In his first Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table media luncheon appearance of the winter season, Santa Barbara High girls basketball coach Andrew Butcher recalled his very first luncheon more than 30 years ago and the coaching he received from the late Larry Crandell.
Crandell, who died in August at the age of 93, was Round Table president at the time and his daughter, Leslie, played for Butcher’s Dons.
“I was really nervous,” Butcher said. “Larry came over and I told him I didn’t know what to say. He said let’s listen to the first speaker.”
Crandell then proceeded to offer his interpretation of the coachspeak:
Coach: “We really struggled last week.”
Crandell’s translation: “That means they’re going to win three games this year.”
Coach: “The parents and administration are still behind us.”
Crandell: “That means they’re blaming the coach every time they turn the ball over, every time they miss a layup; coach better start looking for another job.”
Coach: “The team is still with me.”
Crandell: “That means they’re blaming the coach when they miss a layup.”
Coach: “We got a really tough matchup next week.”
“And Larry said, ‘That means they have no chance to win,’” Butcher recalled.
“I was laughing so hard and they call me up,” he said. “Larry winks. I actually got through it. That was one of the 10 million things Larry’s done when he saw someone who needed a pat on the back.”
Butcher went on to report on his team after it went 1-2 over the weekend at the Brian Ayer Classic in Lompoc.
“We really struggled this weekend,” he said. “The parents and administration are still behind us … The players are still on board. And, we have a really tough game this Wednesday.”
The media luncheon crowd was in hysterics.
“All true,” Butcher declared.
He introduced Anais Jimenez, Kimberly Gebhardt and Sophia Torres. Jimenez, he said, was the best player during the three games. She shot 48 percent and averaged 11 rebounds, “which last year would have been more than two-thirds of the rebounds we got in some games,” he added.
Gebhardt is a four-year starter and this year’s captain.
“As she goes, we go,” he said.
Torres, he said, brings height to the small forward position and is the team’s quickest defender.
The Dons open the Gold Coast Classic against Cabrillo at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at San Marcos. They were routed 44-25 at the Lompoc tournament last Thursday.
Of the rematch: “We will work some Crandell magic,” Butcher vowed.
Dos Pueblos: Athletic director Dan Feldhaus said Lauren Noggle, Kristina Mortimer and Amber Belletti made the all-tournament team at the Ruth Doser Classic in Atascadero. The Chargers went 3-0 to win the tournament. Point guard Camila Casanueva was the MVP.
“Everything runs through Camila,” he said of the returning All-CIF and All-Channel League first-team player.
Feldhaus said Noggle is a returning all-league forward who is a power player in the paint.
“The team is very excited and they’re focused,” he said.
San Marcos: When the Royals played in the championship game at the Fillmore Tournament last Saturday, it marked the first time in 10 years they had played in a tourney final, reported assistant coach Aaron Solis. They lost to Santa Clara.
“With such a young team, we’re still learning how to win these type of games,” he said. “But just getting there so they can learn is a great step.”
He introduced seniors Kaitlynn Miller and Sierra Hearron.
“They’re beginning to realized how important senior leadership is to the team,” Solis said.
Bishop Diego: To accommodate the boarding schools in the Frontier League, Bishop Diego opened the season with league games against Villanova Prep and Cate. The Cardinals won both, which made coach Jeff Burich happy.
“When you go 0-10 the previous year and you’re able to win your first two this year, it’s a good start for the kids,” he said. “You can already see the positive momentum building off that.”
Burich said Natalie Whiting has worked her way into the starting lineup.
“I didn’t anticipate her being a starter but she makes things happen for us,” he said of the junior who is averaging 9 points.
Ann Bentajado, a three-year varsity player, plays hard from start to finish.
“She has an intensity about her,” Burich said.
He said he’s also impressed with her great character.
“She donates her time for things,” he said. “She is a great representative for Bishop.”
The Cardinals host their Bird Cage Classic this week, playing Thacher on Wednesday, Santa Maria on Friday and Cate on Saturday.
UC Santa Barbara: Assistant coach Mia Fisher said the Gauchos (2-5) are learning how to win games. They lost their last game at Loyola Marymount by two points.
