BASKETBALL LEAGUE PREVIEWS: TEAM BY TEAM : Northwest Valley Girls

BIRMINGHAM

1994-95: 8-11, 5-5

First-year Coach Chick Epstein has a daunting task ahead of him. The longtime Brave football coach who retired last season hasn't coached basketball in more than 20 years, has just eight players on the roster (two with varsity experience before this season) and the team hasn't played in nearly a month. Birmingham, which is led by Artesia McDaniels, did defeat Monroe just before the semester break.

CHATSWORTH

1994-95: 20-6, 8-2

The Chancellors, who advanced to the 3-A title game last season, are league favorites thanks to the physical inside play of 6-1 Nancy Vincent and 6-foot Tynitra Wilson, both seniors. Vincent is averaging 14.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots a game after recovering from a knee injury that sidelined her most of volleyball season. Wilson averages 13.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots. Seniors Jodi Borenstein and Parisa Plant, standouts on the softball team, are in the backcourt.

CLEVELAND

1994-95: 3-15, 1-9

With three victories heading into conference play, the Cavaliers have matched last season's total and Coach Kimberly Kelly expects continued improvement. Senior point guard Ixchel Estrada, who has played on the varsity since her freshman season, provides experience. Top scorers have been 5-7 junior swingman Stacey Harris and senior Na'Shonda McGaughy, a transfer from Leuzinger.

SAN FERNANDO

1994-95: 4-14, 2-8

Coach Christine Fotis is starting from scratch after graduating a full squad of seniors last season. The Tigers (1-10) have struggled but did gain valuable experience in tournament play, essential considering nobody played on the varsity before this season. Keresa Shelton, a 5-10 junior center who has never played organized basketball, and the backcourt of 5-4 Dwanda Campbell and 5-4 Blanca Ramos are San Fernando's best players.

EL CAMINO REAL

1994-95: 9-7, 6-4

Tami Jones has moved from point guard to small forward and is scoring 25.7 points a game. Point guard Aja Diamond, a transfer from Monroe, takes some of the pressure off Jones, who has signed a letter of intent to play softball at Northwestern.

GRANADA HILLS

1994-95: 1-13, 1-9

The Highlanders have been idle for nearly a month after nonconference losses to Dorsey and Monroe, which means a rough transition to conference play for the youngest team in the Conference. Coach Carolyn Gunny is looking to senior Ebonee Dates to provide leadership and hopes sophomore Linda Gaton and freshmen Michele Ferrucci and Saki Fakiuchi develop quickly.

KENNEDY

1994-95: 17-8, 8-2

The Golden Cougars (4-6), who are traditionally one of the stronger teams in the conference, have struggled slightly early this season. Junior point guard Tamaya Morris and junior forward Coyles Scarbrough both averaged double figures last season. To compete against Taft, Kennedy will need increased production from sophomore center Melissa Kuhn, guard Akane Maruyama and forward Tawanna Thomas.

TAFT

1994-95: 18-3, 9-1

The Toreadors were the overwhelming league favorite before the season and remain untested after reeling off eight consecutive victories and collecting two tournament championships. Junior forward Vanessa Dunn, who is averaging 16.7 points, and senior point guard Nyoki McKeith, who is at 14.6, are two of the best players in the conference. They have received scoring help from 5-10 junior Mona Calhoun, a transfer from Texas who is averaging 13.9.

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