High school sports

Argos, Mariners will be title contenders

WITH LEAGUE still a few weeks away, Garden Grove High in the Golden West League and Pacifica in the Empire League are shaping up to be solid title contenders on the boys’ side.

The sounds of sneakers squeaking and whistles chirping are now supreme on the local high school sports scene as basketball takes the spotlight. Although football can attract bigger crowds, there’s something special about the energy of a prep hoops contest in a gymnasium.

Five hundred fans in a stadium designed for 5,000 looks sparse, but the same number in a high school gym can create a noisy and intimate atmosphere that football can’t really match. So far, it’s just non-league and tournament games; the volume will really rise when league play starts in January.

That said, here’s an updated look at the hoops scene for schools in the Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster area, starting with the boys. Records below do not include Monday contests.

  • Garden Grove League: It’s a brand new world for the GGL with Garden Grove High out and Loara in. The top three contenders so far look to be Santiago (5-3), Loara (5-4) and Rancho Alamitos (6-6). Next are Bolsa Grande (3-5), La Quinta (3-7) and Los Amigos (1-9). A player to watch is Rancho’s Timmy Nguyen, who is averaging 15.5 points a game. He has 14 three-pointers so far this season.
  • Golden West League: If pre-season records are any indicator, this will be a case of Red and White and the Five … Well, not dwarfs, but Garden Grove’s 9-2 record put it above that of the rest of its GWL rivals.Godinez and Westminster are at 4-4, followed by Ocean View (4-5), Western (3-4) and Segerstrom (3-9). The top players in the GWL will include Sebastian Castro of Garden Grove (averaging 25.5 points a game), Isiah Lee of Westminster (18.5 ppg), Tony Puente of Western (16 ppg) and Vincent Caiazzo of Ocean View (15.3 ppg).
  • Empire League: At this point in the season, the EL race looks to be a two-team contest between Pacifica and Cypress, each 6-1. The rest of the field lines up like this: Tustin (6-5), Kennedy (6-5), Crean Lutheran (4-6) and Valencia (2-6).
  • What used to be the Sunset League for basketball is now divided into the “Wave” and “Surf” combinations. In the Wave, Fountain Valley and Laguna Beach are 6-4, followed by Marina (6-6) and Huntington Beach (7-7). In the Surf, it’s Newport Harbor (9-1), Edison (6-4), Corona del Mar (4-3) and Los Alamitos (3-3). A player to watch: David Olcomendy of Los Al, averaging 24 points a game.
  • Also note: Orange (Orange Coast League) is 2-8, while Magnolia (Orange League) is 1-5, while Orangewood Academy (San Joaquin League) is 9-2.

We’ll update you on the girls’ hoops situation next week.

And the results from the polls ….

The latest available CIF-SS basketball polls show a lot more respect for area girls’ basketball than boys.

The only ranked boys’ team is Pacifica. The Mariners are 12th in Division 3A.

But five girls’ teams got some appreciation. Orangewood Academy is third in Division 2AA, Marina is ninth in Division 3A, Westminster is ninth in 4AA, Santiago is ninth in 4A and Magnolia is ninth in 5A.

Prep Sport Spotlight appears on Tuesdays – usually – during the local high school athletic year.



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