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SoCalHoops High School Previews

SD-CIF: City Conference
Western 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.  While the Eastern League of the City Conference is a blend of mostly D-I, II and III teams, the Western League is filled with mostly Division III and IV teams, including a few who could challenge for a State Title this year if they can hold off the competition in their own section.   The Western League, also unlike the Eastern, did have some teams moving in and out from last year, and this year, Lincoln is in, and Our Lady of Peace is out.  The league has some excellent players, including a few D-I signees like Shaun Davis (Pepperdine) and  Dominic McGuire (Cal) and Lincoln again looks like the team to beat.   Here's what we know about the Western 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) Lincoln (Division 4, San Diego)

Head Coach: Charlie Paulk (10th Year)
Last year’s record: 20 – 8 (10 – 2, 1st)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in CIF championship, lost in state 1st round.
Key players: Shaun Davis (Sr, 5’10"), Dominic McGuire (Sr, 6’07"), Donald Barksdale (Sr, 6’06")
Losses to overcome: Donald Deshotels (graduation), Ronald Harris (graduation), Daryl Payne (graduation)
Summary: Best duo in the county needs Barksdale to step up as 3rd option in order to dethrone the D-4 champs, Horizon.  Should be able to defend their league crown despite a very competitive league.

2) La Jolla (Division 3, La Jolla)

Head Coach: Rle Nichols (2nd Year)
Last year’s record: 6 – 21 (3 – 9, 7th)
Last year’s playoffs: None
Key players: Jake Wohlfeil (Sr, 6’03"), Wai John Wai (Sr, 6’04"), Richard Moss (Sr, 6’05"), Grayson Moyer (Jr, 6’05"), Ladarren James (So, 5’10")
Losses to overcome: Will Peddie (football at UCLA), Tim Clark (San Francisco State)
Summary: Controversial flood of transfers has put the Vikings under the microscope, but while they should take a weakened D-3 title, handling Lincoln will be a different story. Eligibility of Moss could be the key to the season.

3) Scripps Ranch (Division 2, Scripps Ranch)

Head Coach: John King (10th Year)
Last year’s record: 15 – 14 (6 – 6, tied for 3rd)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in 1st round.
Key players: Garrett Hetherington (Sr, 6’01"), Jon Kargas (Jr, 6’04")
Losses to overcome: Javier Jones (graduation)
Summary: There are no superstars in this bunch, just a group of solid players with good chemistry and teamwork. Could compete for league title if everything falls just right.

4) University of San Diego HS (Division 3, Linda Vista)

Head Coach: Demetrius Laffitte (2nd Year)
Last year’s record: 10 – 15 (4 – 8, tied for 5th)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals.
Key players: Enrico Tucker (Jr, 5’11"), Javon Williams (Jr, 6’04"), Stanley Hoenig (So, 5’10"), Thad Jackson (Fr, 6’04")
Losses to overcome: None
Summary: Laffitte is bound to have a better year than his disappointing rookie campaign, and the maturing of Tucker and Williams should allow the Dons to take another step forward in the rebuilding process. Jackson will be counted on early because of a lack of quality size. Needless to say, a lot to ask of a freshman in the rough and tough world of the Western League.

5) Mission Bay (Division 3, Mission Bay)

Head Coach: Mike Seaman (27th Year)
Last year’s record: 15 – 7 (9 – 3, 2nd)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals.
Key players: Jason Parker (Sr, 6’05"), Bryce Daniels (Sr, 5’10")
Losses to overcome: Marcus Smith (football at USC), Mike Parrot (graduation), Ron Barzoni-Moore (graduation), Mitchel Bussey (graduation)
Summary: One year after making a run at the league title, the Buccaneers have been hit hard by graduation. Parker is the key up front as he provides the Bucs with much needed scoring and size.

6) University City (Division 3, La Jolla)

Head Coach: Brad Milhoan (4th Year)
Last year’s record: 12 – 15 (4 – 8, tied for 5th)
Last year’s playoffs: Lost in quarterfinals.
Key players: Austin Fowler (Jr, 6’03"), James Mitchell (Jr, 6’00")
Losses to overcome: Blake Frazier (graduation), Elliott Pitcher (graduation), Reid Chambers (graduation), Jason Zinser (transferred to La Jolla Country Day)
Summary: Centurions lost talent in a somewhat disappointing senior class. Difficult to be a young team in the tough Western League, but counting on Fowler and Mitchell to mature quickly.

7) St. Augustine (Division 3, San Diego)

Head Coach: Mike Haupt (8th Year)
Last year’s record: 16 – 15 (6 – 6, tied for 3rd)
Last year’s playoffs: Won CIF D-3 championship, lost in state 1st round.
Key players: Chris Agnes (Sr, 6’03"), Kyle Robinson (Sr, 5’10"), Zeke McCurtis (Sr, 6’04")
Losses to overcome: Rommel Marentez (UC Davis), Jim Dubenetzky (graduation)
Summary: After capturing last year’s watered down D-3 title with a near .500 record, the Saints are crashing back down to earth. With no Floyd Norths or Eric Osmundsons in the line-up, it looks like it will be a long year.

Pre-Season Player of the Year:
Shaun Davis (Lincoln)

Pre-Season All-Western League:
Shaun Davis (Lincoln)
Garrett Hetherington (Scripps Ranch)
Dominic McGuire (Lincoln)
Enrico Tucker (University)
Jake Wohlfeil (La Jolla)

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