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Harbor College Is Expected to Name Warren Basketball Coach

Cliff Warren, the Rolling Hills High basketball coach for the past six seasons, is expected to be named coach at Harbor College, The Times has learned.

Warren declined to comment, but sources said he will take over the job after Harbor College Coach Ken Curry is officially released. In a recent meeting with Harbor College Athletic Director Jim O’Brien, Curry said he was told that former Harbor basketball Coach Jim White will return as an assistant and select a new head coach.

That coach is believed to be Warren, who guided Rolling Hills to a 123-46 record, three Bay League titles and six CIF-Southern Section playoff appearances. The Titans reached the 3-A Division final in 1987.

“That’s what I’ve been hearing,” Curry said. “There’s not too much to speculate. That’s basically what has been circulating around the campus among the kids that would know.”

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Curry, coach at Harbor the past four years, said there is little chance he will return next season.

“They never said it’s a done deal, but I know it’s a done deal,” he said. “I’ve more or less resigned myself to the fact that this is the way it’s going to be.”

Harbor was 12-18 last season, its first losing record under Curry. In 1990, the Seahawks were 23-13 and lost to eventual state champion Rancho Santiago of Santa Ana in the regionals. Rancho Santiago also won the state title this past season and is coached by Dana Pagett, who played for Warren at El Segundo High in the mid-1960s and is one of Warren’s closest friends.

White, who has had two stints as Harbor’s basketball coach, said it was too early to confirm any of the reports.

“Let’s wait a while,” he said. “I’ll probably come back (as an assistant coach), but I don’t know the entire situation yet. It hasn’t been solidified.

"(Curry) is still on the staff. It doesn’t do any good to say anything until Ken resigns or is hired back.”

O’Brien, off work this week because of spring break, could not be reached for comment.

If Warren is hired, it will be his second college coaching assignment. He coached Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., an NAIA school, in the 1967-68 season after a five-year stint as coach at El Segundo.

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He left coaching after a year at Whitman and did not return until the 1985-86 season, when he took over the Rolling Hills program.

Warren found himself without a coaching job because of the consolidation of Rolling Hills, Palos Verdes and Miraleste into Palos Verdes Peninsula High. He did not apply to become the coach at the new school, conceding the job to John Mihaljevich, the longtime basketball coach at Palos Verdes.

Warren, a successful real estate investor, is a walk-on coach. Mihaljevich has worked more than 20 years as a teacher in the district.

“It’s only right that John gets the job,” Warren said.

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Joining Mihaljevich as winter sports coaches at Peninsula High will be Wendell Yoshida (girls’ basketball), Tom Graves (wrestling), Alan King (boys’ soccer) and Jim Alotis (girls’ soccer).

Yoshida, who guided Palos Verdes to the State Division III title this past season, was the only applicant for the girls’ basketball job. King and Alotis also coached successful programs at Palos Verdes.

Graves was named wrestling coach after recently losing in his bid to become athletic director at Peninsula High. Graves, who has been Miraleste’s athletic director for 18 years, became interested in wrestling when his son, Toby, competed in the sport at Miraleste. He said he is looking forward to a new challenge.

Graves said he will be assisted by coaches with more technical experience in wrestling.

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“My experience is not on the mat,” he said. “I’ll have a number of people helping with that.”

Graves also said he expects to coach football at Peninsula High, probably on one of the underclass levels. While at Miraleste, he coached baseball, football and tennis at various times.

“All those things kind of kept me alive a little bit,” he said. “When I went into this business 30 years ago, I wanted to coach and work with kids. So, I get to do that again. The kids are where the fun is.”

Carson quarterback John Walsh, overlooked in the first draft for the Shrine California All-Star Football Classic, has been added to the South roster as a replacement for El Toro quarterback Rob Johnson.

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Johnson, citing the closeness of the game (July 27) to the start of fall practice at USC, declined to play. Of the 60 seniors selected, he was the only one to turn down an invitation.

That was a stroke of good luck for Walsh, who was chosen as an alternate for the South after passing for a state-record 4,223 yards and 48 touchdowns last season in leading Carson to the L.A. City Section 4-A Division title.

By adding Walsh, Shrine game organizers have corrected a glaring oversight. Regardless of what you think of Walsh’s school-hopping (transferring from West Torrance to Carson to West), he deserved to be selected to the state’s premier all-star game, which will be played at the Rose Bowl.

He will join Westlake’s Todd Preston as quarterbacks for the South. Other area players selected were receiver-running back Abdul Muhammad and defensive back Tarriel Hopper of Carson and running back-defensive back Travis Davis of Banning.

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The Shrine game rule limiting the selection of two players from one school is waived when alternates are added, thus allowing three Carson players on the South roster.

There’s already talk that the Palos Verdes girls’ basketball team has a good shot at being ranked No. 1 in the nation next season by USA Today.

