but only one consistent scorer, four-year varsity performer Dustin
Senior Aaron Yarnal, who averaged 15.4 points en route to
All-Newport-Mesa District and first-team All-Sea View League recognition
as a junior, is a returning stater, as is junior point guard Greg Perrine
Additionally, 6-foot-6 junior Tony Melum is receiving recruiting
interest from Utah, Oregon State, and Loyola Marymount, after a sophomore
season in which he missed nine games, but averaged 9.6 points off the
bench. Melum scored a career-high 24 in the Tars' CIF Southern Section
Division II-AA second-round playoff loss to Brea Olinda. He scored in
double figures in 9 of 18 games, after recovering from a broken wrist.
Illingworth, who shared Sea View League and district player of the
year honors, averaged 19.8 points and more than eight rebounds.
But, Hirst believes, the Sailors will be more balanced than last year,
when opponents swarmed Illingworth and Yarnal, daring others to beat
"As a coaching staff, we're real excited about being able to give
teams some different looks and not be so predictable," Hirst said.
With Perrine, second-team all-league last season, running the show,
Yarnal shooting and slashing to the basket and Melum facing defenders on
the wing, the Sailors could prove a difficult challenge for any defense.
"It would be very difficult for one player to take over Dustin's
scoring load," Hirst said. "But, if everybody takes about 20 or 30% of
it, we should be all right.
"The most exciting thing is, this team has so much potential to be
tapped. This group should get a lot better as the season goes on."
Erik Peterson, a 6-3 junior up from the junior varsity, is a candidate
to seize a starting spot, while 6-4 senior returner Jordan Spigner is
another probable starter, according to Hirst.
Peterson has shown sound defensive fundamentals in the paint, while
Spigner looks to blossom after learning from the bench last season.
Spigner led the JV in scoring as a sophomore, but scored just 20 points
in 14 games in his debut varsity campaign.