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SoCalHoops High School Previews

SD-CIF: City Conference
Eastern 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 City Conference, unlike the North County Conference, consists of teams from three different divisions, a few D-I's, II's and III's.   And unlike the North County Conference, there have also been no changes in the makeup of the teams in the Eastern League this year.    Here's what we know about the Eastern League teams, as well as some predictions (not ours, again the Coaches' Assn.) pre-season picks for MVP and All-League.  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) San Diego (Division 1, San Diego)

Head Coach: Dennis Kane (5th Year)
Last year’s record: 23 – 5 (12 – 0, 1st)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals.
Key players: Tito Littleton (Jr, 5’09"), Brandon Glenn (Sr, 6’05"), Anthony Palmer (Jr, 5’11"), Chauncey Wiseman (Jr, 6’04"), Atiba Riley (Sr, 6’05")
Losses to overcome: Shamar Shire (graduation), Brian Black (Cuyamaca College), K.D. Rockett (transferred to Morse)
Summary: Strong nucleus returns for the defending 4-time Eastern League champs as they look to finally win the big one and come away with a CIF title. The Cavers should be a major player in deciding the D-1 champ.

2) Morse (Division 1, San Diego)

Head Coach: Bob Cavaiola (9th Year)
Last year’s record: 19 – 10 (8 – 4, 2nd)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals.
Key players: Jacquez Lindsey (Sr, 6’00"), Keoni Watson (Sr, 5’10"), Kenny Murray (Sr, 6’05"), K.D. Rockett (Sr, 5’10")
Losses to overcome:
Eric Chamblee (graduation), Rey Guerrero (graduation), Hunter Reddick (graduation)
Summary: This might be the year for the Tigers to finally beat out San Diego for the Eastern League title. The transfers of Watson, Rockett, and Lindsey give the Tigers one of the best backcourts in San Diego, and makes them a legitimate threat to the Cavers.

3) Serra (Division 2, Tierrasanta)

Head Coach: John Labeta (7th Year)
Last year’s record: 9 – 15 (6 – 6, 4th)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in 1st round.
Key players: Ronnie Simpson (Sr, 6’03"), Avery McKinney (Sr, 5’10")
Losses to overcome: None
Summary: Simpson and McKinney are solid players, but the Conquistadors lack the firepower to ultimately make a run at the title.

4) Mira Mesa (Division 1, Mira Mesa)

Head Coach: Dan Regas (4th Year)
Last year’s record: 16 – 10 (7 – 5, 3rd)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in 1st round.
Key players: Terrell Blake (Sr, 6’01"), Kevin Morgan (Sr, 5’10"), J.J. Schmidt (Sr, 6’02"), Reggie Ross (Sr, 6’00")

Losses to overcome: Merle Woods (graduation), Joey Schmidt (graduation)
Summary: The Marauders lack a go-to guy and size in the post, but can surprise you with their physical play and overall toughness. While it is never an easy night to play Mira Mesa with their many football players on the hardwood, they lack the weapons to rise to the upper echelon of the league.

5) Kearny (Division 3, Kearny Mesa)

Head Coach: Carl Bronson (1st Year)
Last year’s record: 15 – 15 (4 – 8, 6th)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in CIF championship, lost in state 1st round.
Key players: Mario Berson (Jr, 6’01"),
Losses to overcome: Erskine Ware (graduation), Spencer Hancock (graduation), Chris Speed (graduation)
Summary: After an improbable run to the D-3 title game, the Komets must re-load with a lack of depth in the program. Ware will be hard to replace but Berson could potentially fill the leadership void.

6) Pt. Loma (Division 3, Pt. Loma)

Head Coach: Joe Zamora (4th Year)
Last year’s record: 10 – 15 (5 – 7, 5th)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in 1st round.
Key players: Chike Ekweozor (Jr, 6’06"), Neil Delira (Sr, 5’11")
Losses to overcome: Ben Antl (graduation), Gordon Brown (graduation), Greg Brown (graduation), Tony Javey (graduation)
Summary: A senior dominated team that underachieved last year must now rebuild with a lack of overall talent. Ekweozor is a raw talent who could blossom quickly.

7) Patrick Henry (Division 2, Allied Gardens)
Head Coach: Ted Tibbs (6th Year)
Last year’s record: 6 – 17 (0 – 12, 7th)
Last year’s playoffs: None
Key players: Brandon Sanders (Sr, 6’01"), Brian Stauffer (Sr, 6’03"), Craig Eagle (Sr, 6’04")
Losses to overcome: Michael Washington (graduation), Camilo Martinez (transferred to Steele Canyon)
Summary: How far the once mighty Patriots’ program has fallen. The league doormat will take a huge turnaround to make any noise in the Eastern League.

Pre-Season Player of the Year:
K.D. Rockett (Morse)

Pre-Season All-Eastern League:
Tito Littleton (San Diego)
K.D. Rockett (Morse)
Ronnie Simpson (Serra)
Keoni Watson (Morse)
Anthony Palmer (San Diego)

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