Pacific League is wide open

Hamlet Nalbandyan

GLENDALE -- o7 The following is a preview of the Pacific League in

girls' basketball, which begins Tuesday:f7


Muir High was head and shoulders above the rest in the Pacific League

last year, finishing 9-1, with its only loss coming to an upset-minded

Glendale High squad, 38-35.

But as dangerous as the Mustangs, who at one point were ranked No. 1

in CIF Southern Section Division III, were last year, they will be even

tougher this year.

Led by 6-foot-4 center Tye'sha Fluker, Muir should not get many

challenges in league. The junior averaged 19 points and 16 rebounds last year, and she won't be the only one that can score on Muir (9-1).

Guard Markiesha Russell can fill it up, along with forwards Stefani

Williams and Jennifer Cleeland.


The other five teams in the league -- Crescenta Valley, Pasadena,

Glendale, Hoover and Arcadia -- are all even, and it should be

interesting to see who rounds out the top three.

CV and Pasadena are the front-runners to get those two spots. The

Falcons (8-7) have some talent on their team, led by freshman Jeanine

Deno. Others that can do damage for CV, which finished third in league

last season with a 6-4 record, are Emily Forsythe and Ashley Powell.

Pasadena (9-7) returns six players from last year's second-place

squad. The Bulldogs lost Ariel Towns, but the likes Ashley Campbell,

Desiree Peterson, Laurie Hodges and Shannon Kegley can hold their own

just fine.

Glendale finished fourth in league last year, but advanced to the CIF

postseason as an at-large team because it had the necessary 10 wins to

get there. The same could occur this year, as the Nitros are 8-9 entering

their opener at CV at 3:15 p.m.

Errol Garnett's squad is going to need big performances from players

like Anika Hartounian and Ani Mirzaians to repeat last year's feats.

Hoover is 4-9 this year, but the Tornadoes have shown some potential

with athletes like Arsineh Eskandari and Xiomara Ramos. Look for Jack Van

Patten's squad to upset some teams.

Rounding out the league is Arcadia. The Apaches are much improved from

last year, entering league with a 10-3 record. Crystal Tokushige is the

player to watch on the team.

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