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Orcutt Academy basketball players, from left to right, Vanessa Salazar, Mariah Lopez, Michaela Freebourn and Maddie Van Moysen-Barber are expected to lead Orcutt Academy’s girls basketball team this season. 

Len Wood Staff

His leading scorer and rebounder from last year, Sommer Vasquez, has graduated, but second-year Orcutt Academy girls basketball coach Tom Robb does have a lot of experienced players returning.

"We have six returners," Robb said. The Spartans are prepping for the 2017-18 campaign after going 5-17, including 1-13 in the Los Padres League, last season.

The returners are junior shooting guard Vanessa Lopez; sophomore point guard Vanessa Salazar; senior forward Michaela Freebourn; senior wing Maddie Van Moysen-Barber; junior shooting guard Marlie Jimenez; and sophomore Mariah Lopez.

Salazar, Freebourn and Lopez were all starters last year. Jimenez was the first player off the bench for Robb.

Robb said at press time that those three, plus Van Moysen-Barber and freshman shooting guard Daenaejah Malicdem figure to be his starting five when the Spartans opened their season at San Marcos.

Lopez, at 7.1 points and 3.7 rebounds a game, was second on the team in both categories behind Vasquez last year.

Orcutt Academy's second-year coach said at press time that he had an athletic new addition; senior 5-foot-10 center Jana Andrade.

Andrade has been an important doubles player for an Orcutt Academy girls tennis team that has won the LPL title the past two seasons. She and partner Keona Pablo went unbeaten during the LPL regular season, won the doubles championship at the LPL Tournament and qualified for the CIF Southern Section Individual Doubles Tournament.

"Jana has really improved a lot since she first came out," said Robb. "She'll come off the bench."

Orcutt's coach said his team has a good combination of size and speed.

"I think we'll go to a zone (defense) more this year," said Robb. On offense, "We'll use our speed on the outside, then our height on the inside. I think we have a good mixture of that."

The Spartans will again play their home games at Lakeview Junior High School.

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Sports Reporter