SBART Luncheon: Dons face lots of questions going into the season

Rich Nahas, center, the general manager of Glen Annie Golf Course, presents a check for $2,250 to the local high school golf programs.

Rich Nahas (center), the general manager of Glen Annie Golf Course, presents a check for $2,250 to the local high school golf programs. The money was raised by the Touchstone Foundation.

Rebuilding or reloading? That’s the question Santa Barbara High boys basketball coach David Bregante is trying to answer as his team starts a new season.

The Dons are coming off a banner season that saw them go 26-4, go unbeaten in the Channel League, advance to the CIF-SS semifinals and win a game in the state tournament.

“A few weeks ago somebody asked me: ‘Are you going to be in the rebuilding mode or reloading mode?’” Bregante told the gathering at the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Café. “I started thinking about it. We lost three all-league first team players, lost the MVP of the league, lost 70 percent of our scoring, lost about 80 percent of our rebounding, lost about 90 percent of our shot blocking. So we got a lot to replace.”

The Dons are off to a good start, winning their first two games.

“I got a great group of kids. They believe in themselves. I believe in them,” Bregante said. “We’re going to show up for every game. We’re going to play hard. We’re not going to be intimidated by anybody.

“And I’ll be able to answer the question in February some time.”

San Marcos: Coach Landon Boucher has been impressed with varsity newcomer, junior Ryan McCarthy.

“The kid really lives for basketball,” he said. “He doesn’t view putting in the hours as work. He sees it as fun.”

McCarthy scored 14 in his varsity debut and followed with a 20-point performance, in which he was a perfect 6 of 6 on 3-pointers.


Westmont: Women’s assistant coach Selena Ho rattled off plenty of reasons why fans should take in a game at Murchison Gym.

“If you haven’t come to see us play, I’m going to give you a couple of reasons you should,” she started. “We’re balanced,  we have two people averaging in double figures and three people averaging at least 9.1 points  We’re deep,  we got seven players averaging 20 minutes per game or more and eight averaging 17 minutes or more. We’re really unselfish, of 198 field goals made,  121 have been assisted.

“Probably the best thing,” she continued, “we can really score, we average 78 points per game. We’re high octane, we love to share the ball, we love to pass, we can really make open shots. We’re balanced and deep.”

The NAIA 14th-ranked and undefeated Warriors (7-0) open Golden State Athletic Conference play on Tuesday at third-ranked Vanguard. They return home to face Concordia on Saturday.

UCSB Men: After traveling to Kansas, Florida and Alaska, the Gauchos return to the Thunderdome on Thursday for a game against Seattle.

“We’re looking forward to being back home this week,” director of basketball operations Brandon Veltri said.

Veltri noted that having one of the best post players in the country in Alan Williams and a pair of talented point guards in Zalmico Harmon and Eric Childress make it fun to coach.


Carpinteria: Coach Leo Quintero introduced two of his most versatile players: senior Yhobany Elizarraraz and junior Bengie Garcia.

Quintero said the Warriors are looking to make an impact in the Tri-Valley League.

San Marcos boys: Assistant coach Matt Bateson introduced seniors Kyle Carter and Jake Castanha as two of the team leaders. The Royals open their season Tuesday against Hueneme before heading off to Clovis for a weekend tournament.

“That will give us an opportunity to see how we stack up,” Bateson said of the tournament.


San Marcos: Aaron Solis noted that Chris Hantgin is the Royals’ new coach.

“We know about his basketball history and all the wealth of knowledge he’s bringing to the girls,” Solis said. “We have a very inexperienced squad, but they’re soaking up as much knowledge as Chris can give them.”

The Royals will be put to the test this week as they play five games in six days.

Bishop Diego: Coach Jeff Burich said he has a nice mix of veteran players and newcomers. The squad is made up of four seniors, two juniors and four sophomores.

Burich introduced two of his seniors: Jordyn Lilly and Morgan Wallace. He said he’s excited to start the season with Wallace in the lineup. She had to sit out the first month of last season because of the CIF transfer rule. She was the third leading scorer on the team during the playoffs last season.

Lilly was the leading scorer all season. Burich called her the most complete player he’s had in all his years of coaching boys and girls. This is Lilly’s fourth year on varsity and her second season playing as point guard.

“We’re excited about her potential this year,” said Burich.

The Cardinals play host to Orcutt Academy on Thursday.

Santa Barbara High: Speaking for longtime coach Andrew Butcher, Bregante said the Dons have four starters back from last year’s CIF-SS 3A Division championship squad, led by Amber Melgoza and Jada Howard.

The Dons open their season Thursday at the Lompoc Tournament.


Rich Nahas, general manager at Glen Annie Golf Course, said the Touchstone Foundation, Glen Annie’s golf management committee, brought in $2,250 for the high school golf programs through a raffle. The golf teams at Santa Barbara High, San Marcos, Dos Pueblos, Carpinteria and Bishop Diego will benefit from the effort.

The raffle for a set of Taylor Made/adidas golf clubs was won by Lupita Lopez of Carpinteria High.