Desirea Coleman is not only a good basketball player, she also can predict the future, said Santa Barbara High girls basketball assistant coach Jess Martinez at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon.
“She’s also a fortune teller because early in the season she said we would be in the finals,” said Martinez.
Coleman made sure the Dons got there with an outstanding performance in the CIF 3AA semifinals. The senior scored 20 points and played solid at both ends of the floor for Santa Barbara in Saturday’s 48-41 win over Yorba Linda.
By Barry Punzal – PresidioSports.com
The top-seeded Dons will play No. 2 Lake Elsinore-Lakeside for the championship on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Azusa Pacific University.
“We hope the next time we come here we’re able to say, ‘We’re going to Disneyland,’” said Martinez.
He introduced assistant coach Carolina Gonzalez, who has provided great help in coaching and administrative duties. He also thanked Xochitl Lopez Torres, who missed playing this season because of a knee injury, but continues to come to practice and helps the team any way she can.
Martinez also brought junior post player Alejandra Mejia, who has developed into a solid player at both ends of the court.
“It’s March, and basketball coaches love it when you’re still playing in March,” said Westmont women’s coach Kirsten Moore, whose team plays host to Concordia in the first round of the GSAC Tournament on Wednesday. “We’re still playing basketball and we have a lot to look forward to.”
After big wins over Concordia and Biola last week, Moore feels the Warriors are peaking.
“We’re well on our way after the results of last week,” she said.
Westmont men’s coach John Moore started up the “Beat Biola” cheer again because his team plays Biola in the first round of the GSAC Tournament.
He then challenged star player C.J. Miller to go for 40 points against Biola. If he does, it would surpass the 39 points his father scored against UCSB in the mid-1970s.
“The challenge is for CJ to scored 40, nothing less,” said Moore. “That will carry us into the next round.”
The UCSB women’s team travels to Hawaii for a Thursday game and then returns home to honor seniors Melissa Zornig, Nicole Nesbit and Destini Mason on Saturday. They Gauchos play Cal Poly.
SBCC baseball coach Jeff Walker said the Vaqueros are off to one of their best starts in program history with an 11-3 record. The team is ranked second in Southern California and leads the state in runs scored and on-base percentage. Leading the attack are Spencer Erdman (.387 average), Matt Henderson (.359) and former San Marcos star Jimmy Brakka (.358).
The Vaqueros open the 20-game WSC season this week against Ventura.
UCSB assistant coach Neil Walton said the team’s biggest victory in this young season is managing to get in three games over the weekend against Princeton. The Gauchos swept the series to improve to 7-1. They travel to Tucson, Ariz. this weekend to play Mississippi State and host Arizona.
Walton cited the strong play of Joey Epperson, Andrew Calica and the pitching of Shane Bieber.
Westmont coach Robert Ruiz said the Warriors will complete the first round of GSAC play this weekend at The Master’s.
Ruiz acknowledge the outstanding play of Alex Bush and Brandon Gildea in nonconference games last week. Bush, a sophomore pitcher, showed how effective he is with the bat, going 10-for-18 with six runs, three RBIs, a triple, and a homer. He also earned a pitching win. Gildea, a four-year catcher, took on the role as a closer and earned a save. He also went 9-14 at the plate with eight RBIs, and a home run.
“These two guys are impact players,” said Ruiz.
San Marcos boys coach Jeff Ashton managed to get senior water polo player Spencer Kemp to come out for swimming. Kemp will do the 50 and 100 freestyle events. Also introduced was sophomore George Kuesis, who last season made the league finals in the 200 free. Ashton called him a workhorse in the water.
George Rempe is especially grateful and thrilled to start another baseball season.
The longtime Santa Barbara High assistant battle through some serious health issues last year. He was hospitalized with kidney failure last February, had his aortic valve replaced in June and just recently and a second knee replacement.
So, Coach Rempe is ready to go.
“We have the same goals we have every year, a winning season, go to the CIF playoffs and win Channel League,” he said.
Rempe brought three players who will be key in the Dons reaching those goals: pitcher Gabe Grandcolas, catcher Skyler Sabado and left fielder Ian Cheverez True.
The Dons open at Pioneer Valley on Tuesday and are home Thursday against Arroyo Grande.
REMEMBERING FRANK SWAIN
Rick Wilson, a past SBART president who conducted Monday’s luncheon, wanted to acknowledge sports historian Frank Swain, who passed away last month. Swain was a SBART member and the organization’s historian. He also kept stats and records for Santa Barbara High and San Marcos.