Taylor’s 26 boosts Breakers to victory

If there was one player in need of a good game for the Santa Barbara Breakers, it was guard Tim Taylor.

After scoring just four points last weekend on 1-13 shooting, including 0-7 from behind the arc, Taylor bounced back with a resounding 26 points. He shot 11-of-20 from the field and 4-5 from three to aid the Breakers to a 103-100 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Advantage.

“Last game I wasn’t aggressive at all, but that’s not my basketball game,” Taylor said. “Last game I was passive and this game I couldn’t let that happen.”

Taylor came out hot for Santa Barbara, scoring the team’s first eight points and propelled the team to an early lead that disappeared entering the fourth period.

The game was tied at 73 at the start of the final quarter and with the game on the line, Taylor stepped up. He had 10 points in the period including an NBA-range 3-pointer, his second of the period, with 18.5 seconds remaining to give his team a three-point lead.

“I’m going to do everything I can not to [help us win],” Taylor said. “If it’s an NBA-3 pointer, pulling up behind half court, or playing defense, I’m going to do my best. We’re not going to lose the game.”

Santa Barbara’s lead was short-lived though, as point guard Darwin Carter drained a 3 at the buzzer to equalize the score at 94 and send the game into overtime.

“Our biggest thing was – don’t give up the 3-pointer,” Taylor said. “They air-balled two shots and one of the toughest things to do is rebound air-balls because we think it’s going off the rim and it goes into other people’s hands. We were scrambling and when you scramble, people get open and when people get open, they knock down shots.”

Shooting an incredible 7-of-11 from downtown, Carter was the one player the Breakers didn’t want to see taking that final shot.

“He’s the last guy we wanted shooting that and the last guy we wanted left wide open,” Breakers coach Curt Pickering said.

“[The Advantage are] historically notorious for shooting 3s and once again they did tonight.”

Carter played a crucial role for the Advantage and created a difficult match-up the entire night due to his speed. He finished the game with a game-high 38 points.

“[Carter] shoots incredibly quickly and he does a good job of lulling you to sleep,” Breakers point guard Arnette Hollis said. “Right when you think he’s going to pass, he shoots. When you think he’s going to shoot, he drives. You have to be alert all the time.”

Taylor scored the first field goal of the overtime period for the Breakers, but Santa Barbara’s clutch turned to its recent clutch performer Hollis to take over.

With the score tied at 98, Hollis tallied the final five points for the Breakers to clinch the victory. The 6-foot-5 guard out of Boston College finished with 22 points.

“The last time I left my man to go rebound, he hit the three,” Hollis said. “I messed up and I had to get it back for us, and I think I did.”

Hollis has almost single-handedly pulled helped the Breakers to a three game winning streak – their longest of the season. Santa Barbara improves to 5-1 while LA drops to 1-5.

Forward Jamie Serna from UCSB made his debut with the Breakers, tallying 9 points and 8 rebounds. Serna also provided key baskets for the Breakers, sparking an 11-4 run to end the first quarter and a 10-0 run in the third quarter.

“[Serna’s] a big physical guy,” Hollis said. “He causes a lot of problems on the defensive end and on the offensive end – he’s a banger.”

Serna also proved key on the defensive end, matching up with forward Johnny Miller down the stretch. Miller finished the game with 26 points and wreaked havoc in the third quarter totaling 11 points. However, once Serna received the match-up in the fourth quarter, Miller could only manage five points.

“We had to find somebody to match up with Johnny Miller,” Pickering said. “[Miller’s] 6’7’’ and he’s so quick laterally. He was taking us to the hole; he was getting offensive rebounds and put-backs and Serna was the one guy that quieted him down in that fourth quarter.”

Next Saturday the Breakers look to extend their win streak as they take on the Central Coast Surf.