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CHATTER: FORMER VALLEY GIRL STARTS FOR ISRAEL'S BASKETBALL TEAM.

Byline: Scott French Staff Writer

Former Encino resident Marisa Gobuty, a rising star in Israel's national women's basketball program, returned to Southern California last weekend and will play through the summer on a Rancho Cucamonga-based national travel team.

Gobuty, a 16-year-old point guard, splits her time between Israel and IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where she carries a 4.22 GPA at The Pendleton School and stars in IMG's multisport training institute.

She's an ambassador of sorts for Israel, where she moved with family at age 9 after living two years in the San Fernando Valley.

``Some of my most rewarding moments,'' she says, ``have been talking to other teenagers about what it's like to grow up in a country that is constantly on alert in a wartime-like state and being able to share my experiences.''

Gobuty, who carries U.S., Canadian and Israeli passports, fell in love with basketball while in Encino. By the fourth grade, she told the Canadian Jewish News, ``I was addicted to the game. It was the excitement of it all, the quickness and the skill it required. It became my life.''

She plays for Israel's 16-under national team and has joined Finest Basketball Club, which last weekend played in a tournament at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Alumni includes UCLA's Noelle Quinn, and 16 FBC-affiliated players signed with colleges this year, including IMG's Monique Alexander (with UCLA) and Canyon of Canyon Country's Cheryl Stevens (Princeton).

--Glendale High's boys' tennis team last week snapped Arcadia's 36-match Pacific League winning streak, posting a 10-8 victory to improve to 10-0. The Nitros, in position for their first Pacific title since 1997, were the first league team to beat Arcadia (7-3) since Hoover of Glendale in April 2002.

--Harvard-Westlake of Studio City's girls' and Palmdale's boys' soccer teams finished in the final California top 20, according to StudentSportsSoccer.com.

Harvard-Westlake (16-3-5), which reached its first Southern Section Div. I final, was ranked seventh. The Wolverines were third in Southern California, trailing only top-ranked Upland (27-0-4), the Div. I champion, and No. 6 Mayfair of Lakewood (30-1-2), which shared the Div. III title with Orange Lutheran (22-2-5).

Palmdale (24-1-5), a Div. I semifinalist, finished fifth. Central Section champ Clovis West (31-2) was No. 1, followed by Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita (26-4-1), Damien of La Verne (21-3-6) and Los Alamitos (19-2-4).

Erik Boal contributed.

ATHLETES OF THE WEEK

NICK GIARRAPUTO

Senior, Simi Valley

Giarraputo on Thursday hit a fifth-inning grand slam, doubled and pitched 6 2/3 innings for his third win of the season to lead the Pioneers' baseball team to a 5-4 Marmonte League upset of previously undefeated Agoura, which entered the game ranked No. 1 in the nation by Baseball America.

JORDAN TAYLOR

Junior, Valencia

Taylor threw a one-hitter, striking out 12, to lead Valencia's softball team to a 5-0 victory Thursday over Foothill League rival Saugus, then threw a 12-inning no-hitter with 22 strikeouts in Friday's 2-1 triumph over La Serna of Whittier in the Brea Olinda tournament final.

UP & COMER

STEVEN KELLER

Agoura

The sophomore has helped ease concerns about who would catch for Agoura High's baseball teams when usual starting catcher Robert Stock is on the mound. Keller also plays second base and has started at designated hitter for the nationally ranked Chargers (10-1), for whom he is batting .286.

CAPTION(S):

3 photos, 7 boxes

Photo:

(1) NICK GIARRAPUTO

(2) JORDAN TAYLOR

(3) STEVEN KELLER

Box:

(1) ATHLETES OF THE WEEK (see text)

(2) UP & COMER (see text)

(3) THINK YOU KNOW?

(4) RANDOM NUMBERS

(5) THEY SAID IT

(6) DAY PLANNER

(7) TRIVIA ANSWER
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 4, 2006
Words:603
Previous Article:DECADES OF MEMORIES ALUMNI CELEBRATE CLUB'S INFLUENCE.
Next Article:SMALL SCHOOLS: OAKS LACROSSE SEES LIGHT OF DAY.


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