Breakers Staff – 6/1/2008
The Santa Barbara Breakers continued their winning ways over the weekend with two nail bitters. On Friday night, the High Desert Rattlers took the Breakers to the brink of defeat until succumbing in the final seconds 125-122, despite throwing a full length “prayer” that would have tied the game and sent it into overtime.
Former Breaker star from last season, Mike Garrett led the Rattlers with 34 points including 19 in the final period. Garrett, who moved to Lancaster, was unstoppable both on drives to the hole and deft outside shots. The Rattlers shot 19-39 from three point range and created mis-matches all night long for the Breakers. By utilizing their quickness, spreading the floor with no postmen inside, and launching trey after trey, the Rattlers used a “lack of height” to their advantage.
For the Breakers, Tim Taylor, Josh Merrill and Justin Johnson provided consistent scoring (23, 22 and 22) while Rashid Byrd picked up a “cool” 7 block shots at the defensive end.
On Saturday night, the Breakers were challenged for 48 minutes before subduing the Ventura Jets 113-108. Once again, leading a balanced attack for the Breakers was Taylor with 19, Johnson 18, Merrill 16, newly acquired Adam Zahn 15 and Rashid Byrd/Allan Purnell at 13. Also chipping in with double figures was “Speedy” Mark Peters, 11.
For the Jets, Coach Patrick Davis received great performances from “Tree” Small with 34 points, Dante Lincoln 26, and Julius Samuels 21. The Jets held the lead late in the fourth quarter before the Breakers tightened up their defense and took the lead for good at 106-105.
The Breakers received unfortunate news when Tyler Newton sustained a 2-4 week foot injury that will sideline him for the remaining of the season. Newton was averaging just less than 18 point and 9 rebounds per game. Adam Zahn, a 2007 graduate of U. of Oregon and most recently employed professionally in Norway, has joined the team and recorded 11 and 15 points in his first two games in a Breaker jersey. Ironically, Zahn played against the Breakers last season for the Eugene Chargers of the IBL scoring 34 points and grabbing 2 rebounds. He impressed Coach Curt Pickering in that game which led Pickering to putting out an “APB” to locate a phone number on Zahn.
Also coping with an injury is 6’7 forward Sheldon Bailey. An MRI was being administered this week to determine his fate for the final 3 weeks of the season. Pickering is preparing for a possible replacement should Bailey’s status put him on the shelf immediately.
The Breakers are gearing up for the West Coast Pro Basketball League (WCBL) season tournament which will be held June 19-20-21. Teams are adjusting their rosters, looking to add key players to their squads, for the single elimination format. The Breakers have just one regular season home game remaining, Saturday, June 7 at SBCC versus the High Desert Rattlers. They also have 3 road games to complete the 2008 regular schedule of games.
All remaining games will be broadcasted on Newspresstv.com where many new fans of the “Breakers Nation” have emailed stating that they have been watching the games from as far away as Japan and Austria.