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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW 1990-91 : CENTURY LEAGUE : Orange Has Dome, but Foothill, Canyon Are Favorites : Boys: Gym provides home-court advantage, but newcomer Panthers don’t have players to contend for title.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Dome moves to the Century League.

Orange High School’s dilapidated (hey, we’re trying to be kind) gymnasium gives the Panthers a big home-court advantage as they move from the Pacific Coast League to the Century League.

Whether a small, noisy, Quonset hut of a gym will help Orange move among the league’s elite remains to be seen, however.

This season, Canyon and Foothill figure to be the league’s top teams. League coaches are split in their picks, but all name either Canyon or Foothill as the favorite.

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Canyon has four starters back, including Kevin Wilborn. Foothill has Nick Konopisos, a 6-foot-7 center, the best big man in the league.

Foothill is trying for its second consecutive league championship, after five straight second-place finishes. The Knights’ junior varsity won the league title last season.

El Modena, Orange, Santa Ana Valley and Villa Park wouldn’t figure to have the players to contend for the league title.

But that doesn’t mean the games won’t be interesting.

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Circle Jan. 18, 1991, on your calendar. That’s the night El Modena plays at Orange’s Dome for city bragging rights. Get there early if you want a seat.

Here’s a closer look: CANYON

Coach: Steve Sabins (sixth year).

1989-90 record: 14-11, 7-3 in league.

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Returning lettermen: Five.

Returning starters: Four.

Top returnees: Abdi Barkhordar (G, 6-1, Sr.); Tom Bottiaux (F, 6-3, Sr.); Eric Oliver (G, 6-1, Sr.); Charles Sanders (C, 6-6, Sr.); Kevin Wilborn (F, 6-4, Sr.).

Top newcomers: Yannis Pappas (C, 6-3, Jr.); Jim Dunning (F, 6-2, Jr.); Jason Klein (G, 6-2, Sr.); Kenny Perkins (G, 5-10, Jr.).

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Outlook: Here are four good reasons Canyon could end Foothill’s reign as league champions. First, the Comanches have four returning starters. Second, they were 26-7 in summer-league play. Third, Wilborn is a two-time all-league forward. Fourth, they beat a good Corona del Mar team, 59-49, in their opener. Wilborn had 25 points. EL MODENA

Coach: Tim Tivenan (fifth year).

1989-90 record: 13-11, 5-5 in league.

Returning lettermen: Two.

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Returning starters: One.

Top returnees: Gavin Brown (F, 6-3, Jr.); Jon Leedom (F, 6-2, Jr.).

Top newcomers: Aaron Aguilera (F, 6-3, So.); Bob Baytosh (G, 6-0, Sr.); Casey Shine (F, 6-3, So.); Ernie Wilson (G, 5-11, So.).

Outlook: The Vanguards will have to scrap and hustle for everything they get. For the second season in a row, they have no one on the roster taller than 6-3. Only one senior, Baytosh, figures to get much playing time, and inexperience could hurt the team’s chances. FOOTHILL

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Coach: Jim Reames (14th year).

1989-90 record: 18-7, 10-0 in league.

Returning lettermen: One.

Returning starters: One.

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Top returnee: Nick Konopisos (C, 6-7, Sr.).

Top newcomers: Sean Amos (F, 6-4, Sr.); Naueen Athuluru (F, 6-3, Sr.); Matt Van Drey (G, 6-2, Sr.); Mike Busalacchi (F, 6-3, Jr.); Greg Tepas (G, 5-11, Sr.); Jared Winger (G, 6-2, So.); Dave Park (G, 5-7, Sr.).

Outlook: If Canyon doesn’t win the league title, it’s almost a lock that Foothill will. Konopisos was a first team all-league selection. Foothill had finished second for five consecutive seasons before least season’s breakthrough. ORANGE

Coach: Richard Bossenmeyer (first year).

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1989-90 record: 9-14, 3-7 in league.

Returning lettermen: Three.

Returning starters: Three.

Top returnees: Carlos Duran (G, 5-11, Sr.); Thu Huynh (F, 6-2, Sr.); Jason Lee (F, 6-4, Sr.).

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Top newcomer: Jamiel Worthem (G, 6-2, Jr.).

Outlook: A new league and a new coach for Orange as the Panthers move from the Pacific Coast League to the Century. Bossenmeyer takes over for Bob Burnette as coach. The Panthers don’t have a lot of size, though they are a senior-dominated team. SANTA ANA VALLEY

Coach: Ken Stancil (second year).

1989-90 record: 5-15, 1-9 in league.

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Returning lettermen: Four.

Returning starters: Two.

Top returnees: George Alvarado (G-F, 6-3, Sr.); Eric Moore (G, 5-8, Sr.).

Top newcomers: Leo Maldonado (G-F, 6-1, Sr.); Steve Singleton (F, 6-3, Jr.); Jeff Serrano (F, 6-4, So.); Omar Zazueta (G, 5-10, Jr.).

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Outlook: Alvarado, an all-league selection who averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds last season, is one of the league’s top scorers. He had 37 points in the Falcons’ 72-64 loss to Fullerton in the seventh-place game of the Garden Grove Tournament Saturday. Stancil said intensity will determine how well the Falcons do. VILLA PARK

Coach: Andy Beyer (second year).

1989-90 record: 3-17, 2-8 in league.

Returning lettermen: Two.

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Returning starters: One.

Top returnees: Aaron Boone (G, 6-4, Sr.); David Mansolino (C, 6-5, Jr.).

Top newcomers: Chip Bernards (G, 6-0, Fr.); Steve Lebrecht (G, 6-0, Jr.); Matt Gibson (G, 5-11, Jr.); Ryan McArthur (F, 6-4, Jr.).

Outlook: Beyer returns for his second season as coach. The Spartans already have defeated a league opponent with a 84-78 victory over Orange in the third-place game of the Orange Lutheran Tournament Saturday. Boone, the son of major league catcher Bob Boone, had 34 points to lead Villa Park. He already has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at USC.

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Tomorrow--Empire League.


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