive, they are actually a team that is quite good, but just have the misfortune of being in a very tough league.  San Clemente will play Villa Park, another unlucky draw, in the first round of the Convention Center Tournament in game 4, the headliner on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.  San Clemente features Marcus Blackshire (6'-5" Jr. F) and Riley Stephenson (6'-0" Sr., G) as the two most notable players.  Interesting tidbit from Steve Fryer's preseason preview of the South Coast League:   "San Clemente coach Shawn Mulligan is the brother of Capistrano Valley coach Brian Mulligan and son of former UC Irvine coach Bill Mulligan and is married to San Clemente girls basketball coach Mary Mulligan."   Additional information about San Clemente can be found at this link

Villa Park: Led by UCLA-bound Phaler,  both the LA Times and Orange County Register picked the Spartans as among their top-five teams in Orange County, and the coaches in the Century League picked them to finish, not surprisingly, first in league. The team features Sean Phaler (6'-9" Sr. F/C) and Corey Miller (6'-1" Sr. PG) as the core of the offense, but there's a lot more to the team than just those two, including Lloyd Cotton (6'-1" Jr. G) and Andrew Hosier (6'-1" Sr G).  Villa Park will play San Clemente in the first round of the tournament on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.

Game 5:  Wednesday, December 18, 2002 @ 3:00 p.m.
Capistrano Valley vs. Kennedy

Capistrano Valley: Will play Kennedy in the first round at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 in the Convention Center.  Picked by the South Coast League's coaches to finish third in the preseason poll, they lost some good players to graduation, but the program remains deep and talented.  Capo Valley features Davis Baker (6'-4" Jr G); Kenny Chambers (6'-6" Sr.,  F); George Fedorovtsev (6'-9" Sr., C) and Ryan Morrell (5'-10"  Sr., G).  Last season, the team finished 8-2 in league play.

Kennedy: Picked by the coaches of the Empire League to finish fourth, First year coach Jose Alvarez will have his work cut out for him. Players to watch include David Arreguin (6'-4" Sr. F) and Eric Taylor (6'-0" Jr. G).  Kennedy will play Capo Valley in the first round. 

Game 6:  Wednesday, December 18, 2002 @ 4:40 p.m.
Esperanza vs. Foothill

Foothill:  The Knights will play Esperanza in the first round on Wednesday, December 14 at 4:40 p.m.  Picked by the Seaview League's coaches to finish 3rd  Foothill coach Tom McCluskey believes the Knights have a legit shot to get back in the playoffs after a one-year hiatus.  They will feature returning starters Brett Bigler (6'-2" Sr., PG) who averaged 5 ppg, 5 apg; Brandt Bangs (5'-10" Jr., G) who averaged  16 ppg); and DeShaun Edwards (6'-1" Sr. G) who averaged 6 ppg last season. Other notable returners include James Eves (6'-3" Sr. F),  Jay Jarmon (6'-1" Jr., F) and Ben Worrall (6'-2" Jr., G/F).   Newcomers to watch on the Foothill squad are Chase Roblee (6'-0" Jr., F/G); Jeff Otool (5'-11" Jr. G); Gabe Sabino (5'-8" Jr., G); and Andy Folick (6'-1" Sr., G).

EsperanzaMark Lovein, one of the top players in the county, leads a talented group of players for Esperanza, which will play on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 in the Convention Center against Foothill in the first round.  The team has been picked to finish first in the Sunset League coache's preseason poll, and players to watch include Kyle Aurelio (5'-10" Sr. G); Jesse Hills (6'-8" Sr. F) and Mark Lovein (6'-8" Sr. F). Esperanza won the Sunset League crown last year, tied with Los Al at 7-3. Lovein was Orange County's leading large-school scorer among underclassmen last season, with 21.2 points a game. He also was the county's leading top underclassman rebounder, with 11 a game.  Esperanza has a new coach, Jason Pietsch who previously coached at La Mirada, where he was 21-35 in two seasons.

Game 7:  Wednesday, December 18, 2002 @ 6:20 p.m.
Cypress vs. Servite

Cypress:  Picked to finish first by the coaches of the Empire League, Cypress received four transfers over the summer, including Oberle from Los Alamitos and Scharlin from Pacifica. The Centurions' strength will be depth.  Dominique Ricks, the most promising player on the squad, has matured nicely over the summer into a potentially dominant player. Players to watch include Scott Meixel (6'-1" Jr. G);   Brandin Scharlin (5'-8" Sr. G); Drake Oberle (6'-1" Jr., G); Dominique Ricks (6'-5" Sr. F) and Brandon Dennis (6'-1" Jr. G).  Cypress will play Servite at 6:20 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 in the first round at the Convention Center.

Servite:  Picked to finish last in a four team league might not sound so good, but then consider that the competition also includes teams which regularly churn out Division I prospects, and this year includes the No. 1 team in the U.S. according to many preseason HS polls, Mater Dei.  And St. John Bosco and Santa Margarita aren't exactly chopped liver either when it comes to turning out talented players and teams.  The Friars will be better than in year's past but still will struggle in the six games a year they play in the Serra League, but that won't stop them here in the Anaheim Convention Center Tournament where they will play Cypress in the first round at 6:20 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18.  Players to watch for the Friars are Sean Ferguson (6'-5" Sr F) and Chris Kanne (6'-1" Jr. G).

Game 8:  Wednesday, December 18, 2002 @ 8:00 p.m.
Mission Viejo vs. Aliso Niguel

Mission Viejo:  The best team in the South Coast League, one of the most balanced leagues in the CIF,  Mission Viejo will play Aliso Niguel in the first round on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. in the Convention Center.  Picked to finish first by other coaches in the league. Last season the team finished 10-0 in league, but they lost the league MVP (Travis Niesen) to graduation.  But the Diablos return several top players, including Jake Collins, second-team All-CIF Southern Section Division I last season. Some of Mission Viejo's top players, like forward Jed Collins (younger brother of Jake) and guard Travis Wittick are also on the football team.  The team also has a new coach, Troy Ruelen, who was formerly an assistant at MV and at Santa Margarita.  Players to watch include: Jake Collins (6'-4" Sr. G); Jed Collins (6'-2" Jr. F); Lance Ortiz (5'-11" Sr., G) and Travis Wittick (5'-10" Sr., G)

Aliso Niguel:  Information about the team can be found at this link.

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