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SoCalHoops High School Previews

SD-CIF: Coastal Conference
South 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 Coastal Conference has been through a reorganization in the past few years.  Now it's divided into a North League and South League, rather than just one big conference.  And among the teams in this, the South League, you'll find some of the more competitive teams in the State, including the defending State D-IV champions, Horizon Christian (who a few of us will get a chance to see next week up here in the Westchester Tournament.  What follows are previews and predictions from the Coaches' Assn. (no, these picks are not ours), for the South League of the Coastal 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) Horizon Christian (Division 4, Clairemont)

Head Coach: Zack Jones (9th Year)
Last year’s record: 29 – 4 (6 – 0, 1st)
Last year’s playoffs: Won State D-4 Championship.
Key players: Jared Dudley (Sr, 6’05"), Alan Wiggins (Sr, 6’08"), Ryan Read (Sr, 6’02"), Anthony Johnson (Sr, 6’03"), Franklin Williams (Sr, 6’03"), Mezhron Evans (Sr, 6’07")
Losses to overcome: Nate Carter (UC Riverside), Joktan Roberts (football at Alabama A&M), Benas Veikalas (Metropolitan State)
Summary: The defending state champions suffered some huge losses to graduation (3 starters including the San Diego CIF Player of the Year, Carter). However, the Panthers simply re-loaded as starters Read and Dudley are joined by Poway transfer, Wiggins. Along with quality depth and a healthy Anthony Johnson, Horizon should be considered one of the favorites to defend their state crown.

2) La Jolla Country Day (Division 4, La Jolla)

Head Coach: Paul Wilson (7th Year)
Last year’s record: 20 –12 (0 – 6, 4th)
Last year’s playoffs: Won CIF D-5 Championship, lost in Southern California regional semi-finals.
Key players: Josh McWhorter (Jr, 6’04"), Jason Zinser (Jr, 6’06"), Daniel Bastine (Sr, 6’00"), Tommas Golia (So, 5’10"), Max Zousmer (So, 6’01"), Tyler Grooms (Sr, 6’02")
Losses to overcome: Chris Robinson (Mesa College)
Summary: Depth should not be a problem for the first time in recent memory for the Torres. Replacing Robinson’s scoring though will be another story. McWhorter and Zinser form a solid frontline, while Bastine and Golia make up the backcourt combo. Probably lack the star power to knock off Horizon.

3) Francis Parker (Division 4, Linda Vista)

Head Coach: Ryan Meier (1st Year)
Last year’s record: 16 – 10 (2 – 4, 3rd)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in 1st round.
Key players: Chris Penrose (Sr, 6’00"), Pat Harrigan (So, 6’05"), Brian Giometti (So, 5’11"), James Melton (So, 6’01")
Losses to overcome: Larry Christia (graduation), Maurice Nash (graduation), Hudson Moore (graduation)
Summary: After surviving a circus-like year that saw 4 coaches go through the revolving door, the Lancers are hoping for a year of stability. Loss of Christia creates a big void that will be hard for a young team to fill.

4) Bishop’s (Division 4, La Jolla)

Head Coach: Tom Tarantino (3rd Year)
Last year’s record: 18 – 9 (4 – 2, 2nd)
Last year’s playoffs: Semi-finals
Key players: Steven Douglass (Jr, 6’02"), PJ Richardson (Sr, 5’08"), Tonag Ross’ Mau (Jr, 6’02")
Losses to overcome: Martin Smith (University of California), Alex Nieto (University of San Diego), Erik Grimm (football at Harvard University), Paul Fraley (football at Univ. of California)
Summary: Departure of Smith and Nieto, as well as size of Grimm and Fraley are significant losses. Lack of experience and size will severely test Tarantino and the Knights.

Pre-Season Player of the Year:
Jared Dudley (Horizon)

Pre-Season All-Coastal South League:
Jared Dudley (Horizon)
Anthony Johnson (Horizon)
Josh McWhorter (La Jolla Country Day)
Ryan Read (Horizon)
Alan Wiggins (Horizon)

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