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SoCalHoops High School News

High School Team Preview:
Calvary Chapel Santa Ana--(Nov. 22, 1999)

"We place our trust in the lord here. But we also know that we have to work hard. If we can do both, we'll have a lot of success this season." --Bernie Francis, head coach, Calvary Chapel Santa Ana

Bernie Francis is in his second year of coaching at Santa Ana Calvary Chapel (which is not to be confused with the other Calvary Chapel schools, located throughout SoCal, including Downey, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, and Redlands).  Santa Ana Calvary Chapel is by far the largest of these schools, with an enrollment of 650 students in the high school, which is a four year, coed school located in, appropriately, Santa Ana.   Francis took over from Craig Falconer, who had been the long time coach at the school and who is now coaching at La Habra High School and also involved in coaching one of the BWBA teams and at Bob Gottlieb's Sunday workouts at Anaheim High School, also known as the Branch West Academy.   Francis has been coaching for the past 12 years, mostly in youth programs prior to joining Calvary Chapel, and he was the league administrator for several years with the local NJB chapter.  Francis also teaches algebra at the school.  About his experience thus far, he says, "I love this school, and we have such a great group of students. I love the fact that we have small class sizes here and that we can also devote some real dedication to the sports program, and strive towards excellence.  I think though that the most important thing we can do is to help our kids put sports and education in perspective, to allow them to use their talents and their gifts, and to work hard for the whole team, not just for themselves as individuals," Francis said. "I'm glad we have a very unselfish team, a group of guys who work together rather than just to glorify one or two star players. I'm very pleased with our players and their attitudes and how they all work together."

And even though Francis wants to downplay the "start" element and emphasize the team aspects, which is of course the right thing to do, there's also no denying that this year Calvary Chapel has indeed got a bona fide star-level player in Torin Beeler (6'-6' Jr. SG/SF), one of Orange County's best pure athletes, who can jump out of the gym, shoot the ball from outside or take it to the hole and dunk with authority. Torin was originally enrolled at Calvary as a freshman, but then transferred to Ocean View High School last year. He's returned to the school, better and more physical than ever, and even though he didn't play on a lot of summer teams, he still managed to impress a lot of coaches at the Pump Fall Premier Tournament, playing for the Pump N Run team.   "Even though we now have someone of Torin's caliber, the best thing about him is that he's a leader and all of the players have really rallied around him. Similarly, he's not a 'star' in the sense that he wants to be treated differently. He's just a very talented player," Francis said, "and he's raising the level of everyone's play on the team.  And best of all, he's a great young man. I've known Torin since he was in the third grade through my involvement with the church here, and it's really a pleasure to see him growing into such a fine young man and a great player."  

Even without Beeler, Calvary Chapel was a playoff-quality team, and last year the Eagles made it as far as the CIF Southern Section Division IV-A quarterfinals, ultimately losing to semifinalist Mojave, in a close game, 56-54.  This year, the outlook is for a quicker, faster and more mature team with a lot more firepower offensively and on the boards. "Torin gives us some abilities we didn't have last year, but he's also really good at spreading the offense around.  He'll have his game, but we also need everyone to step up around him to really be successful. With a lot of hard work and some luck, we can do that and maybe even go further this year," Francis said.  And he may be right.

Here's the roster for this year's team:

Isaiah Barney 5'-8" Jr. PG
Torin Beeler 6'-6" Jr. F
Jeff Dressendorfer 5'-10" Jr. SG
Bryan Filkey 6'-3" Jr. F
Mark Hughes 5'-10" Jr. SG
Daniel Jauregui 5'-11" Sr. PG
Tyler Ohanian 6'-0" Sr. SG
Tony Olivas 5'-11" Jr. F
Canaan Owens 6'-2" Jr. F
David Pawasarat 6'-4" Jr. C
Micah Poe 6'-0" Sr. F
Joshua Sherman 6'-4" Sr. C

In the backcourt, will mostly likely be Isaiah Barney at the point and Tyler Ohanian at the two.  Isaiah, is a small, thin, but cunning and quick point guard, with a great handle. Size will be his only problem, and he may be susceptible to double team pressure which may prevent him from seeing around or over some taller defenders. But what he makes up for in size he more than compensates for in court sense, intelligence and ballhandling skills. We saw him on the court several times this summer, including at one of the series of Palm Springs tournaments, and thought he was very good, and that was without Torin around him as a target to feed the ball to on alley-oops, so he should be even better with Beeler as a target out on the wing or under the basket.  Ohanian will probably get the nod as the starter at the two, and he's really more of a defensive specialist than a pure shooter. "Tyler didn't score a lot last year, but he's really the guy who set the pace for our defense. He'll lead the team in steals, and last year was second in assists, and we'll try to get him to step up his scoring this year too," Francis said. Jeff Dressendorfer, a junior with a nice outside shot, will help out defensively at the two also as will another junior, Mark Hughes who provides some excellent touch out to three point range. Daniel Jauregui will, at least for now, backup Isaiah at the point, and he's also got a good handle, and has some good quickness and the ability to help set up off the fast break. 

