socalogo.gif (8739 bytes)
SoCalHoops High School Previews

SD-CIF: Southern Conference
Desert League Preview--(Nov. 27, 2002)

The San Diego Coaches Association has been really good to us this year.  In the past, getting information out of San Diego has been like pulling teeth, but this year, we've gotten a slew of league and team capsule preview from our friends down south. 

The Desert League is another of those leagues which doesn't usually get much respect outside of San Diego...Heck, some would say it doesn't get much respect in San Diego.  According to the San Diego Coaches' Association, the top team this year will be Imperial, and the top players are predicted to be Danny Jones of Imperial as the pre-season MVP, and All-League guys Ezequiel Navarro (Calipatria), Andres Quesada (Holtville), Cameron Robinson (Palo Verde) and Vontray Taylor (Calipatria)

What follows are previews and predictions from the Coaches' Assn. (no, these picks are not ours), for the Desert League of the Southern Conference.  Teams are listed in the order of finish; again these are the Coaches' Association's picks, so if you don't like them, blame them, not us. 

1) Imperial (Division 4, Imperial)

Head Coach: Dave Milan (3rd Year)
Last year’s record: 12 – 14 (4 – 2, tied for 1st)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals.
Key players:
Danny Jones (Jr, 6’05"), David Diaz (Sr, 5’08"), Tyler Jensen (Jr, 5’10")
Losses to overcome: Matt Taylor (graduation), David Thomas (graduation)
Summary: Jones is very difficult to stop in the paint, and should be the best player in the league. If some of the new faces in the line-up can step up and contribute, the Tigers should beat out Calipatria and Holtville for the title.

2) Calipatria (Division 4, Calipatria)

Head Coach: Robert Romero (5th Year)
Last year’s record: 13 – 12 (4 – 2, 1st)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals.
Key players:
Ezequiel Navarro (Sr, 5’09"), Vontray Taylor (Sr, 6’00")
Losses to overcome: Jorge Navarro (graduation), Daniel Thomas (graduation)
Summary: In a league with some decent big men, the Hornets come up short. Navarro and Taylor form a good backcourt, but they need to find a quality post player to make a run for the top.

3) Holtville (Division 4, Holtville)

Head Coach: Jared Garewal (1st Year)
Last year’s record: 10 – 13 (3 – 3, 3rd)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals.
Key players:
Andres Quesada (Jr, 6’06"), Alex Martinez (Jr, 5’11")
Losses to overcome: Eric Cueto (graduation), Jon Singh (graduation), Jacob Freeman (graduation)
Summary: Garewal returns to his alma mater and is hoping to reverse the Vikings’ recent slide. The loss of 3 starters will hurt, but Quesada and Martinez lead a good junior class as they fight for the league title.

4) Palo Verde Valley (Division 4, Blythe)

Head Coach: Rick Copple (2nd Year)
Last year’s record: 3 – 12 (1 – 5, 4th)
Last year’s playoffs: None
Key players:
Cameron Robinson (Jr, 6’00"), Jonathan Crowe (Jr, 6’03")
Losses to overcome: Ward Jones (graduation), Rick Copple (graduation)
Summary: Scrappy guard play and the shooting of Robinson should equate into an improved Palo Verde squad. Youth and a lack of height means the Yellowjackets are probably a year away from title contention.

Pre-Season Player of the Year:
Danny Jones (Imperial)

Pre-Season All-Desert League:
Danny Jones (Imperial)
Ezequiel Navarro (Calipatria)
Andres Quesada (Holtville)
Cameron Robinson (Palo Verde)
Vontray Taylor (Calipatria)

socalogomini1.gif (1928 bytes)
©Copyright SoCalHoops 1997-2003
Questions? Comments? Need Information?