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SoCal High School & Prep Preview

High School Mini-Preview: O.C. Freeway League
La Habra High--(November 28, 1997)

In the 1996-1997 season La Habra finished dead last in the league, with an overall record of 7-16 and a dismal 2-8 in Freeway Leauge play against teams such as Jeff Berokoff's Sonora High, Troy High School, Buena Park, Sunny Hills and Fullerton. This year we predict they'll challenge for a league title, and will make a serious run in the playoffs. They're young, but they've got one of the only true big men in the league in 6'-9" senior center Josh Fischer.

The Highlanders are coached by David Ek who is in his first season with the varsity. Ek last coached at Paramount in 1993 and takes over for David vanBreemen, who moved over to Temecula Valley High to coach the jv there; considering last year's season, it's probably a move up for van Breemen. Ek is not new to coaching though, and successfully mentored the Paramount Pirates to three consecutive playoff appearances from 1990-93. This year, he's not predicting any miracles with La Habra's young group, but he does believe they will be very competitive in the league, especially against teams such as Sonora or Fullerton.

The roster includes:

Josh Fischer (6'-9" Sr. C)
Brad Egan (6'-4" Sr. F)
Shaun Beautner (5'-8" Sr. G)
Kyle Fitzpatrick (6'-4" Jr. F)
Nick Tolmasoff (5'-8" Sr. G)
Ryan Huff (5'-6" Jr. G)
Adam Province (6'-2" Jr. G)
Ryan Hall (6'-2" Jr. G)

Josh Fischer is a potential all-league center, who played a lot at the forward spot last year; he's developing a strong, very physical inside game, and if he continues to improve, could be one of the top big men in the county. Brad Egan was a starter last season, who will add his varsity experience and his size. La Habra has two of the larger guards in the league, both at 6'-2" in Province and Hall, and this should prove to be helpful this year, since most of the other teams in the league also feature larger guards, i.e., 6'-2" and up. Sunny Hills or Fullerton might give La Habra some difficulty as they are the only other teams in the league with big men (Sunny Hills has two 6'-6" centers, and Fullerton has the only other 6'-9" center in the league in freshman Chad Bell.) But those teams are equally inexperienced this year, each only having three returning players as well.

Look for this young team to do well if Coach Ek can mold the pieces into a competitive whole. Unlike last year, however, this isn't going to be a last place team, and we predict they'll finish near the top of the league and challenge Sonora for the title.

The Swish Award

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