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Year of transition

November 26, 2002

Barry Faulkner

Costa Mesa High boys basketball coach Bob Serven isn't as

concerned as one might think by the fact that half of his 10-player

roster isn't old enough to drive.

For as long as his three freshmen and two sophomores can defend

and sink perimeter jumpers, as he believes they can, the Mustangs may

successfully negotiate the Golden West League traffic to earn the

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school's unprecedented fourth straight trip to the CIF Southern

Section Playoffs.

"We're very young (only four seniors and two players with

returning varsity experience)," said Serven, who since arriving

before the 1999-2000 season, has transformed the program from

perennial doormat to perennial postseason participant. "I'm still

going to have high expectations and I'm still going to be demanding.

But, at the same time, I have to be demanding with some understanding

of their youth. Our one goal right now is to make the playoffs, which

means we have to finish in the top four (in the seven-team Golden

West League)."

Brian Molina, a 5-8 freshman point guard, will join returners

Danny Krikorian and Marko Stankovic in the starting lineup, while the

remaining two spots are still up for grabs as the Mustangs prepare

for their Dec. 5 opener against visiting John Glenn.

The 6-foot Krikorian, entering his fourth varsity season, is

probably familiar with Molina's game, since Molina and 6-0 guard

Scott Knox have grown up playing with fellow freshman Tony Krikorian,

Danny's little brother and another member of this year's kiddie

corps.

Danny Krikorian is the lone returning starter from last year's

18-10 squad, which tied the school single-season record for victories

en route to a third-place finish in the Pacific Coast League. He

averaged 8.7 points and earned second-team all-league laurels as a

complimentary player to PCL Co-MVP David Conte (redshirting at Cal

State Los Angeles) and first-team all-leaguer Chad Vakili (playing at

Orange Coast College). Serven said much more is expected from this

year's team captain.

"This will be his third year as a starter and his role has changed

every year," Serven said. "This year, he is our go-to guy. He has

learned over the summer how to be a scorer, after having fed off Chad

and David. (Krikorian) is truly our leader."

Serven also expects big things from Stankovic, a 6-6 junior who

scored six points in five games after joining the varsity late last

season.

"He's our one player with size, so its going to be very important

for him to have a good season," Serven said. "But we'll have to wait

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