“The art of winning (is) just closing out games,” she said. “Some of us have those groups where you just know by the end of the game you’re going to seal it up and run away with it. We’re kind of opposite of that. We’re learning how to win. We’re going to get there. You just got to love the process and love where you’re at and be excited about it.
“We’re hoping by Jan. 5, when we play Cal Poly, we’ll be in pretty good shape.”
Fisher is excited about former Gaucho Cori Close returning to UCSB with her UCLA team for a Dec. 14 game at the Thunderdome.
At 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13, UCSB will host a Chalk Talk with Close and Gauchos coach Bonnie Henrickson at Corwin Pavilion. Tickets for the event are $50 per person and all proceeds will benefit the UCSB women’s basketball program.
For information contact Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805.893.4785.
Westmont: Coach Kirsten Moore liked what she saw in her team in a nine-point win (59-50) over NAIA fourth-ranked Campbellsville, Ky. at a tournament in Jackson, Tenn., two weeks ago. The win came the day after the Warriors shot poorly from behind the three-point arc and lost to No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Mid-America Nazarene by three points (56-53).
“It was intense for every single possession,” Moore said of the Campbellsville game. “I’m super proud of the effort and focus level, and coming away with a win shows we are capable of beating any team in the country. That’s exciting for us.”
The Warriors open Golden State Athletic Conference play this week at The Master’s on Wednesday and home against Hope International on Saturday.
Dos Pueblos: Freshmen Sabina Shackelford and Anna Cable made a huge impact in the Chargers’ season-opening wins against Foothill and Los Osos.
Shackelford scored the game-winning goal on a power play in a 7-5 victory over perennial powerhouse Foothill and Cable made 19 saves in the two wins.
Cable’s brother, Ben, was a senior goalie for coach Connor Levoff’s boys team this fall.
“I’m really glad to have Annie,” he said. “I don’t know what I would do without a Cable in the goal.”
Of Shackelford, he said during the Foothill game she gave him a “crazy look like ‘Why am I in,’ after she got throat checked by a senior.” He coached her up and she went out and buried the eventual game-winning goal.
Levoff said that play showed why Shackelford is a special athlete.
“She’s capable of doing really good things,” he said. “With a little confidence and the minutes she’s played so far this year, we’re going to be relying on her a lot. So, big things ahead.”
The Chargers are playing the first three weeks of the season without Abbi Hill, Ryann Neushul and Jewel Roemer who are with the USA Water Polo Youth National Team at the FINA Youth World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
San Marcos: Coach Chuckie Roth also brought a pair of freshmen: Claire Kronen and Cassidy Miller. Kronen has stepped up to become a leader on the Royals’ JV-A yeam. Roth will be coaching that team this weekend at the Villa Park varsity tournament.
Cassidy Miller will play with the Royals varsity squad in Thursday’s season and league opener against Ventura.
Roth expressed appreciation for all the players in the program supporting each other regardless of what team they play on.
“Really it’s about building each one of them as better people for the future and all that they do,” he said.
Dos Pueblos: Coach Anthony Califano said Erick Nisich, Dos Pueblos’ Phil Womble Ethics in Sports Award winner, beat “a huge guy” from Corona Centennial to finish 5-0 at the Corona del Mar Duals.
He said they saw the Centennial wrestler earlier and told Nisich, “You might see him later in the day. We might have to give you a baseball bat. Eric wrestled a very tough match and beat him.”
Califano added that an exchange student, Noam Dessibourg of Switzerland, is someone to check out.
“He’s been doing judo since he was 4,” he said. “We’re showing him some wrestling moves and he’s throwing guys all over the place.”
Westmont: Coach John Moore pointed out that the top six teams in the GSAC have a combined record of 42-1.
“We’re 8-1, so what does that say about the other five teams?” Moore asked. “Do your math.”
The Warriors open conference Wednesday at 7-0 Master’s and host 6-0 Hope International on Saturday.
“It’s a great challenge for us but I think we’re up for it,” he said.
Moore introduced freshman Zac Jervis, a 6-5 forward from Orange Lutheran High.
“He played against the Mater Dei’s of the world every day,” Moore said. “He’s not intimidated. He feels like he can go up against anyone.”