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SoCalHoops High School News

High School Team Preview:
Los Amigos HS--(Nov. 26, 1999)

This team preview, like the rest of the Garden Grove League team previews, is admittedly short in length, and it's also short on much analysis or substance when it comes to the players listed on each team's roster.  We have not spoken with coach Don Grable, the seventh year head coach of the Lobos, but as we've said many times before, we simply don't have the resources to physically speak with every single coach of every team in the Southern Section prior to the start of the season in order to get these previews out before play starts.  There are more than 500 schools in the Southern Section alone, and we just can't talk to everyone.  We'll continue to do previews and issue updates on teams during the season, but for now this will have to do. And  thankfully, we can rely a bit on the traditional media, such as the LA Times and the Orange County Register.  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 Curtis Zupke,  on information contained in the Times as compiled by Paul McLeod and Peter Yoon, and other staff writers, and upon information we've accumulated throughout the summer and last season. 

Los Amigos is a 4 year, coed high school with an enrollment of 2000 students, located in the city of Fountain Valley.  The school is part of the Garden Grove Unified School District, and it competes, fittingly, in the Garden Grove League in Southern Section of CIF.  The Orange County Register picked the Lobos this year to finish third in their league, behind Bolsa Grande (picked first) and Pacifica (picked to finish second), but ahead of Santiago, Rancho Alamitos, La Quinta and Garden Grove, in that order.

The Lobos are coached by Don Grable, who is going into his seventh season with a 76-81 overall record.  Last year, Los Amigos was relatively successful, compiling a 16-11 overall record and finishing fourth in league with a 7-5 record. While they made the Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs last season, unfortunately for them, they managed to pull top-seeded Brea Olinda in the first round and predictably the Lobos ended their season with a loss to the Wildcats 79-54.

According to the LA Times' OC preview of the Lobos, "Coach Don Grable agrees with the league's other coaches who pick Bolsa Grande as the solid favorite. He said his team will struggle without a player over 6 feet 2. "We lost 80% of our scoring and rebounding from last year's team," Grable said. Junior point guard Jackson Nanthavong and junior forward Peter Vu are returning starters. Seniors David Chau and Jonathan Smith also return."  According to the OC Register story written by Curtis Zupke in which the paper picked Los Amigos to finish third in league, "The Lobos lost several key players, but have a solid perimeter offense led by Nanthavong."  Neither paper published complete rosters for the team, but they did identify those players who will be key to this year's team. Here's what we know about the roster for 1999-2000 for Los Amigos High School: 

Jackson Nanthavong 5'-9" Jr. G
Peter Vu 6'-0" Jr. SG/SF
David Chau 6'-0" Sr. G
Jonathan Smith 6'-0" Sr. F
Ralph Clark 6'-2" Sr. F/C
Joby Nanthavong 5'-6" Jr. G
David Perez 5'-10" Jr. G
Zach Sommer 6'-0" Sr. G/F

We're not sure whether the reason the Register picked Los Amigos to finish third instead of fourth is because they really think this year's squad will be better than last year's, and in fact it looks like just the opposite is true, consider Coach Grable's quote above that they lost 80% of their scoring and rebounding.   Instead, it looks like the rest of the league lost just a little big more than the Lobos did: Santiago, picked fourth is only returning three players and gets a new coach; Rancho Alamitos actually returns a lot of players, but they are still picked to go fifth, and we think they might actually go a lot higher; La Quinta returns 5 guys, but they are a lot smaller overall this year and less experienced; lastly, Garden Grove is very small, but coming off a season where they only had one victory, they'll need to learn how to win before being considered as contenders.

Los Amigos has a moderately tough schedule this year, and they should do reasonably well in league play, but we're guessing that they'll have trouble against taller and tougher teams at some of the preseason tournaments.   Here's a glance at their schedule for 1999-2000:

Nov. 30 Saddleback
Dec. 4 @*Fountain Valley
Dec. 6-11 @ El Dorado Tournament
Dec. 13-18 @ Troy Tournament
Dec. 27-30 @ Century Tournament
Jan 5 *Rancho Alamitos
Jan 7 @*Garden Grove
Jan 10 *Santiago
Jan 12 @*Bolsa Grande
Jan 14 *Pacifica
Jan 19 @*La Quinta
Jan 24 @ Rancho Alamitos
Jan 26 *Garden Grove
Jan 28 @*Santiago
Feb 2 *Bolsa Grande
Feb 4 @*Pacifica
Feb 8 *La Quinta

 The Swish Award
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