HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL PREVIEWS : <i> A look at the prospects for the 1987-88 season in the Glendale area: </i>
First-year coach Sandi Stroud is looking to improve on last season’s 24% field goal shooting and 48% free throw shooting. The Spartans have four returning seniors on the 10-player roster. Unfortunately, only three of them are starters. Senior Melinda O’Brien, a 6-0 center, will miss the first two weeks of the season with a second-degree ankle sprain. O’Brien averaged 10 points, 16 rebounds and 3 blocks per game last season. In the interim, 5-8 senior Sherry Plowman will start at center. The other two senior starters are guards Monica Fat and Julie Johnson. However, the front line will be inexperienced. Sophomores Yolanda Davidian (5-10) and Leslie White (5-11) will start at forward. La Canada’s top reserve is Meg Fitzgerald, a 5-7 junior forward. “We’re looking to finish better than .500 this season,” Stroud said. “We’re going to be very young inside. I’m looking for a lot of leadership from the seniors.”
With the top six players returning from last season’s 4-6 team and no underclassmen on the roster, Glendale will not lack experience. However, it will lack height. The Dynamiters tallest starter is 5-9 forward Fatima Jose. The senior plays excellent defense and averaged eight points per game last season, Coach Cari Meadows said. Three-year starter Lia Patrossian will be at forward. The 5-6 junior had a 12-point average. Meadows said that the teams’ effectiveness will rely on the development of 5-7 utility player Kalo Saafi and 5-7 guard-forward Angela Armendariz. Saafi, who will start at off guard, is the backup point guard and can play center or forward. Angela Armendariz, a 5-7 junior, will be Glendale’s top reserve, Meadows said. Angela’s twin, Christiane, will start at forward and Jane Ong, a 5-4 senior, will be at point guard. Kim Myers, a 5-10 junior, will provide depth at forward and center and 5-1 Karineh Razmanian is the team’s best defensive player, Meadows said.
The Tornadoes might have the best chance of upsetting Pacific League powers Muir or Pasadena this season. Three regulars return to the lineup including Rosemary Conner, a three-year starter at center. The 6-0 senior averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds per game last season. Jenny Pritchard (5-8), a three-year starter and All-Pacific League forward, averaged 12 points per game. Maria Kim, a 5-4 junior guard, averaged nine points and seven assists and was last season named to the all-league team. New to the lineup are Colorado transfer Michelle Ahnstedt and sophomore Juliana Holmstrom. Ahnstedt, a 6-0 forward, and Conner will be the team’s leading rebounders, Coach Bob Henry said. Holmstrom, a 5-8 guard-forward, was the junior varsity’s leading scorer with 11 points per game. Hoover, which finished 14-6 and third in league last year, should benefit from a fine summer season in which it won the Burroughs-Burbank summer league. Top reserves are Hilma Shahinian (5-4 point guard) and Marilyn Madrid (6-1 center).
First-year coach Alan Eberhart has the benefit of three returning starters and a talent group of underclassmen. Seniors Leilani Artis (5-5 guard), Lia Rittenhouse (5-10 center-forward), and Carin Wagner (5-11 forward) will provide scoring ability and leadership. Artis averaged 12.6 points per game and was named to the second team All-Rio Hondo League last season. But sophomore Lisa Boreham, a 5-6 guard, and freshman Berlyn Cosman, a 5-6 guard, are noteworthy underclassmen. Cosman, who will start at point guard “is the most fundamentally sound player on the team”, Eberhart said. Top reserves are Julie Serote (5-8 junior forward) and Paige Donaldson (5-6 junior forward).
All-City guard Laura Redford will do a majority of the scoring for Franklin. The 5-3 senior averaged 13 points per game last season. The only other returning starter is junior Janet Fukuhara, a 5-3 guard who averaged five points and six assists. Additions Justine Bell and Leanne Poe will start at high and low post. Bell, a 5-6 junior, averaged eight points and five rebounds and Poe, a 5-8 junior, had seven points and seven rebounds per game. The other starting forward will be either Tabitha Li or Caffie Medina. Li, a 5-5 senior, averaged six points on the junior varsity last season. Medina, a 5-4 senior who plays both forward and guard, missed half of last season with an injury. With an average height of 5-5, Franklin will rely on its quickness and outside shooting. “We’re going to be quicker than last year and our defense is going to change accordingly,” 12th-year coach Christine Clark said. Franklin will run a man-to-man defense, Clark said. Two of Franklin’s tallest players are also the team’s top reserves. Sophomore Brenda Teng and senior Jennifer Jimenez are both 5-8 forwards.
