The 2010-11 girls' prep basketball season is underway this week. Marina got its season off to a promising start Tuesday by defeating Schurr, 52-46, in nonleague play.
Below is a capsule look at the local teams:
Head Coach: Dan Wiley (3rd year)
2009-10 record: 24-6 (10-0 league, champions)
Returning players: Bonnie Samuelson (Wing, 6-3, Sr.); Christina Marquette (Wing, 5-8, Sr.); Jamie Taylor (G, 5-6, Sr.); Sydney Lara (G, 5-3, Sr.); Rilee Horton (F, 5-10 1/2, Jr.); McKenzie Clapp (Wing, 5-6, Jr.); Lauren Grego (Wing, 5-9, Jr.); Riley Lowe (G, 5-3, Soph.); Karlie Samuelson (G, 5-11, Soph.).
Quick take: The Chargers have won three straight Sunset titles. They return nine players from a team that a year ago reached the semifinals of the CIF Division 2AA playoffs. Bonnie Samuelson was the Sunset's MVP and All-CIF as a junior. Her younger sister, Karlie, was first-team all-league and also All-CIF. Marquette was also first-team all-league and both Horton and Grego were second-team all-league picks. Wiley said his Chargers will be "road warriors" early on: they don't play their first home game until Jan. 11. "I wanted to toughen up our nonleague schedule," he said. A challenging nonleague slate that includes the Nike National Tournament in Phoenix, Best in the West tournament and the Nike Extravaganza in the coming months, begins at 7 p.m. Monday against Aliso Niguel at the University Tournament.
Coach's outlook: "We have a chance to do really well with our experience, but it is up to the girls to work hard to reach their full potential," Wiley said. "We have no problems with our offensive ability, but we have to do a better job on defense."
Brethren Christian Warriors
Head Coach: Jeffrey Wallace (3rd year)
Coaching staff: Claire Gocke
2009-10 record: 13-12 (6-4 league, second-place)
Returning players: Rebekah Rudd (Post, 6-2, Sr.); Kirsten Sakata (G, 5-7, Sr.); Madison Desler (G, 6-0, Sr.); Emily Hammond (F, 5-6, Jr.); Sara Hodges (G, 5-4, Soph.).
Quick take: Five players are back from a squad that last winter reached the CIF Division 5A playoffs where the Warriors were eliminated by eventual CIF State semifinalist, Montclair Prep. Rudd averaged eight points a game last year and was first-team all-league. Sakata, who averaged six points, was second-team all-league. BC, which last won a league championship in 2001, is playing this week at the Corona del Mar/Northwood Tip-Off Classic. The Warriors will play in the Orangewood Academy Spartan Classic and West Coast Jamboree, the latter in San Francisco, later this month.
Coach's outlook: "With three, key seniors returning and a strong cast of supporting players, we are looking to take the top spot in league play," Wallace said. "We will start the season short three of our key players. They are involved in the CIF-State (volleyball) playoffs and will not even join our team until after our season opens in our first tournament. This only serves to encourage their teammates to step up and fill in the gaps while they are out. In the end, that should make us a better, stronger team. The dedication level of this year's squad seems to be higher. They realize the goal that is obtainable for them this year and are putting in the extra effort. Our team defense is improving but will need to be in tune by the time league starts in order for us to be at our best."
Fountain Valley Barons
Head Coach: Saki Takemoto (4th year)
Coaching staff: Thomas Ngo, Michelle Kravik and Carol Strausburg
2009-10 record: 10-16 (2-9 league, fifth-place)
Returning players: Kimi Kamada (PG, 5-3, Sr.); Leslie La (C, 5-11, Sr.); Christine Tran (G/F, 5-6, Sr.); Allyson Yoshinaga (G, 5-3, Sr.); Toyen Le (PG/G, 5-3, Jr.); Jasmine Matar (G/F, 5-9, Soph.).
Quick take: The Barons host their own Hoops Challenge which starts Monday. They will play their tournament and season opener at 7:45 Tuesday against Costa Mesa. Fountain Valley last won a league championship in 1996.
Coach's outlook: "This year's Lady Barons are the nicest and friendliest team I have ever had," Takemoto said. "I'm trying to find ways to keep who they are but also be competitive."
Huntington Beach Oilers
Head Coach: Russell McClurg (8th year)
Coaching staff: Sarah Boggeln, Jade Viloria
2009-10 record: 22-7 (8-2 league, second-place)
Returning players: Kelsey Minato (PG, 5-8, Jr.); Maya Kennedy (G, 5-10, Jr.); Sasha Mancisidor (C, 6-3, Sr.); Jill Nakaso (F, 5-10, Soph.); Michelle Goodman (G, 5-6); Malia Viloria (G, 5-8, Soph.).
Quick take: The Oilers rejoin the Sunset League with six returning players from a team that last year finished second in the Sea View League and reached the quarterfinal round of the CIF Division 2AA playoffs. Of the five returnees, only Minato and Kennedy started. Both had big years, too: Minato averaged 15 points and three assists en route to earning first-team all-league and second-team All-CIF honors while Kennedy averaged 14 points and 2.5 assists and was a first-team all-league selection. Huntington, which last won a league crown in 2006, begins its season Monday with a first-round game at the Fountain Valley Tournament. During the holiday break in December, the Oilers will compete at the Nike Phoenix Tournament of Champions and then the Costa Mesa Tournament.
Coach's outlook: "We are a very young team looking for an up-tempo style of play," McClurg said. "We have some very young kids who are looking to make there mark in the program. They seem to really get along with each other as we do a lot of team bonding. I am hoping this will help with team chemistry on the court. We are very young and will have some maturity issues."
Head Coach: Butch Fredlow (11th year)
Coaching staff: Paul Kirby
2009-10 record: 16-12 (7-3 league, second-place)
Returning players: Alyssa Kinoshita (G, 5-6, Sr.); Jaclyn Do (G, 5-4, Sr.); Sloan Turner (C, 6-2, Sr.); Heather Hollander (Post, 6-2, Sr.).
Quick take: The Vikings opened their season Tuesday with a 52-46 victory over Schurr High. Three freshmen and two sophomores are on this year's varsity roster. Marina, which last won a Sunset title in 2006, the second of back-to-back championships, will play in three tournaments over the holidays including its own Larry Doyle Tournament Dec. 27-30.
Coach's outlook: "I am impressed with the willingness of our players to be coached and challenged every time they enter the gym," Fredlow said. "I am more impressed that we are doing it the right way, with our own players from our own attendance area."