San Pedro High School Boys-Girls Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Football season has ended at San Pedro High School... but excitement will still be running high in the winter time.

Why? Because it's time for some hoops action.

The boys and girls basketball teams both had decent seasons in 2012-2013. The boys started off hot, winning their first nine games of the season before finishing 15-12 overall, and in a third place Marine League three-way tie with Gardena and Carson, all sharing 5-7 league marks. It was the first time San Pedro also made the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I playoffs, as their season ended with an 88-65 defeat at the hands of Palisades.

Behind coach John Bobich, who enters his 14th season, the San Pedro boys basketball team will once again aim to challenge Washington and rival Narbonne of Harbor City for the league title.

This year's team, already opening the season with a 67-45 victory over Locke of Los Angeles this past Friday, has only twelve players, but ten of them are seniors, which should be a good indicator of what could be a great season.

Senior forward Quincy Thomas is a returning All-Marine League second team selection, and the only all-league returning player, as he, along with fellow senior forward James Fish and senior guards Zach Foster and Khalil Dave also return. The four of them are all primed to have a breakout year despite losing point guard Isaac Stell who transferred to Leuzinger of Lawndale.

With Thomas being the tallest player on the team at 6'3'', the Pirates will be undersized in many of their games, which makes them scary to face in many cases due to the fact they employ an in-your-face, full court pressure defense.

Senior forwards Michael Loughry, Clifford Brown, Dexter Baird and Jonathan Soto, sophomore guard Jonathan Pope, senior guards Josh Villanueva and David Trevino, and junior forward Omar Monroe-Johnson also make up the 2013-2014 San Pedro boys basketball team.

Bobich has over 400 wins and seven CIF championships in his long and storied prep coaching career at San Pedro and Pacific Hills High, five of them at Pacific Hills, including a Division V state title in 1998. Under Bobich's guidance, San Pedro won the 2006 City Invitational Division and 2010 Division II crowns.

Such success has eluded the San Pedro girls basketball team, but they're headed in the right direction.

The 2012-2013 Lady Pirates went 9-15 last year, and only won three of their 12 Marine League games, as a mid-season coaching change and injuries slowed them down.

Cynthia Atencio, who formerly coached at Mary Star High, is back as the coach of the Lady Pirates as she took over mid-season when Gary Herrera stepped down. Atencio will be in her first full season as coach, and she has a great nucleus of talent comprised of eight returning players, five members of last year's JV team that went 12-0 in the Marine League, and an incoming freshman that should provide a well-needed scoring boost.

Just as it has been the past two seasons, if talented guard Rita Fiorenza goes, so goes the Lady Pirates. Fiorenza, a two-time All-Marine League first team pick, enters her junior season. She missed seven Marine League games last season due to being sick, but it still didn't stop her from leading the team in scoring for the second year in a row.

Fiorenza will be flanked by All-Marine League second team selection senior forward Cheyenne Alvarez, senior center Alejandra Macias, junior G/F Emily Iacono, senior guard Mireya Ramirez and senior G/F Ray Anna McDowell as the top key returning players, but freshman forward Deanna Valverde is another top talent that should take some scoring pressure off Fiorenza.

Senior center Amber Ruiz, who is an All-Marine League second team pick on the girls volleyball team, averaged 17.4 points a game last season in pacing the JV team to the surprising undefeated Marine League title run. Junior guard Elizabeth Watts averaged 4.6 steals a game on that team and is a defensive spark-plug on the court. Senior F/G Linda Ortiz, senior forward Vianeth Gonzalez and junior F/C Shanice Cortez also debut on varsity from that team.

Other returning players for San Pedro are sophomore forward Reyna Canchola and senior forward Destiny Tafoya.

San Pedro boys basketball will enter in some tough tournaments in the first two weeks of December, most notably, the Westchester Tournament which begins on December 2. The Pirates will also host their own sixth annual Pirate Shootout Tournament beginning December 26. The girls team opens their season on Friday against North Torrance in the Downey Tournament, and also has a rare in-city battle with Port Of Los Angeles on December 9 for their home debut.

It should be one entertaining year for all of San Pedro basketball for 2013-2014.

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