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Sunday, February 17 , 2019, 6:48 am | Fair 49º

 
 
 
 
Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table

CIF-Champion Santa Barbara Basketball Team is Toast of Round Table Luncheon

The Santa Barbara High boys basketball team was honored at Monday’s Round Table press luncheon after winning the CIF 2A Division title.
The Santa Barbara High boys basketball team was honored at Monday’s Round Table press luncheon after winning the CIF 2A Division title. (Eric Foote photo)

Santa Barbara High basketball coach Dave Bregante was still clutching the CIF-Southern Section Championship plaque when he walked into the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon with his team on Monday.

The Round Table paid tribute to the Dons for winning the 2A Division championship, 75-65, over Lynwood on Saturday at the Honda Center.  It was their first basketball title since 1991.

“What can I say about the season?” said Bregante. “One thing, it’s still going on. We don’t know what the final chapter is going to be yet, but we’re excited to still be playing. We’re going to give it a good shot in the state.”

Santa Barbara opens the CIF State Regionals on Wednesday night with a home game against Selma.

After all the congratulations, Bregante said he’s “been asked probably about a 1,000 times if I was worried when Bo (Bolden Brace) fouled of the game.”

Brace, the team's floor leader, fouled out with 3:23 left in the fourth quarter and the Dons leading 65-59.

Bregante paused for a moment before admitting, “Yah, I was,” which drew a big laugh from the luncheon audience. The coach then pointed out that during a timeout one of the players told him: “ ‘Don’t worry about it, coach. We got it.’

“I believe that shows the character of this team,”Bregante said. “This team just will not quit. We’ve been in trouble in a lot of games but some way, some how we always find a way.”

Bregante expressed his appreciation for the many fans who attended the game.

“I asked my son, Joe, ’Where did all these people come from?’ ’’

Among those in the crowd was Westmont men’s basketball coach John Moore.

“I feel like one those people who claim they were at Woodstock,” he quipped. “I was there, I was at the Honda Center and I got a chance to see the Dons do what they did. And I’m so proud of Santa Barbara and proud of coaching staff.”

Moore offered a little advice to the Dons as they enter the state tournament: “Don’t stop now.”

He also realized what the initials JM mean after the 15-point, 15-rebound performance off the bench from JM Cage.

“Just Magnificent Cage,” Moore said of the Dons senior who came up huge on the biggest stage. “That’s what you were.”

SWIMMING

UCSB: Matt Macedo said he’s going through the application process to replace retiring coaching legend Gregg Wilson as head of the Gaucho swim program.

“If hired, he’ll be on the staff,” Macedo promised.

Macedo introduced senior Katie Records and sophomore Billy Mullis. Records is one of seven Gauchos who have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in late June. Mullis, last year’s Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Freshman of the Year, set a school record in the 200 backstroke this season.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

UCSB: Assistant coach Brandon Veltri said the Gauchos set a record by winning their last eight Big West games in a row.

“The kids are off to a historic run,” he said. “The guys are playing with a lot of confidence and the staff has done a good job getting the team ready for this time of year.”

UCSB opens the Big West Tournament on Thursday at noon against UC Davis at the Honda Center.

Westmont Men: After losing a heartbreaker to No. 3-ranked Biola in overtime in the GSAC Tournament semifinals, the Warriors are a bubble team for the NAIA National Tournament, said Moore.  The team will learn if it gets in on Wednesday.

Westmont Women: The Warriors play Vanguard for the GSAC Tournament title and automatic NAIA berth.

Ron Smith, Westmont Sports Information Director, said the game is going to be shown on Fox Sports Prime Ticket at 5 p.m.

The Warriors are seeking their 16th trip to the national tournament and ninth in the past 10 years.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

UCSB: Assistant coach Matt Harvey said the six shutout innings pitched by reliever Kyle Nelson in Saturday’s 1-0 14-inning win at No. 7-ranked Oregon extended his streak of not allowing an earned run to 43.1 innings, going back to last season.

Harvey noted the Gauchos broke into the national rankings this week and are No. 19 in a couple of polls.

Westmont: The Warriors are 6-1 over the past two weeks, posting three-game GSAC series sweeps at Biola and at home against San Diego Christian and losing a nonconference game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. They are 17-3 on the season and ranked 16th in the NAIA.

“The season is going well,” coach Robert Ruiz said. “Our guys seem to find ways to win.”

LACROSSE

San Marcos: Coach Rick Lehman is excited to see the sport take off in the community. Santa Barbara, San Marcos and Dos Pueblos all field boys and girls teams.

“The programs are growing tremendously. We had nearly 100 athletes at all three schools,” Lehman said. “As a proud lacrosse person, this is years in the making.”

Lehman introduced two key members of his 30-player varsity team, co-captains Jack Palmer and Justin Lehman.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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