At the three/four look for Beeler and Tony Olivas.  Tony played varsity last year and was a very versatile player, a good rebounder who has a good shot from inside or outside. "He's the kind of guy who will drive into the middle against much taller players and get results. He's just got no fear," Francis said. Beeler is really more of a finesse player, one of the smartest basketball players in the county, with incredible leaping ability. Torin is a very deceptive player because he just doesn't look explosive; but put the ball in his hands on the floor, and he'll slash to the hole, pull up for the short or long range jumper or slam dunk the ball with authority. Beeler is a big time prospect, capable of playing at an Arizona, USC, UCLA or other big time Pac-10 programs, and he's quicker and taller than a player like Nate Hair, and while he's not as accomplished an outside shooter as Spencer Gloger was last year, he's just as capable of being the D-IV-A Player of the Year.  Right now he's getting attention from schools like Colorado State, Northwestern, Arizona, and others, but look for him to just explode this next summer, especially if he has a big season this year. Backing up at the three/four positions will be Bryan Filkey, whom Francis describes as "our inspirational leader."  Filkey is a transfer from the Chicago area, and he's a potent offensive threat as well, a real slasher and rebounding specialist whose strength is under the boards and facing up and shooting from the short corner. Right now he's recovering from a broken leg, but will rejoin the team after December. Two others will provide some help at the forward spots: Canaan Owens and Micah Poe.  Canaan Owens is a versatile offensive player who also won't see time until after December since he's recovering from broken ankle. "Canaan is a good shooter inside, very smart, and his best quality is that he works for every shot, and never gives up," said Francis.   Micah Poe is a "scrappy player, the kind of guy who is usually where he needs to be at crucial moments of  the game," Francis said.  "He's an excellent rebounder for his size, and can also put up the shot, and defends well too."

At the post will be Joshua Sherman.  "He'll be our second most potent offensive weapon, next to Torin. He's really turned into a solid post player, with good foot work and he's also an excellent face up shooter around the basket," Francis said.  "He'll be a big rebounder for us, and will definitely start at center."  Backup up Joshua will be David Pawasarat, a young player who will see some minutes this year off the bench spelling Sherman.

Calvary Chapel will have a strong league and preseason this year and they'll be busy from tomorrow through, they hope, March of next year. The Eagles will start tomorrow, Tuesday, November 23 with a scrimmage, against, of all teams, former coach Craig Falconer's La Habra Highlanders.  Then, as if they won't have had enough of coach Falconer by then (just kidding), Calvary Chapel will also play in the La Habra Tournament from November 29-Dec. 4, which will feature Northwood HS, San Pedro, El Dorado, La Habra, Riverside Notre Dame and a couple of others.

From December 7-12, the Eagles will be at the La Quinta Tournament in Westminster, where they'll play against teams like Santa Ana Valley, La Quinta, Huntington Beach, Loara, Lakewood, Buena Park, and Corona del Mar.  From the 27-29 of December, Calvary Chapel will play in the Century Tournament, which will feature Century, Santa Ana Valley, Cypress, La Habra, Laguna Beach, St. John Bosco, Santa Ana, Dana Hills, Westminster, El Modena, Rancho Alamitos, Los Amigos, Santiago, Sunny Hills and John Glenn. 

The league schedule won't be any easier. Here's the schedule for 1999-2000:

Dec 7-12 La Quinta Tournament
Dec. 14 @Santa Margarita
Dec. 17 @ La Habra
Dec. 21 Santa Margarita
Dec 23 Faith Academy, Philippines
Dec 27-29 @ Century Tournament
Jan 4 @ Santa Ana Valley
Jan 7 @*Whittier Christian
Jan 11 *Brethren Christian
Jan 14 @*Maranatha
Jan 18 @*Valley Christian Cerritos
Jan 21 *Orange Lutheran
Jan 28 *Whittier Christian
Feb. 1 @*Brethren Christian
Feb 3 *Maranatha
Feb 8 *Valley Christian Cerritos
Feb. 10 @*Orange Lutheran

This could be a banner year for Calvary Chapel Santa Ana. Whether they can make the playoffs and take a run at a CIF Southern Section title in Division IV-A is something that only time will tell. But we'll be watching.

 The Swish Award
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