Special Olympian is a dominator on the court

Special Olympics Athlete of the Month Tim Jones

A coach at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table luncheon said that Special Olympian Tim Jones “can flat out play” basketball. It wasn’t a Special Olympics coach, but rather UCSB men’s assistant coach Dave Campbell.

“I’ve seen this guy play at our camps over the years… In fact, Timmy, if you want to suit up this weekend we might be able to use you on the Gauchos,” joked Campbell.

Jones, a point guard, averaged 15 points per game last season as his team, coached by award sponsor Aaron Brown, went 12-1 with two gold medals and a silver medal. He also averaged eight rebounds and nine assists per game, being involved in basically every point his team, which competes at the top level.

“Timmy’s one of the top athletes in all of Special Olympics,” said Brown. “He has a love for basketball, and it shows on the court.”

Brown also announced the upcoming 3-on-3 “Hoop It Up” charity basketball tournament coming up in April.

DOS PUEBLOS WRESTLING: Anthony Califano’s Chargers have had a great season, with six Channel League champions and CIF qualifiers in 13 of 14 weight classes. As a team, the Chargers knocked off the No. 2 ranked team in the CIF Duals (Redlands East Valley) 35-33 en route to a second-straight semifinal appearance.

Califano introduced two sophomore league champions, Chad Lampe and Nico Sorenson. Lampe’s season will continue after he qualified for the CIF Masters Meet in the 114-pound class last week.

“Chad’s the first sophomore CIF-placer I’ve coached, so the future’s very bright for us,” said Califano. “I know he’ll be hungry this week.”

BISHOP’S RIM-RATTLER: The second-seeded Bishop Diego boys basketball team is through two rounds of the CIF Playoffs in its first year under coach Dean Prophet. The coach was joined by assistant Patrick Davis, who led the JV team to an 18-3 campaign this year. Also at Harry’s was post player Chris Helke, who has earned quite an honor this year.

No, it’s not that he was named Homecoming King or that he’s an Eagle Scout.

“Chris has our only slam dunk of the season,” said Prophet. “There’s a little asterisk next to that though, because he did dunk it but the ball sort of went up and then fell back down through the rim… We call it a slam dunk.”

The Cardinals host Shalhevet on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

PARRISH UNDER PRESSURE: As one of Dos Pueblos’ girls water polo players so eloquently put it, “A donkey could have coached this team and they would’ve been successful.”

That’s not really a knock on coach Chris Parrish as much as it is a realistic assumption. The Chargers have now won 65 consecutive matches dating back to 2009, improving to 29-0 on the season heading into the CIF Semifinals. Parrish, who took over from Danelle Little this season, said it hasn’t been easy dealing with the expectations.

“No one’s actually looking for us to do very well this year, so it’s been kind of a relief,” he said sarcastically. “But really, it’s been a grueling season, and 29 games feels more like 105. Every time we get in the pool everyone’s gunning for us.”

He credited the high character of his players for making it through, and introduced two of the players who will carry the program after seven seniors graduate this year. He said that Kodi Hill is perhaps “the best defender in all of high school water polo” and that Laurel Kistler has also been a standout stopper while averaging nearly a goal per game.

AT LEAST IT’S AT HOME: The Santa Barbara High girls basketball team will face a formidable opponent went Indio carries its 25-2 record into J.R. Richards Gym on Tuesday night in the CIF Quarterfinals. Always-candid Dons coach Andrew Butcher described how he has always been a bit intimidated by the town of Indio.

“My wife and little son and I always go to Palm Springs, and I always sneak out while they’re still asleep in the hotel room and sneak off to the junkyards in Indio to look for car parts. I’m always hoping I don’t get hit over the back of the head with a tire-iron. That’s what Indio is like,” he said. “Their kids are tough, aggressive and fast.”

He introduced Aleanna Hernandez, Sylvia Hoover and Ivette Gil.

BISHOP GIRLS MOVE ALONG: The Cardinal girls team is seeded third and is also in the third round of the playoffs, where Bishop will host No. 6 Archer on Wednesday. Coach Jeff Burich said that playing in the tougher Tri-Valley League has been a big benefit this year. Six out of the league’s seven teams made the postseason.

He brought a host of players — Sonia Arreola, Essence Thornhill, Allison “Chin” Breuer and Courtney Houston — as well as his dedicated assistants, Misty Alvarado and Andrea Garcia. Garcia has been involved with the program for nine years.

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