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FREEWAY LEAGUE

Buena Park

Coach: Suzan Guba

1998-99 record: 3-20

League record: 0-10

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The challenge in front of the Coyotes is to turn back the ocean. In eight years under former coach Ric Reed, Buena Park compiled a 28-134 record. Coach Suzan Guba hopes to lay the foundation for the future and turn some enthusiasm and hustle into at least four league victories. Forward Veena Hambrick (Sr., 5-7) and two juniors, forward Rania Elachkar (5-7) and guard Stefanie Camarena, will be central to the rebuilding process as the Coyotes’ returning starters.

Fullerton

Coach: Respp Relatores

1998-99 record: 7-18

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League record: 3-7

Respp Relatores is the Indians’ third coach in three years. Forward Te-hani Kauhane (Sr., 5-10) and junior guard Julie Blied return to the starting lineup to try to push past La Habra and Sunny Hills in the standings. Traci Fromknecht (5-11), a senior up from the JV, is Fullerton’s tallest player, but help could be coming from 5-9 forward Tasha Worthy, a junior transfer from Sonora.

La Habra

Coach: Frank McCarroll

1998-99 record: 12-15

League record: 5-5

Diana Fukushima, a junior guard who can hit the three-point shot, averaged 13.5 points and is a central figure in La Habra’s young nucleus. Center Ranay Dato (So., 6-0, nine points) and forward Mira Carberry (So., 5-10) should provide solid play in the post, though the team doesn’t have an experienced point guard. Five of the top six players saw a lot of action last season. With a deeper bench and more athletic team, La Habra has reason for optimism.

Sonora

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Coach: Rick Albano

1998-99 record: 19-9

League record: 8-2

The Raiders will try to take the momentum of their last regular-season game a year ago--a near upset of Troy--and push a little further. Any discussion of Sonora begins with junior guard Brandi Davis (5-10, 14 points), who has the potential to emerge as one of the county’s dominant players. She must develop as a mature leader on this team if the Raiders are to take full advantage of their potential though. Sonora will need increased scoring from center Mindy Clark (Sr., 6-4, 7 points, 10.7 rebounds) to compensate for the graduation of Sarah Fister (16.3 points, 14 rebounds). Clark has signed with Fresno State. Cathy Ngo (Sr., 5-7, three points, three steals) is the final returning starter for the Raiders. Center Raena Neabors (Jr., 6-0) should complement Clark, and forward Allison Crowther (So., 5-10) provides some inside versatility for Coach Rick Albano (fifth year, 70-36).

Sunny Hills

Coach: Lori Peterson

1998-99 record: 11-15

League record: 4-6

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Sunny Hills is trying to take the next step in the standings, but will do so without a proven scorer. The Lancers didn’t have anyone average as many as 10 points last season. However, Coach Lori Peterson (third season, 20-29) will have an experienced group with nine returners. Two seniors, guard Kim MacKeand and forward Jessica Perez (5-9), and two juniors, guard Kristen Fong and center Christine Granillo (5-11), are back in the starting lineup.

Troy

Coach: Kevin Kiernan

1998-99 record: 27-1

League record: 10-0

Coach Kevin Kiernan (fourth year, 77-9) upgraded the schedule and has four returning starters and nine lettermen back. The most notable is guard Veronica Johns-Richardson (Jr., 5-10), a Times’ All-Orange County player who averaged 19.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 6.6 steals. She will be flanked by Katie Hardeman (Sr., 5-11) and sophomore three-point shooter Alicia Komaki (45.7%). Forward/center Kianey Givens-Davis (Jr., 6-0) averaged nine points and seven rebounds. Guard Stephanie Schilling (Jr., 5-10)--the team’s sixth player--was a first-team all-league selection. The Warriors, who won their first 27 games, are trying to win their eighth consecutive league title, and should do so with a quick, experienced, high-octane press.


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