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1995-96 BOYS’ BASKETBALL PREVIEW : CENTURY LEAGUE

CANYON: 12-15, 5-5 in 1994-95. Coach: Steve Sabins (12th year, 131-140). Prospects: With three of its top eight players coming off the football season, Sabins probably won’t know what he has for another month. What he does know is that center Ryan Walker is usually good for 15 points and 11 rebounds a night. The other returning starters are forward Jeff Llewellyn, a football player, and swingman Stephen Magliocco. William Byrd, a 6-3 transfer from Houston’s Plano High, will start at point guard and sophomore forward Ali Goodman will vie for a starting spot. Football players Troy Mills and Kody Miller also will see plenty of time. Canyon’s tallest player would have been 6-6 junior Brandon Smith, but Smith decided to concentrate on baseball.

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EL MODENA: 14-10, 4-6 in 1994-95. Coach: Joe Roussell (second year, 14-10). Prospects: The Vanguards don’t return any starters and they return only three lettermen, but Roussell expects his young team to contend for a playoff spot. Point guard Tri Tran, off guard Bobby Calderon and forward Tommy Ngo played significant minutes last season but will be asked to step into the starting lineup. Junior forward George Gurrola will be counted on to score and Jeff Ochoa, a 6-4 center, is the only player with any size in the starting lineup. Jeremy Buckley probably will be the first player off the bench.

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FOOTHILL: 14-15, 4-6 in 1994-95. Coach: Bob Thate (third year, 25-31). Prospects: In a league with talented big people, Foothill might have trouble matching up this season. The Knights return only two starters--John Brittingham and Matt Higgins--and both are guards. Brittingham was a second-team all-league player who averaged 9.2 points and 8.6 assists and Higgins (11.3 points) is the leading returning scorer.

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ORANGE: 16-10, 6-6 in 1994-95. Coach: Rich Bossenmeyer (fifth year, 61-41). Prospects: Many coaches give Orange a chance to be in the title hunt. The Panthers’ strength is probably at point guard, where senior Holman Paz (8.1 points, four assists) will play for the second consecutive season. Junior forward Steve Lein (7.7 points, four rebounds), a 6-4 junior, is the other returning starter. Forwards Juan Dotson and Matt Walker and guards Dante Bell and Matt Ross are returning lettermen. A potential problem could be rebounding. The tallest players are Lein, Dotson and Matt Garcia, all 6-4.

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SANTA ANA VALLEY: 18-8, 9-1 in 1994-95. Coach: Kevin Stipp (second year, 8-1). Prospects: Starting with senior point guard Olujimi Mann (6-4), Valley has as much talent as any team in the county. When Mann (18.9 points) plays to his ability, he can be dominating. Senior forward Ike Harmon should improve on his 16.3 scoring average. Senior forward Tyson Henderson or senior guard Jason Parrott will have to replace the scoring of Michael Riggins, who graduated. Beau Wallace, a 6-3 forward who transferred from Century, junior guard Tim Werdell, guard Michael Sanders and junior center David Williams (6-5) give the Falcons some depth.

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VILLA PARK: 10-14, 4-6 in 1994-95. Coach: Kevin Reynolds (first year). Prospects: If nothing else, the Spartans’ games should be a Who’s Who of college coaches. Nearly every big-time program is recruiting junior center Eric Chenowith (14 points, six rebounds), who has improved greatly. Chenowith should have someone to feed him the ball now that point guard Isaiah Cavaco (5-10, junior) has transferred from Mater Dei. Mark Saukkola (10 points, three rebounds), a 6-4 junior, and Mike Vogeding, a 6-5 junior, should help on the boards.


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