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Warriors Fall After Ranking

TIMES STAFF WRITER

From the Bad Timing is Everything Dept. comes the Woodbridge girls’ basketball program. The Warriors, after beating Brea Olinda and running their unbeaten streak to 13, debuted Wednesday as the No. 1 team in California, according to Cal-Hi Sports, and made their first national poll appearance at No. 15 in USA Today. There was one hitch: Woodbridge lost to Esperanza, 46-45, a day earlier, Tuesday.

Warrior Coach Eric Bangs downplayed the loss, and told Esperanza Coach Marc Hill after the game, “Exactly what we needed.”

Why? Well, Woodbridge was 32-0 last year when it lost for the first time--in the State Division II championship game.

“I wanted to lose before we got to State and CIF,” he said. “We didn’t get into this (close game) situation for 13 games. If we get into a (Oxnard) Rio Mesa-type situation, we’ll be ready.”

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The Rio Mesa situation was a second-round playoff game last year in which Woodbridge’s Erin Stovall made two free throws with no time remaining to send the game into overtime before winning; Bangs said before the Esperanza game he hoped to replicate a similar scenario, “playing a good team in a hostile environment.”

The difference this time, however, was there was no game-tying free throw at the end.

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The victory was especially memorable for Hill because it was his 200th career victory. He and his father, Dick, each have 200 victories as coaches, though Dick won his 200th football game this season with Orange. Getting the milestone victory against the county’s top-ranked team made it even more savory.

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“I’ll remember this one for a while,” Hill said afterward. “Winning 200 games (he has lost 117) means I’ve been doing something for a while; it’s the players I’ve coached that I’ve enjoyed. The numbers are not that important, but that I’ve had an effect on quite a few girls’ lives--hopefully a positive effect--is what’s most important.”

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Six Orange County athletes have been named to the 1995 U.S. Junior World softball team that will represent the United States June 23-July 1 in Normal, Ill.

Orange County high school players Julie Adams (senior, shortstop, Cypress), Lindsey Collins (sophomore, catcher/outfielder, Fountain Valley), Toni Mascarenas (sophomore, pitcher/third baseman, Pacifica) and Brandee McArthur (senior, pitcher/first baseman, Villa Park), and former prep and current college players Nina Lindenberg (freshman, shortstop, Canyon H.S. and Long Beach State) and Christa Saindon (freshman, second baseman, Cypress H.S. and Cypress College), are on the 17-member team that will compete against teams from 25 other countries.

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The U.S. contingent will go to Oklahoma City June 16 for practice before the competition begins.

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The Five Counties Wrestling Tournament, the county’s premier wrestling event and perhaps California’s toughest meet outside the State meet, begins Friday at Fountain Valley. Most of the state’s best will attend, including Calvary Chapel (No. 1 in the state and county, No. 3 in the nation, according to USA Today), Santa Ana (No. 2 in the county), Laguna Hills (4), Irvine (5) and El Modena (6).

“This is a great tournament to see where you stand,” Calvary Chapel Coach John Azevedo said. “But unlike dual competitions, this tournament is geared primarily for the team who has good individual wrestlers.”

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And that probably means that Calvary Chapel, which was last year’s Five Counties winner, has a very good chance to repeat. The Eagles are led by six state-ranked wrestlers. Josh Holiday, at 152, and Ed Mosley at 160, are ranked No. 1 in the state and are both returning state champions. Mike Aguirre (171) is ranked second and Joe Calavitta (125) and Matt Van Hook (189) are ranked fourth. At 103 pounds, Tino Archuleta is ranked fifth.

Irvine, No. 21 in the state, is headed by senior Justin Meier, who is ranked sixth in state at 130 pounds, and Peter Hamilton (112), who is ranked No. 1 in the county. Laguna Beach will be led by heavyweight Mark Zolikoff, No. 7 in the state, and brothers Jeff (140) and Mike Greco (145), who are ranked No. 1 in the county.

Other teams from outside the county participating include state-ranked San Jose Independence (2), Union City James Logan (3), Bakersfield (4), Poway (5), Vacaville (6), Hughson (7), Moreno Valley Canyon Springs (8), Temecula Valley (9) Grass Valley Nevada Union (11), Chaffey (12), Clovis (13) and Clovis Buchanan (14).

Five Counties starts Friday at 1 p.m. and concludes Saturday, with championship finals scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m.

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Former Oregon State men’s basketball Coach Ralph Miller was courtside--actually, he was on the bench--during Newport Harbor’s final girls’ basketball game in the Marina tournament, a 49-40 victory over Ocean View.

Miller, whose 657-382 (.632) career record is 12th-best all-time among NCAA coaches with 500 victories, is the father of Newport Coach Shannon Jakosky, whose career record is 91-54 (.628).

So, Ralph, how good a coach is your daughter?

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“She’s learning,” he said.

Actually, Miller likes Newport’s chances of doing some damage in the Division III playoffs, given that the Sailors were second to Brea Olinda last year in the Southern California Regional and Southern Section playoffs--and Brea will be competing in Division II this season.

“She has more potential this year,” Miller said of his daughter’s team, “because she has more manpower.”

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The boys’ basketball showdown between fourth-ranked Sonora (14-2) and second-ranked Tustin (14-1), which was rained out last week because of a leaky gym at Tustin, has been rescheduled for Feb. 4--weather permitting.

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Orange County, California hotbed for girls’ basketball? With Mater Dei’s 56-52 victory over Mission Hills Alemany on Saturday, the Monarchs (11-0) move to the top of the Cal-Hi Sports’ overall state rankings, followed by No. 2 Woodbridge (14-1) and No. 3 Brea Olinda (13-1).

It also gives Mater Dei the top-ranked boys’ and girls’ programs in the state.

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Iran Novick, assistant baseball coach at El Dorado, received the 1994 Easton Sports National Master Coach Award last week in Chicago. Novick, tournament director for the Upper Deck Classic, received the award partly for that tournament’s development into one of the nation’s top invitationals. He has coached at El Dorado for 17 years and teaches math.

Times staff writer Erik Hamilton contributed to this story.


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