Coach Chuck Donaghho will get a glimpse of the past and the future when his Franklin High boys basketball team plays Belmont in the Northern League opener for both teams Friday.
Donaghho, who played for and graduated from Belmont in 1969, said he will be better able to assess his team's potential after the Belmont game and Wednesday's game against Wilson.
"Belmont and Wilson are the two toughest teams," Donaghho said. "We'll have a good idea of what our future is going to be like after the first two games."
On Friday, Donaghho will be coaching against Tom Arima, who also coached Donaghho.
"It's a kick for me," Donaghho said. "It's always fun to play against Arima. I think he's one of the best coaches in the City Section."
Franklin (7-4) finished preleague play with a 66-62 victory over Eagle Rock last week in the consolation championship of the Eagle Rock tournament.
Tough twosome: The Hoover High girls team (9-1) starts Pacific League play this week with one of its best records ever. However, the Tornadoes' first two league opponents--Muir and Pasadena--should provide the toughest competition of the season. Muir is a perennial Pacific League power.
"Actually, we don't worry about them too much," Hoover Coach Bob Henry said. "We have a different philosophy than anyone else. Two years ago Muir was No. 1 in the nation. I just told the girls that we were going to attack them. I told them to play basketball."
Hoover scored 56 points in that game, the most any Southern Section team scored against Muir that season, Henry said.
The Tornadoes will have to play Friday's league opener without starting center Rosemary Conner, who has a severely sprained ankle. Forward Marilyn Madrid will start at center and Michelle Ahnstedt, who recently underwent arthroscopic knee surgery, might play at forward.
Rematch: The Crescenta Valley boys team needed its victory over Pasadena last season to advance to postseason play. When the Falcons meet Pasadena in the Pacific League opener for both teams Friday, Falcons Coach John Goffredo believes the situation could prove similar.
"They are a team we have to beat to go to the playoffs," Goffredo said. "They are real quick and use a full-court press. We need to stop their fast break."
Crescenta Valley (8-5) finished 5-5 in league play last season. The Falcons were 4-1 entering the second round of league play but lost center Mike Harrison to ineligibility. Brad Adam is Crescenta Valley's leading scorer this season with an average of 22 points a game.
More from four: Ashlee Tanimoto, Karen Murdock, Donna Perry and Vivian Alger are all averaging in double figures for Eagle Rock (6-2).
Last week, Tanimoto scored 19 points in Eagle Rock's 44-32 victory over Fremont in the final of the Hamilton tournament and was selected the tournament's most valuable player. Murdock also made the all-tournament team.
Coach Ivan Simon, whose team was 5-5 in the Northern League last season, is optimistic about his team's league opener against Wilson on Friday.
"It's nice to win the Hamilton tournament going into league," Simon said. "It's something to propel us, but it's not the climax of the season."
Anyone's guess: Hoover boys Coach Kirt Kohlmeier thinks this season's Pacific League title is up for grabs.
"Taking a look at what's gone on, I'd say about any team can win it this year," Kohlmeier said. "Crescenta Valley, Arcadia and Pasadena have won some big games. Every team has shown that they can play with anybody."
Kohlmeier hopes Hoover can keep pace with Muir on Friday in the Pacific League opener for both teams. Hoover (5-7) last season finished 1-9 in league play.
"We're looking for a big turnaround," Kohlmeier said. "We're looking for an upset. They are one of the better teams, but I'm very optimistic."
Add Pacific: Kohlmeier is not the only one predicting parity in the Pacific League. Said Glendale Coach Bob Davidson: "Last year, the league was kind of divided. Hoover and Arcadia were definitely weaker last year. I don't see anyone going through undefeated this year. But if Muir gets into gear they have a lot of talent."
Add Glendale: Dan Johnson's 10-footer with 13 seconds to play gave Glendale a 66-65 victory over Huntington Beach on Monday and a 12-2 record entering Pacific League play this week. Johnson scored 22 points and teammate Jeff Sofro had 24 points. Glendale opens against Arcadia on Friday.
"We've had a very successful preseason but it's going to be a dogfight I think," Davidson said.
Playing it up: Coach Isabella Seplecha has tried to arrange a tough preseason schedule for her Flintridge Sacred Heart team. On Friday, the Tologs, who play in the Small Schools Division, will play at 1-A Marymount in their final preseason game.
"We look at it as a game we use to learn," Seplecha said.
The Tologs (2-5) were roughed up a little in the Hoover tournament last week, losing consecutive games to Hoover and San Marino.
"We had a little bit of a rough time in the Hoover tournament," Seplecha said. "But I think we've got things pulled together."