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High School Mini-Preview: O.C. Empire League
Century High--(November 28, 1997)

Century plays in the Empire League, which features Cypress, Katella, El Dorado, Kennedy and Loara. Cypress was the league champion last year, defeating Los Amigos in the first round of the CIF playoffs, Orange in the second round, but ultimately losing to Chris Burgess and Woodbridge in the Division II AA quarterfinals. This year, look for Century to make a serious challenge for the League Title. They're well equipped to do it too, with the biggest player in the league, Mike Zepeda, starting for Century at center, and one of the best power forwards in Orange County in Terrail Zoller.

Century finished the '96-'97 season with an overall record of 16-11, and tied for second place in the Empire League with Katella at 7-3. The team is coached by Greg Coombs, who's in his eighth season, and who has compiled a 113-61 overall winning record. The team made the playoffs last year, losing in the first round to Capistrano Valley 65-55 of the Division IIAA playoffs. Look for Century to go a lot deeper this year into the playoffs with a fine returning group of players and some new key additions.

The roster:

Terrail Zoller (6'-2" Sr. F)
Mike Zepeda (6'-9" Jr. C)
Jardu Fati (5'-11" Jr. G)
Cesar Ramirez (6'-2" Sr. F)
Paul Ferretti (5;-9: Jr. G)
Robert Lopez (5'-11" Sr. SG/SF)
Moises Hernandez (6'-1" Sr. F)
Roberto Ramirez (5'-10" Jr. G)
Julio Bugarin (5'-10" Sr. G)
John Noyloa (5'-10" Sr. G)
Dennis Gaytan (5'-10" Sr. G)

Three starters who played major roles last year are back, including 6'-2" senior forward Terraill Zoller, who averaged 11.6 rebounds a game. Terrail is a slasher, who cuts to the hole very well, but who also has a nice perimeter shot. He plays great defense and rebounds well at both ends of the floor. Also back this year is one of the few true centers in the league, or in all of Orange County for that matter, Mike Zepeda, a 6'-9" junior center who may one day assume the mantle left by Eric Chenowith. He's young, but last year matured very well, and he's now got some nice post moves and is learning to play with his back to the basket. Also returning from last year is 5'-10" junior guard Hardy Fatu, who led the team in assists. Cesar Ramirez, a 6'-1" forward, who was a reserve last year on the varsity returns as well. Coombs is looking for major contributions from 6'-2" forward Julio Bugarin, 5'-8" junior guard Paul Ferretti, 5'-11" senior guard Robert Lopez and 5'-10" junior guard Robert Ramirez, all up from the jv this year. Century also has a new transfer, 6'-0" senior guard Moises Hernandez, who played last year at La Quinta.

Century is a bit heavy on guards, but also has a couple of big forwards to help Zepeda out. Most likely look for them to go with the now very popular three-guard, wing set on offense, and look for a lot of half-court trapping, scrambling defense in an effort to dictate the pace to opposing teams and to upset and interfere with an opposing team's offense. Century is going to be a real challenger for the Empire League title this year, and we predict that Zepeda will be a top prospect by the end of the season.

The Swish Award

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