SBART Luncheon: It’s a week full of rivalry games

Ben Clay, the Phil Womble Ethics in Sports winner, is joined by his mother, Tina.

Ben Clay, the Phil Womble Ethics in Sports winner, is joined by his mother, Tina.

Santa Barbara High girls basketball coach Andy Butcher said it best: “It’s going to be a great week of basketball in this town.”

It’s big game week in basketball as Santa Barbara High and San Marcos square off on the court in boys and girls games. The girls play Tuesday night at San Marcos and the boys take over the Thunderhut on Wednesday.

Santa Barbara boys coach David Bregante informed fans planning to attend Wednesday’s game to arrive early to get a seat.

Ben Clay of Santa Barbara High was honored as the school's Womble Ethics in Sports recipient.

Ben Clay of the  Santa Barbara High basketball team was honored as the school’s Womble Ethics in Sports recipient.

“If you’re planning to go to that game, you probably should try to get there early,” he said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Café. “A lot times by halftime of the JV game you’re not getting in any more. It’s a small gym and it gets filled up pretty quickly.”

And it gets loud.

Butcher said he probably won’t make it time to the boys game.

“I wish it was on TV,” he said. “I’ll have one of my players text me every five minutes.”

The in-town rivalries continue on Thursday and Friday as Santa Barbara faces Dos Pueblos. The girls play Thursday at Santa Barbara and the boys play at DP on Friday.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Dos Pueblos: Dos Pueblos assistant coach Kelly Uyesaka introduced seniors Colby Hill and Nate Johnson. Hill is a tireless worker who makes practices more competitive. Johnson is one of the most athletic players in the program.

Providence: Ricky Beebe is one of the most versatile players on the squad, said coach Steve Stokes. On defense, Beebe can guard the opponent’s leading scorer or a smaller player. Stokes said he modified the offense to better utilize Beebe’s skills.

“We put him in position to be successful,” said Stokes.

The Patriots are 3-1 in the Condor League.

Bishop Diego: Senior forward Marcos Schneider and senior point guard Alexis Herrera lead the Cardinals (6-12). Schneider has averaged 16 points and 7 rebounds in the last five games. Herrera relies on his speed and quickness. He averages 6 points and 5 assists.

COLLEGE SWIMMING

UCSB: Coach Gregg Wilson said the men’s and women’s team are both 3-2 and have swimmers ranked in the top 15 in the country in their events. He introduced new assistants Matt Macedo and Joe Plume and said they’ve been a huge difference. Macedo is the former head coach at UC San Diego. Plume swam for Wilson at UCSB and played water polo for the Gauchos.

The Gauchos also face a rivalry this week, traveling to Las Vegas to face UNLV in a dual meet.

“We have a rivalry of our own,” Wilson said. “For 30-plus years, we’ve had a dual with UNLV. We beat them last year. This year will be tough.”

GIRLS BASKETBALL

San Marcos: Coach Chris Hantgin on playing the defending CIF-champion Dons: “I’m not sure exactly what will be our strategy. It might involve smoke, or the lights are going to go out,” he said. “We’re going to show up, we’re going to play hard and do our best. I’m sure we’ll learn from the experience.”

Hantgin introduced guard Barbara Gonzalez and utility player Alexa Calvillo. “Both practice very hard and are great character girls. I enjoy coaching them,” he said.

Santa Barbara: Butcher introduced three players who make contributions off the bench: Alejandra Mejia, Valerie Jaimes and Sophia Torres.

Bishop Diego: Coach Jeff Burich said sophomores Ann Bentajado and Sienna Gonzalez have been key to the team’s success. Bentajado’s hustle and physical play enables her to get rebounds. Gonzalez has a knack of knowing where the ball is going and does a good job creating her own shot with pump fakes, said Burich.

The Cardinals are 13-3 (1-0 in Tri-Valley League) and ranked No. 1 in CIF Division 5A. They play a huge league game on Tuesday, hosting Santa Clara.

GIRLS WATER POLO

San Marcos: The Royals (9-1, 1-0) play a rivalry game Wednesday at home against Dos Pueblos at 3:15 p.m. They then play in the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions over the weekend, looking to improve on their 10th-place finish of a year ago.

Royals coach Chuckie Roth brought Piper Smith and Paige Hauschild. He said Smith reminds him of U.S. Olympic gold medalist Kami Craig.

“She’s a very powerful young lady. It’s fun to watch her. She has only six months of experience and I’m really impressed what she can do,” said Roth.

The coach said he’s pleased with the growth of Hauschild as a player. “She’s a captain and a leader. She’s one of the hardest working student athletes; she has a 4.0 GPA. She’s takes on a huge responsibility on our team and makes us a better team. She’s a classy role model for our program.”

Santa Barbara: The Dons host their 15th Tournament of Champions from Thursday to Saturday. There will be play-in games on Thursday, which includes the Dons playing Vista Murrieta at 4 p.m.

“We have all the top teams in the country, including No. 1 Laguna Beach, ” Santa Barbara coach Walsh said.

Walsh brought sophomore Kai McGeoy and junior Jessie Brummett. McGeoy can play multiple positions and is a good outside shooter. Brummett is a returning starter and “the brains of the operation,” said Walsh.

He said Brummett has become more vocal this season.

“We have a very quiet team, she’s included in that. “She’s had to force herself out of her comfort level. She’s made us better by talking almost nonstop. We need more. We’re at a two and we need to be at a 10.”

Carpinteria: First-year coach Lance Hoffman brought his top defender, senior Sierra Garibay, and leading scorer, junior Brenda Rodriguez. She has 41 goals. The Warriors play a big league game this week against Malibu.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Westmont women: Coach Kirsten Moore said when her 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Alexis, plays with her blocks, she likes to form them into patterns. But the coach doesn’t want her team following any patterns.

“Our season is on the cusp of a pattern right now,” she said. “We’ve won seven, lost three and won seven more. We really want to avoid the pattern. We need to change the pattern and get No. 8.

The Warriors play host to San Diego Christian on Thursday and Arizona Christian on Saturday. The Arizona Christian game is at 2 p.m.

Westmont men: Coach John Moore said he rarely looks at statistics, but he happened to sneak a peak at the NAIA national stats recently and liked what he saw.

“I saw that we’re the No. 1 team in the nation in 3-point field percentage and we’re in the top 10 in 3-pointers made and in the top 10 in assists. We’ve always been last in 3-point field goals. I decided we got some real good shooters, and it took the stats to figure that out.”

As for the team’s defense, Moore said it needs to play better.

Jill Giannini is the leading goal scorer for the Bishop Diego girls soccer team.

Jill Giannini is the leading goal scorer for the Bishop Diego girls soccer team.

“There’s 300 NAIA schools and we’re probably 301.”

UCSB men: Assistant coach Brandon Veltri said the tough schedule that took the Gauchos all over the U.S., from Florida to Alaska, will make them better in the Big West Conference. The Gauchos started with a come-from-behind win at Cal Poly last Saturday. They host Cal State Northridge on Thursday.

UCSB women: Assistant coach Heather Zurich said the team “appreciates the support from the community and fans for sticking with us.”

The Gauchos are 0-14 and 0-1 in the Big West.

GIRLS SOCCER
Bishop Diego:
The Cardinals will take a 2-2-1 record into their league opener against Malibu. Coach Josh Rodezno introduced midfielder Emily Velez and forward Jill Giannini. Velez keeps the attack going and Giannini is a goal scorer.

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