That became even more apparent Wednesday, when the newspaper rated Palos Verdes No. 13 in its final Super 25 rankings. The Sea Kings (32-2), who won the State Division III title, were the only team west of Texas to be ranked.

Shelbyville, Tenn., (33-0) won its second USA Today national title in three years.

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How good is Palos Verdes?

Let’s put it this way: All five of the Sea King starters return next year and all five were All-CIF selections this season. Junior point guard Kristen Mulligan was named Division III co-player of the year with Lompoc center Nicki Manzo.

Other Palos Verdes players named to the All-Division III first team were center Jeffra Gausepohl, forward Monique Morehouse and guard Raquel Alotis. Forward Mimi McKinney, a freshman, was a second-team choice.

Around the horn:

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When St. Paul beat St. Bernard, 4-0, in a Mission League baseball game last week, it was the first time the Vikings had been shut out in six seasons under Coach Bob Yarnall.

Mary Star outfielder Dave Bozanich is out for the season after suffering a severe concussion in a collision with a teammate during a game. Coach Frank Ponce de Leon said Bozanich spent five days in the hospital and must refrain from any physical activity for at least three months. Bozanich was batting .350 for the Stars (4-4).

El Segundo Coach John Stevenson, on his team’s 12-1 start after returning only two regular starters from last season’s 27-4 squad: “So far everything has been timing. We’ve gotten big hits and strikeouts when we needed them. I would not say in any way that we’re as sharp as we’ve been in the last couple of years. No one has got any numbers that will dazzle you.”

Junior catcher Jeff Poor, who has been touted since his freshman season, drove in four runs with two doubles Saturday night to spark El Segundo past Hueneme of Oxnard, 5-3, in the title game of the San Luis Obispo Tournament.

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Rolling Hills pitcher Kirt Kishita put his team in the driver’s seat for the Ocean League title Tuesday by throwing a four-hitter and striking out 14 in a 6-1 victory over Redondo. The right-hander improved to 4-1 and lowered his earned-run average to 1.44. Rolling Hills leads the league at 3-0 and Redondo is 2-1.

When Crenshaw scored a run in the first inning Tuesday against Mike Busby, it snapped a streak of 27 scoreless innings pitched by the Banning ace. Busby and the Pilots went on to win, 11-1, as the right-hander improved to 5-0.

Despite having two players batting over .400, Mira Costa’s offense has been nearly nonexistent in recent games. The Mustangs suffered their third loss in a row Tuesday in a nonleague game against Torrance, 5-2, and have scored only eight runs in their last five outings.

Jason Garner and Andy Owens lead Mira Costa with .400-plus averages, but everyone else on the team is batting below .300. “The pitching is decent, the defense is OK, but the hitting just isn’t there,” said Coach Jim Beaumont, whose team is 4-6 overall.

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Notes

Following is a complete list of area boys named to All-City and All-Southern Section basketball teams. All-City, 4-A Division: LeRoi O’Brien (Westchester, most valuable player), D’Mitri Rideout (Narbonne), Jabari Anderson (Banning), Robin Kirksey (Gardena), Rudy Washington (Carson), James Gray (Westchester). All-Southern Section, Division I: Jason Bowman (Inglewood), Frank Willis (Leuzinger). Division II: Joe Zaletel (Torrance). Division III: Stais Boseman (Morningside), Roger Hendrix (Rolling Hills), Chris Davis (Mira Costa), Wyking Jones (St. Bernard), Arthur Savage (Morningside). Division IV: Chris Hansen (El Segundo), Dan Carpenter (Serra), Travis Showalter (El Segundo). Division V: Willie Williams (South Bay Lutheran).

Contrary to what was reported here last week, the University of San Diego does have a football program. The school plays on the Division III level. . . . El Segundo and Gahr will meet in the championship game of the rain-delayed El Segundo Baseball Tournament at 7:30 p.m. April 27 at Recreation Park.

The first South Bay Girls’ High School All-Star basketball game, featuring the area’s best seniors, will be played at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at North Torrance High. Palos Verdes’ Wendell Yoshida will coach the Red team and North’s Rich Rosato will coach the White. The rosters: Red--Lily Cabaleiro and Stacie Smith (Bishop Montgomery); Karen Conrey, Lori Lightner and Annie Chung (South Torrance); Carolyn Sumida, Tina Gross and Shawna Fisher (West Torrance); Kaaren Iverson, Nicole Dietel and Kim Anthony (Palos Verdes); and Bernetta James (Carson). White--Tyesha Whiting, Akiba Flanagan and Princess Murray (Morningside); Merbedith Hardy and Shameka McArthur (St. Bernard); Jessica Sniegowski, Dee Searle and Tricia Tanaka (Torrance); Dalynne Ware and Lucy Niko (Leuzinger); Faith Hirayama (North Torrance); and Tashima Mack (Bishop Montgomery).

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