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SoCalHoops High School News

High School Team Preview:
Anaheim High School--(Nov. 26, 1999)

This team preview is admittedly short, and it's also short on information on some of the players listed here.  We have not spoken with the coach at Anaheim, and as we've explained before, we simply don't have time to talk to every coach of every team in the Southern Section.  This preview is based in large part upon information published in the Orange County Register on November 25, 1999 in a preview of the Orange League written by Richard Manfredi, and on information contained in the The LA Times Orange County Edition on November 23, and upon informatoin we've acquired throughout the year and last season. 

Anaheim High School is located, not surprising, in the City of Anaheim, and it's part of the Anaheim Unified School District. The school has an enrollment of 2266 full time students; it's a coed school and should play, based on it's enrollment, in Division II-AA, assuming that they qualify for the playoffs this year.    The Colonists are coached by Jose Marco Castellanos, who is in his sixth season as the varsity head coach, and he's compiled a 36-84 record in that time.   Last year, the team finished a dismal fifth out of six teams in the Orange League, behind league champion Brea Olinda, second place Savanna, third place Valencia, and fourth place Magnolia.  The only team they were better than in league was Western, which finished last (even though they had Pepperdine signee Robert Turner (6'-8" Sr. SF/PF) ).  This year, the Orange County Register has picked Anaheim to finish third, behind only Brea Olinda who is picked to finish first, and Savanna, picked to finish second.    Are the Colonists really that much more improved, or is the rest of the league just that much worse?  Who knows.  Here's what Richard Manfredi of the Register wrote in his Orange League Preview concerning the season outlook for Anaheim:

"The return of all-league players [Jesus] Salcedo and [Robert] Mendoza, combined with [Stephen] Miller, a transfer who led Orange in scoring last year, should give the Colonists the most talent in Castellanos' tenure."

Perhaps.  Last year, Anaheim finished 10-14 overall and 3-7 in league.  They failed to qualify for the playoffs. It's possible they could have a worse record this season, but as noted, it's not likely with the returning talent and the addition of Miller.  Here's a look at the roster:

Jesus Salcedo 6'-1" Sr. G
Robert Mendoza 6'-7" Sr. C
Brandon Pinkney 5'-7" Jr. G
Nate Traynore 6'-0" Sr. G
Ricky Carbellea 6'-4" Sr. F
Brandon Clark 6'-0" Jr. G
Aurelio Torres 6'-4" Sr. F
Stephen Miller 6'-3" Sr. G
Manuel Thomas 6'-6" Fr. F
Julio Palacios 5'-11" Jr. G

Manfredi is probably correct in his assessment of personnel at this point:  Salcedo and Mendoza are the only really solid returning starters from last year, and Mendoza's size gives Anaheim a distinct advantage up front.  Miller is among the newcomers, which include Thomas and Palacios.  Third in league is not a stretch, and they might even upset one or two of the favorites.  The LA Times has also featured some information recently on Miller and what he might mean for this team.   Here's what Paul McLeod wrote in the November 23 edition of the Times:

Guard Stephen Miller had a "quiet season" in 1998-99. He led the county in scoring, averaging 23.7 points, but hardly anyone noticed because Orange fell out of title contention early in the Century League and finished with 10-15 overall record.  Miller's says he's ready to defend his scoring title after transferring out of Orange, but he didn't exactly choose a high-profile basketball program when he enrolled at Anaheim. The Colonists were 9-15 last season.  So why the switch?  

"I led the county in scoring," Miller said. "How many people knew? I came here because I want to win."  That's what many coaches believe the revived Colonists will do this season after they won a school-record 30 summer league games. If Miller is hot, they should challenge perennial favorite Brea-Olinda and resurging Savanna for the Orange League title.  "We're not the same Anaheim team," Coach Jose Marco Castellanos said. "We used to keep it close in games. This year, we will actually come to play."  Castellanos said Miller has fit in well with his new teammates, including his 6-6 freshman cousin, Manuel Thomas. Three starters also return.  "Stephen had the quietest 23.7 points you have seen," Castellanos said. "He told me how he just wanted to win this year. We have a legitimate shot at going into a game now and beating anyone."

More importantly, Anaheim has not really overscheduled this fall and it should give them a good start and some early wins to boost their confidence in the early tournaments, unlike Savanna, which has scheduled some really tough tournaments, and pulled Mater Dei as it's first opponent in the Tournametn of Champions.  The Loara Tournament will feature some competitive, but not overly tough teams, as will the Valley Christian Cerritos Tournament, which will have mostly D-IV and D-V schools, and likewise the Avalon Tournament could prove to be a battle between Anaheim and Heritage Christian, one of the tougher D-V-A teams in Orange County.  Here's a look at the schedule for 1999-2000:

Dec. 1-4 @Loara Tournament
Dec. 7-11 @ Valley Christian Cerritos Tournament
Dec. 16-18 @ Avalon Tournament
Jan 12 *Savanna
Jan 14 *Brea Olinda
Jan 19 @*Valencia
Jan 21 @*Western
Jan 26 *Magnolia
Jan 28 @*Savanna
Feb 2 @*Brea Olinda
Feb 4 *Valencia
Feb 9 *Western
Feb 11 @*Magnolia

 The Swish Award
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