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SoCalHoops High School Previews

SD-CIF: Metropolitan Conference
Mesa 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 Mesa League is another all-Division I league, which means that it has some of the largest talent pools in terms of enrollment to draw upon.   Are these the most talented teams in San Diego?  Mostly likely not, but they will all compete and there are some excellent players, including guys like Keith Spencer (Eastlake), Mark Burns (Chula Vista), Dwight Gooding (Bonita Vista), Jordan Rosure (Sweetwater), and Louie Trujillo (Sweetwater).   What follows are previews and predictions from the Coaches' Assn. (no, these picks are not ours), for the Mesa League of the Metropolitan Conference, including some pre-season picks for MVP and All-League players.   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) Eastlake (Division 1, Chula Vista)

Head Coach: Alex Estrada (4th Year)
Last year’s record: 16 – 13 (7 – 1, 1st in South Bay)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals.
Key players: Keith Spencer (Sr, 6’06"), Craig Jackson (Jr, 5’10")
Losses to overcome: Tim Ross (graduation), Troy Owens (graduation), Rafik Henderson (transferred to Horizon)
Summary: Spencer is a versatile athlete who will help the Titans inside, while Jackson is a solid lead guard. After winning the South Bay league title last year, Eastlake should manage to still come out on top of the tougher Mesa League.

2) Sweetwater (Division 1, National City)

Head Coach: David Ybarra (19th Year)
Last year’s record: 11 – 16 (3 – 5, tied for 3rd)
Last year’s playoffs: None
Key players: Louie Trujillo (Sr, 6’00"), Jordan Rosure (Sr, 6’01"), Tommy Wong (Sr, 5’11")
Losses to overcome: Curtis White (graduation), Carlos Martinez (graduation)
Summary: Trujillo and Rosure form the best backcourt in the league, and can fill it up from the perimenter on any given night. If the Red Devils can find someone to do the dirty work inside, then they will give Eastlake a strong challenge for the league crown.

3) Chula Vista (Division 1, Chula Vista)

Head Coach: Garrard Galvan (1st Year)
Last year’s record: 17 – 11 (4 – 4, 2nd)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in 1st round.
Key players: Mark Burns (Sr, 5’11"), Nathan Flowers (Jr, 6’04"), Kevin Davies (Sr, 5’08")
Losses to overcome: Paul Milligan (graduation), Ray Stribling (graduation)
Summary: Burns is a quality guard who will have to carry the load with the departure of Milligan. The Spartans will be young and lack some size but will surprise people on certain nights.

4) Bonita Vista (Division 1, Chula Vista)

Head Coach: Bob Bobuk (2nd Year)
Last year’s record: 24 – 5 (8 – 0, 1st)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals.
Key players: Dwight Gooding (Sr, 5’10"), Branden Brooks (Sr, 6’03")
Losses to overcome: Nick Stephens (Grossmont College), Lucas Jensen (Cuyamaca College)
Summary: Stephens and Jensen were the best 2 players in the league last year, and their losses will hurt tremendously. Gooding is a solid player, but needs help to compete with the better league teams.

5) Montgomery (Division 1, Chula Vista)

Head Coach: George Anderson (13th Year)
Last year’s record: 15 – 12 (2 – 6, 5th)
Last year’s playoffs: None
Key players: Robert Whaley (Jr, 5’09"), Andre Phillip (So, 5’09"), Peter Armada (So, 5’08")
Losses to overcome: Ian Pizarro (graduation), Larry Wofford (graduation)
Summary: The loss of the Aztecs’ only size in Pizarro and Wofford will make it even more difficult for them to climb out of the cellar. Whaley is a returning starter who can only hope that the Aztecs’ young players mature quickly.

Pre-Season Player of the Year:
Keith Spencer (Eastlake)

Pre-Season All-Mesa League:
Mark Burns (Chula Vista)
Dwight Gooding (Bonita Vista)
Jordan Rosure (Sweetwater)
Keith Spencer (Eastlake)
Louie Trujillo (Sweetwater)

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