Coach Ivan Simon’s entire starting team returns. The Eagles, who finished tied for third with Franklin in the Northern League last season, are greatly improved, Simon said. Center Karen Murdock, a 5-10 senior, averaged nine points and five rebounds per game last season. Forward Donna Perry, a 5-5 senior, averaged eight points and eight rebounds. Sophomores Michelle Barnett and Maya Taylor will split time at forward. Both were starters as freshman last season. Eagle Rock will start two seniors at guard. Ashlee Tanimoto (5-7) averaged 13 points and five rebounds, while Vivian Alger (5-4) averaged 10 points and four assists.
All-City center Dollie Lucero has graduated but Marshall should be able to compensate. Rena Winter, a 5-9 junior who played behind Lucero last season, will start at center. And seniors Maila Feig and Lauren Ota will return to the lineup. Feig, a 5-5 forward-guard, averaged 13 points and five rebounds per game last season. Ota, a 5-6 forward, averaged six points and eight rebounds. Junior Denise Wong will do a majority of the outside shooting. The 5-3 guard missed three weeks of last season because of a knee injury. Coach Beth Ercek said she doesn’t normally start sophomores. However, Ercek has made an exception for Laura Oki. The 5-4 guard will run the offense. Marshall’s top reserves will be Lisa Khuu (5-9 sophomore forward), Jin Lee (5-7 senior forward) and Sonia Cudiamat (5-0 senior guard). Marshall will rely on its quickness and ball handling abilities. “The fast break was one of the keys for us last year,” Ercek said. “We’re hoping to do the same this year.” Marshall finished second in the Northern League and lost to eventual 3-A champion Reseda in the first round of the playoffs last season.
Times are tough and the starting lineup is uncertain, Coach Laurie Browski said. Verdugo Hills’ tallest starter is 5-8 forward Lisa Upthegrove. The sophomore will do a majority of the rebounding. Only two players return from last season’s team. Glenda Calvo, a 5-4 senior guard, averaged 10 points per game last season. The other returner is 5-1 guard Anna Alvarez. Her sister, Maria Alvarez (4-11) is a probable starter at guard. Other additions to the varsity include Rosa Leon, a 5-0 senior guard, and Jomond Wong, a 5-5 junior forward. One thing that Verdugo Hills has in its favor is tenacity. “We’re extremely scrappy,” Browski said. “If you came into the gym during the fourth quarter, you would not be aware that they were losing. They work very hard and they have improved greatly.”
FLINTRIDGE SACRED HEART
With no returning starters the Tologs will lack experience, but there is no shortage of height. Vying for the starting center position are 5-10 freshman Megan Smith and 6-0 junior Katie Kerrigan. Cathy Andrews, a 5-7 junior who was the junior varsity’s leading rebounder last season, will start at forward. The other forward will be either Erin McGann or Christine Pola, both 5-7 juniors. Sophomore Jenny Nicholas, a 5-5 guard, is quick and had varsity experience as a freshman. The other starting guard will be 4-11 junior Tiffany Toyoshima. Top reserves are Erin Konrad (5-6 junior guard) and Michelle Porta (5-7 junior guard). Flintridge Sacred Heart finished 17-4 and was the Horizon League co-champion with Ramona Convent. The Tologs lost in the Southern Section Small School semifinal to eventual-champion Rosamond.
Second-year Coach Allana Wark would like to get her team back into the small school playoffs. Last season Holy Family lost to eventual-champion Maricopa by eight points in a first-round game. But Holy Family will have to compensate for a lack of height. Meredith Descalvi is the tallest player at 5-8. The senior center averaged 10 points and five rebounds per game last season. Starting forwards are 5-5 juniors Jesely Oripilla and Kim Miyasato. Kim’s twin, Kelly, will be the top reserve at forward. Leah Carper, a 5-4 junior, and Marlene Sandoval, a 5-4 senior, will start at guard. Other players to watch are Analiza Aquino (5-2 freshman guard), Nancy Prado (5-4 sophomore guard) and Lydia Aguielera (5-5 junior forward).
Flintridge Prep has only four returning players this season. But those four had the experience of being on last season’s team, which won a playoff game for the first time in school history. Amber Turchi, a 5-7 senior, will start at center. The only other assured starter is senior Kecia Wimmer. The 5-0 guard averaged four points per game last season. Other possible starters include Elise Martens (5-0 senior guard), Laura Pearson (5-7 senior forward), Nicky Liem (5-3 junior guard) and Karen Pearson (5-7 freshman forward). Flintridge Prep finished second in the Prep League last season and will rely on speed and defense this season.
Compiled by Heather Hafner.