Local hoopsters make it rain inside as well

By Blake Dorfman, PresidioSports.com

No one wants to stand out an get soaked in the rain, which might be why a whopping 18 coaches were inside at Harry’s on Monday for the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table luncheon.

While the rain started Sunday night, local prep hoops players have been pouring in points for a week now.

Female Athlete of the Week Jasmine Mata, a sophomore for Dos Pueblos, put up big numbers in the scoring column as the Chargers are off to a 4-0 start. The guard scored 23 points against Santa Ynez on Monday, then scored 26, 35 and 10 as the Chargers went undefeated in the Lompoc Tournament. Santa Barbara and Pioneer Valley also went 3-0, and a points-allowed determination landed DP in third place.

Coach Maynard Pilapil described Mata’s week as a “savage attack.”

“If it wasn’t for her performance, we might be 1-3 instead of 4-0,” he added.

Chiara DiMarco, who has been hampered by an ankle injury but should make a big impact once she gets back on the floor, was also at Harry’s staying warm and dry.


SANTA BARBARA GIRLS: Mata wasn’t the only player to have a monster scoring week. Santa Barbara senior guard Rebecca Griffin had 23, 35 and 17 points as the Dons also went 3-0 in the Lompoc Tournament, taking second place. Griffin’s 17-point performance on Saturday was the lowest total of the three only because she was taking SATs and showed up just before halftime.

Boys coach Chris Hantgin pinch-hit for girls coach Andrew Butcher and reported that the Dons’ average margin of victory was 29 points in the tourney and that freshman Ivette Gil is averaging 13 points per game.

SAN MARCOS GIRLS: The Royals are yet another team with a perfect start to the season, going 4-0 en route to winning the Fillmore Tournament title. It wasn’t easy, as they had to come back from a 22-point halftime deficit to pick up a win over L.A. Baptist on the second day of the tournament.

Kimmy Sanchez was named MVP, scoring 49 points over the four games and pulling down an average of eight rebounds per contest. Vanessa Curiel, the other San Marcos player at the luncheon, scored 43 in the tournament.

CARPINTERIA BOYS: Coach John Ward’s Warriors are also undefeated — they haven’t played yet.

“Our defense has been outstanding, but on offense we’re struggling a little bit because we haven’t scored any points,” he joked.

The Warriors open up on Tuesday in the “Battle of Carpinteria” against Cate, which will be held at Carpinteria’s gym at 5 p.m.

Ward introduced a pair of two-way starters on the football team who are also standouts on the hardwood. John Bustillos was recently named “Mr. Warrior,” while Andrew Silva is a sophomore post player who is getting an A in his coach’s Algebra 2 class.

UCSB MEN: A little weather is a welcomed site for the Gaucho men’s coaches.

“We’re excited it’s raining, because hopefully some of our guys will stop going to the beach and start practicing jump shots,” said assistant coach Matt Stock.

The jump shots simply weren’t falling in consecutive losses this past week. Against Santa Clara, UCSB shot 34.8-percent in the first half and shot at an abysmal 25.9-percent clip in a loss to San Diego State on Saturday. They have plenty of time to get their rhythm back before playing at Montana State on December 18th.

BISHOP DIEGO BOYS: The Cardinals played in their own tourney last week and are off to a 3-1 start, with the only loss coming against a defending CIF Champion, Besant Hill.

Coach Ray “Slash” Vazquez didn’t get the memo about the rain – he was in basketball shorts like it was August – but he did get to bring two budding stars who are already go-to players in the starting line-up as sophomores.

Leading scorer Elias Munoz and starting point guard Paul Garcia stood up to be recognized, and Vazquez made them keep standing while he talked for a reason.

“I told them that if either one of them takes a charge we wouldn’t have to run… We’ve been doing a lot of running at Bishop Diego,” he chided.

The Cardinals play at Thacher on Wednesday.

SAN MARCOS: Bishop had it bad enough having to play one defending CIF champion. The San Marcos boys basketball team faced two last week at the San Luis Obispo Tournament. First was Thousand Oaks and then came Ocean View, which is ranked in the top 25 in the nation and won a state title last season.

“We played both of those teams really tough,” said coach Jarrod Bradley.

Christian Mkpado was plenty tough, averaging a double-double in the tournament and putting up 23 against Thousand Oaks.

Westmont coach John Moore later dubbed Mkpado “Moses,” referring to former NBA ironman Moses Malone, for his rebounding and toughness.

Bradley also brought along J.P. Dodson, whom he said was the team’s best penetrator and finisher.

The Royals are at the Coast Union Tournament this week.

DOS PUEBLOS BOYS: Matt McClenathen has been the top high school boys scorer so far this year, averaging 20 points and 15 rebounds per game.

“He literally leads us in every statistical category,” said coach Joe Zamora.

The Chargers went 2-2 at the Simi Valley Tournament, but it would have been 3-1 if not for a halfcourt buzzer-beater that Zamora said went of the backboard and bounced on the rim four times before falling.

McClenathen is also the senior class president and a finalist for Goleta Teen of the Year.

Then there’s Robbie Mestas, who showed he can score too after dropping 17 points in a game already. With the absence of 6-8 center Malik Heptot due to a broken toe, both McLenathen and Mestas are carrying a lot of the weight.

The Chargers have a game down at Oak Park this week against a squad from Melbourne, Australia.

“We don’t know much about them We couldn’t really scout them,” joked Zamora.

