Butcher leads the cheers for local basketball

Andrew Butcher is fired up about this basketball season, and the Santa Barbara High girls coach shared his excitement at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe.

“There’s a lot of great basketball being played in the area this year,” he said. “It’s a great year for basketball in this town. Everybody enjoy that because once in a while we’ll have a year where nobody can make a basket. And, this is not one of those years. Let’s enjoy this.”

Butcher’s team is off to a good start, going 3-0 at Lompoc’s Brian Ayer Classic.

His team this season might be the shortest in his 30-year career at Santa Barbara.

“This is the first year that I’ve had a team where no player can touch the backboard,” he quipped. “We’re trying to play a different style of play. We need to play quicker.”

The old guard was present at Harry’s. Laguna Blanca boys basketball coach Sal Rodriguez pointed out that he and new Santa Barbara coach David Bregante played together at SBCC in 1963.

“And David is older than I am,” said Rodriguez.

Bregante said the last time he attended the SBART luncheon was in the early 70’s, when he filled in for Westmont coach Tom Byron.

Bregante had only eight days of practice before his team played its first game against Oxnard.

“I worried about the game,” he admitted. “I was pleasantly surprised — we played really hard and played together. I think if we clean up a few things we’ll be fine.”

Other highlights:

Santa Barbara High’s Bryce Vinion recognized as Santa Barbara High’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Santa Barbara High’s Ivette Gil given Phil Womble Ethics Award

—Laguna Blanca’s Brandon Bickett and UCSB’s Andrea Ward were voted SBART Athletes of the Week by local sports media.

—The Round Table honored the CIF Division 2 champion Santa Barbara High girls tennis team. {VIDEO}

—UCSB men’s basketball assistant Matt Stock thanked the community for its support in the exciting games against San Diego State and UNLV. The Gauchos are in finals this week. Next week, they take a 10-day road trip to San Diego, Cal, Washington and BYU.

—UCSB women’s basketball coach Carlene Mitchell made quick stop at the luncheon before heading off to practice. She gave her players the weekend off, so they can prepare for final exams.

—Aaron Solis, speaking for first-year San Marcos girls basketball coach Devin Uyesaka, said the Royals are co-hosting the Gold Coast Classic this week with Rio Mesa High.

“This is a great time of year,” he said. “As it gets colder outside, the action heats up in the gym. This is a great time for hoop junkies out there.”

—Jeff Burich, the Bishop Diego girls coach, said the Cardinals and Carpinteria are co-hosting a girls basketball tournament Tuesday through Saturday.

—Carpinteria boys basketball coach Johnny Ward introduced Andrew Sova and Jordan Robinson. “They tore it up on the football field. I hope they tear it up for me,” he said.

—Abe Jahadhmy, San Marcos athletic director, said the boys soccer team is off to a 4-1-2 start and is playing well under first-year coach Matt Winecki.

“We really got ourselves a good soccer coach,” Jahadhmy said. “We got a young team. We’re very competitive. We have a great future in our soccer program.”

—Santa Barbara boys soccer coach Todd Heil said he was glad to return home after playing a weekend tournament in cold and windy Palmdale. The Dons are 3-1-1 and ranked fourth in CIF Division 1. They play their first home game Saturday at 1 p.m. against St. Francis.


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