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SoCalHoops High School News

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

This team preview is admittedly short in length, and it's also short on information on some of the players listed.  We have not spoken with Al Walin, the longtime coach at Magnolia, and as we've explained before, we simply don't have the time or resources to physically speak with every single coach of every team in the Southern Section prior to the start of the season.  But 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 Richard Manfredi, and based on information we've accumulated throughout the summer and last season. 

Magnolia High School is part of the Anaheim Unified School District, and not surprisingly, the school is located in Anaheim at 2450 West Ball Road. The campus houses 1480 full-time, coed,  4-year students, which places it within Division II-A for purposes of Southern Section playoffs. The Sentinels are coached by Al Walin who is entering his 25th season with a 364-360 record.  The team competes in the Orange League against Brea Olinda, Savanna, Anaheim, Valencia, and Western, and last year they compiled a record of 13-14 overall and 5-5 in league play, to finish fourth in league, behind first place Brea Olinda, second place Savanna, and third place Valencia, which got them the last playoff spot for their league.  But the playoff experience was about as disappointing as the league finish, and Magnolia got knocked out in the first round, losing to Laguna Hills 64-40.

This year, coach Al Walin hopes to do considerably better than last year, but they've been picked by the Orange County Register's Richard Manfredi to again finish fourth in the Orange League, this time behind Brea Olinda, Savanna, and Anaheim. Here's what Manfredi wrote in his season preview about the outlook for this year:   "[Geoffrey] Clayton averaged 14 points a game as a freshman.  Walin said he could be among the top five guards in his class in the West." Walin was referring to Geoffrey Clayton (6'-3" So. PG), who indeed is talented, and who played with the Orange County Rebels this past fall, a team which featured Roger Hogan (6'-0" Sr. PG) of Servite, Allan Purnell (6'-4" Sr. F) from Savanna,  Alex Rasmussen (6'-5" Sr. SG/SF) of Foothill, Akachi Azubuike (6'-0" Sr. G) from Fullerton, and   and Robert Turner (6'-8" Sr. SF/PF) of Western who has signed to play at Pepperdine next season.  Clayton didn't play too much point on that team, but he did help out on the wing at at the two, and they got an incredible upset win over an absolutely loaded Pump N Run team which featured Errick and Derrick Craven, Dennis Lattimore, Joe See, Dustin Villepigue, and a frontline which had 5 players all bigger than 6'-9".

Here's the roster, insofar as we know it for the 1999-2000 Magnolia team. Note that we're taking this roster from the Orange County Register's preview article, and undoubtedly, there will be others on the team. It's more than likely that when Coach Walin filled out the Register's form, asking for him to list key players, that he only listed those below.  The Register's listing of players also didn't list the years/class of the players, so where we don't know it, we'll leave it blank:

Geoffrey Clayton 6'-3" So. PG/SG
Jacob Davis 6'-5"  F
Stia Asoau 6'-1" G
Scott Henry 6'-7" F
Vincent Bryant 6'-2" G
Justin Smith 5'-10" G
Gabriel Costea 6'-5" F

Again, with this sketchy information, we really have no idea just how good Magnolia can be. Clayton, Davis, Asoau, and Henry are listed as returning players, while Bryant, Smith and Costea are listed as newcomers.  Whether that's enough talent to finish fourth or better is something we can't say. Like Savanna, Magnolia probably hasn't overscheduled, but they will see some good preseason action at three tournaments.  Here's a look at the 1999-2000 schedule:

Nov. 30-Dec. 4 @ Buena Park Tournament
Dec. 6-11 @Fullerton 'Tournament
Dec. 15 Loara
Dec. 17 @ Kennedy
Dec. 20-23 @ Bullhead City, Arizona Tournament
Jan 3 @ Saddleback
Jan 5 El Modena
Jan 12 @ *Brea Olinda
Jan 14 *Western
Jan 19 *Savanna
Jan 21 @*Valencia
Jan 26 @*Anaheim
Jan 28 *Brea Olinda
Feb 2 @*Western
Feb 4 @*Savanna
Feb 9 *Valencia
Feb 11 Anaheim

 The Swish Award
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