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Boys' basketball: El Camino Real preparing for City title run

October 14, 2012 |  7:17 am

After winning the City Section Division II championship last season with lots of sophomores and juniors, Woodland Hills El Camino Real is moving up to Division I this season with legitimate title aspirations.

Coach David Rebibo has a team filled with top athletes, a terrific point guard and the depth to take on the City powers. I went to a practice on Friday, and all you need to know is I saw Maleke Haynes take a charge, something that doesn't always happen in October. Haynes, 6-foot-6 Michael Thomas, Julian Richardson and Evan Wardlow are the big returnees.

A clue to what El Camino Real is capable of came in the summer when the Conquistadores opened a 12-point lead against Long Beach Poly, the likely No. 1 team in the state, before losing, 69-63.

"It was just a summer game," Rebibo said. "Everybody will say that, but they had their guys and we had our guys. It was a chance to prove ourselves against one of the best teams in the state. It was great experience. It was very exciting. I thought we learned a lot playing an elite team."

Rebibo talks about his top players and thoughts on the season ahead in the video above.

My next practice stop will be Long Beach Poly.

— Eric Sondheimer