SBART Luncheon: UCSB spikers a role model for Carpinteria girls basketball team

The success of the UCSB women?s volleyball team has inspired a high school basketball team in town.

Carpinteria High girls basketball coach Dan Mercer said the NCAA Tournament-bound Gauchos are a perfect example of how a young team can come together and do great things.

?Our goal this year is to role model after the Lady Gauchos volleyball team, who are comprised mainly of freshmen and sophomores, and they guaranteed themselves a tie for the Big West championship,? he said at Monday?s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry?s Plaza Caf?.

UCSB tied for the Big West title and won the tiebreaker to gain the conference?s automatic NCAA berth.

Mercer?s 10-player Carpinteria squad consists of four freshmen, two sophomores, three juniors and one senior. ?Sixty percent of our squad is lower division kids, all with good athletic ability. So, if they can do anything close to what the Gaucho volleyball ladies did then it?s going to be quite a season.?

Mercer brought two players his counting on to lead the Warriors, captain Hannah Galsterer and sophomore Maddie Cleek.

Carpinteria boys basketball coach Johnny Ward is excited about the upcoming season.

Duncan Gordon is a key player for the Carpinteria basketball team

Senior Duncan Gordon is a key player for the Carpinteria basketball team.

?I?ve got a lot of pieces; the puzzle is starting to come together,? said Ward, who introduced center Duncan Gordon as one of those pieces to the puzzle. ?I?d say look out for the Warriors in the Frontier League this year.?

San Marcos pulled off a huge program win by defeating perennial power Crenshaw for the championship at the Alhambra Tournament last weekend.

It was a pleasant surprise for Royals coach Dave Odell, who admittedly didn?t have high expectations going into the first competition of the season.

?I thought it would be one of those things where we?d go down and we?d show ourselves and show how much we had accomplished as a team in practice, and I really thought we wouldn?t win any games,? he said. ?And we ended up winning the championship against some pretty solid competition.?

The Royals went 4-0 in the tournament, led by Athlete of the Week Bryce Ridenour, the tournament MVP, and Elijah Johnson. Johnson had two big games, scoring 27 in a win over L.A. University and 20 in the title-game victory against Crenshaw, including some clutch free throws down the stretch.

The Royals now get a 10-day break before playing an early Channel League game against Buena on Dec. 11.

Santa Barbara High boys basketball assistant coach Andy Gil brought two impact players for the Dons, center/forward Jack Baker and guard Noah Burke.

After a blowout win at Channel Islands, Gil said the real season for the Dons starts this week at the Simi Valley Tournament. They open against L.A. Cleveland.

Gil noted the team enjoyed a great summer, going 27-2. ?We hope that translates over to the season,? he said.

Santa Barbara girls basketball assistant Jess Martinez said the Dons have a good squad coming back, led by a trio of returning starters: seniors Alyssa Cosio and Dezzy Coleman and sophomore Amber Melgoza.

He said Cosio has improved her inside game. Coleman started out as an side player and is now the point guard. ?She sets the tempo for us,? Martinez said. ?We look forward to her positive leadership.?

On Melgoza, Martinez said she is the type of player who can electrify the team, much like Ivette Gil did last season. ?We?re blessed to have Amber. We?re looking for great things out of her.?

UCSB women?s basketball assistant Natalie Jarrett said the Gauchos have been battle tested in the last three games and are ready to take on Pepperdine on Tuesday night.

San Marcos basketball player Bryce Ridenour was named the Athlete of the Week.

San Marcos basketball player Bryce Ridenour was named the Athlete of the Week.

The Westmont women?s basketball team is on a three-week hiatus, which gives coach Kirsten Moore time to work in some new things.

?We?re using this time to get creative defensively,? she said. ?We?re installing 3-4 new defenses. We?re small in stature and numbers, so we have to get creative defensively.?

Westmont men?s coach John Moore is pleased how his team is playing. The Warriors won two games over the weekend over Menlo and Cal Maritime.

?We?ve become a more consistent basketball team and the reason for that is CJ Miller,? Moore said. Miller is averaging 20 points for the 4-2 Warriors.


SBCC sports information specialist Dave Loveton reported that the Vaqueros are playing in the Southern California Regional final at top-seeded and undefeated Irvine Valley on Tuesday night. The Vaqueros (19-7) are riding a 12-match winning streak. They played Irvine Valley at the beginning of the season and took the Lasers to five-sets.


Carpinteria boys coach Leo Quintero introduced the leaders of his squad, captains Juan Carlos Orozco and Ricky Zermeno.

?Both players truly showcase leadership on and off the field,? he said. ?They have the ability to bring everybody together and work as a unit. These guys will do everything possible to have a win and make each other better on and off the field.?

Another thing he likes about them is they were starters on his first team last season.

?It feels comfortable to have them around. I graduated 17 players last year so they make me feel at home.?

Dos Pueblos boys soccer coach Matt York said his captains of Tim Heiduk, Jorge Lopez and Alex Jimenez make a huge difference for the team.

Heiduk, a junior, plays center back. ?He?ll be the anchor for our back line this year,? said the coach. Heiduk is outstanding in the air, making him very valuable at the defensive end and a weapon up front on set pieces and crosses.

Lopez returns to the team after taking a year off. The central midfielder has an excellent left-foot. York said the senior received the most votes for team captain.

Jimenez is a four-year varsity player. ?He?s like a coach on the field. He?s dynamic for us in the back and is able to come up field with the ball,? York said.

Because of his experience, Jimenez has the nickname ?Pepe.?

?He?s like a father figure out there. He?s an anchor for our team,? said York.