NAIA tourney about more than hoops for Warriors

Players and coaches from the Dos Pueblos and San Marcos girls soccer teams sat together at Monday's Round Table Press Luncheon at Harry's.

Westmont’s women’s basketball is in the hunt for an NAIA National Tournament berth as always, and on Martin Luther King Day coach Kirsten Moore talked about how the trip to Tennessee is about much more than basketball.

“If we make Nationals, every year we go into Memphis and we go visit the National Civil Rights Museum that’s at the Lorraine Motel, which is where Dr. King was assassinated,” she said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table luncheon.

Moore has her players write reflections about the tournament, and she said that they often speak of the museum visit as well as trips the team makes to local elementary schools to work with kids.

“Hopefully our girls have the opportunity to learn a little bit more, not only today as we reflect on Dr. King but by making the national tournament. Last week was a big step in the right direction towards that,” she said.

The week included wins over San Diego Christian and The Master’s College.

“It’s been a long time since I can remember a performance as inspired and passionate as the one that our ladies put on at The Master’s on Tuesday night. It was such a fun basketball game to coach,” said Moore.

The Warriors are 12-4 with all four losses coming against top-10 teams. They host Fresno Pacific on Tuesday before traveling to face Concordia on Saturday. Concordia is currently mourning the tragic death of one of its redshirt freshman players in an automobile accident early Sunday morning.

Moore introduced senior captain Elizabeth Evancoe and UC Davis transfer Lisa Peterson. Evancoe is averaging 10 points per contest and Peterson has been good for nine points per game in her first year as a Warrior.

WESTMONT MEN’S BASKETBALL: Sports Information Director Ron Smith pinch-hit for coach John Moore, reporting that the men’s team is at 13-4 after a pair of wins last week. They host Fresno Pacific after the women’s game on Tuesday night before finishing the first half of the GSAC season at No. 3 Concordia on Saturday.

Smith highlighted the play of Blake Bender, the conference’s leading rebounder, who has been consistent all year in the wake of injuries to other standout players.

“He’s been really remarkable for us… He’s been real steady for us,” said Smith of Bender, who has nine double-doubles.

DOS PUEBLOS GIRLS SOCCER: The Chargers, like the Westmont men’s hoopsters, are 13-4 and have been “competing in every single game” according to coach Jose Guerrero. He brought along some players who have played big roles thus far. Senior Erin Ristig has 15 goals and three assists while sophomore Rachel Smith has 14 goals and 11 assists.

Marina Plesons has been versatile and able to play any position, while Claire Mathews has come back from injury to lead the midfield.

“They make my job easier… They’re like coaches,” said Guerrero.

SAN MARCOS GIRLS SOCCER: The Royals are gearing up for Tuesday’s showdown with rival Dos Pueblos, looking for their first win in the Channel League. Coach Lloyd Biggs said that the camaraderie on the squad has been exceptional this season, introducing goalie Hannah Ball and senior Christine Pearson.

CARPINTERIA GIRLS SOCCER: The Warriors are still looking for their first win of the season, but it’s not for a lack of enthusiasm and passion. Coach Lucy Carleton and her youngest daughter, Meli Musson.

“She gives me a hard time all the time about how I’m too passionate about soccer, and yet I see that passion in her when she plays,” said Carleton.

BISHOP DIEGO BOYS BASKETBALL: First-year coach Dean Prophet brought two players who he said have made the transition into the Cardinals family much easier. Senior captain Johnny Diaz showed his character when he didn’t let up at all after losing his starting spot. He is still the team’s third-leading scorer.

Spencer Shull is back on the hardwood after a year off and has been key in backing up starting big-man Noah Tack. Prophet said he is also the spiritual leader of the team.

The Cardinals (11-7) host rival Carpinteria on Wednesday.

UCSB's Orlando Johnson

Dos Pueblos' Kiley Neushul


Kiley Neushul, Dos Pueblos Water Polo — The Stanford-bound senior has won the award multiple times, and earned it this time around for leading the Chargers, who are riding a 52-match winning streak, to their third consecutive Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions title. She scored 18 goals in four games, including seven in a semifinal rout of Newport Harbor.

Orlando Johnson, UCSB Basketball — The Gaucho men had a big week, picking up Big West wins over UC Irvine and UC Riverside. Johnson scored 28 and 22 points in the wins, and he was 7-for-7 in the first half of the Riverside victory.