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SoCalHoops High School News

High School Team Preview:
Santiago (Garden Grove) 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 first year Santiago head coach Val Potestas, 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. 

Santiago High School is located in the city of Garden Grove, and is part of both the Garden Grove Unified School District and competes in the Garden Grove League in CIF Southern Section.  The school is located just off the 22 Freeway near the Harbor Blvd. off-ramp, at 12342 Trask Avenue;  it has an enrollment of 2000 4 year, coed students, placing it in Division II-AA for playoff purposes (at least that would be the case using last year's enrollment figures).  Playoffs, however, are something that first year coach Val Potestas might not have to concern himself with unless this team is vastly improved from last season, in which they compiled an overall record of 6-19, and a dismal league record of 2-10.  Potestas, a nine year assistant varsity coach and the head JV coach during that time, will have his work cut out for him this season.

The Orange County Register picks the Cavaliers to finish fourth in Garden Grove League play, behind Bolsa Grande, Pacifica and Los Amigos (in that order), but ahead of Rancho Alamitos, La Quinta, and Garden Grove, also in that order.   Can they improve on their last year's season record?  Who knows.   Starting guards Nghia Ho and Mike Sariano and center Alfonso Lizarraras return, as does guard Tung Vo.  But the tallest player on the team is 6-4 Brian Pilkington, a junior forward. "We lack patience and fundamentals," Potesta said. Nevertheless, he told the Times he believes the Cavaliers can make a run for third place.  The Register is not as optimistic, but then that's why the season is played instead of just mailing in the results. Neither the LA Times nor the Register published the complete team roster, but here's what we know:

Tyrone Kendrick 5'-9" Jr. G
Miguel Soriano 5'-9" Sr. G
Afanso Lizarraras 6'-1" Sr. C
Narciso Garcia 5'-10" Sr. G
Anthony Garcia 6'-0" Jr. C
Nghia Ho 5'-10" Sr. F
Him Nguyen 6'-3" Jr. F
Tun vo 5'-9" Jr. G
Tony Sayavong 5'-4" Sr. G
Bee Nguyen 5'-9"  Jr. F
Brian Pilkington 6'-4" Jr. F

Not a lot of size, so these guys will need to be really fast, and they'll also need to learn fundamentals and patience, and in a hurry.  The season for Santiago gets started this coming week. Here's a glimpse at the season schedule for the 1999-2000 year: 

Dec. 3 Century
Dec. 6-11 @ Fullerton Tournament
Dec. 13-18 @ Troy Tournament
Dec. 22 @ Western
Dec. 27-30 @ Century Tournament
Jan 5  @*Pacifica
Jan 7 *LaQuinta
Jan 10 @*Los Amigos
Jan 12 *Rancho Alamitos
Jan 14 *Garden Grove
Jan 21 @*Bolsa Grande
Jan 24 *Pacifica
Jan 26 @*La Quinta
Jan 28 @*Los Amigos
Feb 2 @*Rancho Alamitos
Feb 4 @*Garden Grove
Feb 10 *Bolsa Grande

 The Swish Award
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