SANTA BARBARA BOYS: While all the other hoops teams have been busy with tournaments (except for Ward’s Warriors, of course), the Santa Barbara boys team has played just one game. The Dons were demolished by an Oxnard team which returned nearly every player from last year.

Santa Barbara doesn’t have one single player back from last year.

“It was an awakening of sorts,” said coach Chris Hantgin. “I’m optimistic, because in one sense we couldn’t play any worse.”

He did sincerely seem optimistic that his young team will make big leaps before the Channel League season begins. The Dons have five games this week, so there’s plenty of time to figure everything out.

BISHOP DIEGO GIRLS: The Cardinals are 2-3 and have had four different leading scorers over the five games, beating St. Bonaventure before a 1-3 showing at the Fillmore Tournament.

“It’s been a big learning experience. There are five different reasons for why we won or lost those games,” said coach Jeff Burich.

The coach introduce Allison Breuer, who scored 17 points on Saturday, and 3-year varsity post player Dalisse Spence.

WESTMONT WOMEN: At the previous luncheon, Warriors coach Kirsten Moore talked about how her 14th-ranked team was going to try and bounce back after losing to a team that it should have beat.

Bounce back they did, starting off the Golden State Athletic Conference season with wins over Concordia and Hope International. She said that the second half against Concordia and the first half against Hope were the best two halves her team has played so far this season.

She encouraged local high school girls players to contact her in order to get passes to see the Warriors play. She also said she was excited to go out and watch high school games when she gets the time.

CARPINTERIA GIRLS: The Warriors are off to a 2-0 start after wins over Laguna Blanca and Hueneme. Caitlin Wallace and Amanda Burch, who were both at Harry’s, scored 90-percent of the team’s points in the 40-35 victory over Hueneme.

Also accompanying coach Dan Maercer was Alex Steene, a 5-foot-10 swing player who hadn’t played organized hoops before last season. After nabbing three rebounds per game last year, she is now averaging 10 per game thus far.

Point guard Shelby Dunlap was also at the luncheon, receiving the Phil Womble Ethics Award while Burch took home the Scholar Athlete of the Year Award for the school. More on them later…

WESTMONT MEN: The No. 22 Warrior men stand at 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the GSAC after a loss to Concordia, the nation’s second-ranked team. Coach Moore spoke about Jonny Miller, a sejnior who received very little playing time before this season.

“It’s probably the biggest change between a junior and senior year that I’ve ever had in a player,” he said.

Like Burich’s team, the Warriors have shown a lot of balance, with six different leading scorers through seven games.

SBCC: The Vaquero women went 2-2 in the Tom Gilchrist Tournament at College of the Sequoias, falling in the consolation final after an ice-cold shooting night. Jake Kelly, the starting libero for the women’s volleyball team, has traded in her kneepads and is doing solid work for the hoops team, averaging 17 points on the week and scoring 31 in one game.

The men’s team is also struggling from the field, shooting less than 30 percent from the field in two losses this week. They’ll try to turn things around when they make their home debut this week in the SBCC Classic. Their first game will be at 7 p.m. Thursday against Vandenberg Air Force Base.


SANTA BARBARA: Todd Heil’s Dons won their third consecutive Cats and Hounds Tournament up in Atascadero over the weekend. The team has been nearly perfect statistically, scoring 21 goals while allowing just two in the 5-0 start.

Senior captain Jesse Gonzalez, the Male Athlete of the Week, has been the team’s offensive leader. Gonzalez scored six goals and tallied two assists in the four-game tournament. Alex Santana, who was also in attendance, dished out four assists in the tournament while Marcos Lopez anchored the back line.

“His defense is a big reason why we’ve only given up two goals,” said Heil.

SAN MARCOS: The Royals have played just one game, a loss to Channel Islands, but now face six games in six days (weather pending). Coach Brian Eisen brought his two star players, senior twins Efren and Erik Gutierrez.

“It would have been better if they were triplets or quadruplets,” he said.

BISHOP DIEGO: All coaches must keep their speeches under three minutes, but Jesus Landeros said what he needed to say in just 33.6 seconds, which must be an all-time record.

The Cardinals have moved up to the Tri-Valley League this year. Landeros introduced Garrett Garcia and Ryan Landeros, two seniors in their fourth year on varsity.

CARPINTERIA: The Warriors won the Silver Bracket at the Cats and Hounds Tournament, and assistant coach Adrian Martinez brought along two of the key players in that effort. Goalie Erik Rojas, a junior, stopped two shots in a penalty-kick shootout on Friday before Eduardo Contreras put away the winner.

Sophomore Muhammed Mehai, who didn’t get too many minutes in the preseason, played every second at the tournament and made a big impression on his coaches while playing at the center midfielder spot.


BISHOP DIEGO: Coach Brent Gonsalves reported that the Cardinals had a rough preseason due to illness and injury, but that they are slowly on the mend. The Cardinals went 2-0 in the Grace Brethren Tournament, losing to defending CIF finalist Vasquez in one of the defeats. They picked up a pair of wins on Friday to end things on a high note.

Gonsalves was with two seniors “who help me keep my sanity” – the versatile Selena Schmidt, who has played midfielder, defender and goalie already, as well as leading-scorer Candace Melgoza.

SBART Stats: Coaches always dish out some impressive stats when talking about their teams every week, but Round Table President Catharine Manset Morreale threw out some downright astounding ones  about the organization at the end of Monday’s event.

Over the past four years, the luncheons have hosted over 5,000 student-athletes. The SBART has honored over 2,000 with special awards and dished out $72,000 to local athletic programs.

Not too shabby.

To inquire about becoming a member, click here.

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