The Santa Barbara Breakers are continuing their quest to secure the WCBL League title this weekend. Coming off another win, 126-100, over the Beach Dawgs of Carlsbad, The men in red, white, blue and gold are tilting the scales at 16-0 with the Ventura Jets being their next hurdle to leap over. The game will be played Friday at 7:05 PM at SBCC Sports Pavilion.
Scenarios continue to abound. Rashid Byrd was in an auto accident late Thursday night and was taken to the hospital in North Hollywood via ambulance. He sustained rib injuries and a laceration above the right eye that required stitches. Byrd, the 7 foot 1 shot blocker, was standing outside his parked car with the driver’s door open when the driver hit Byrd’s door. The impact slammed the door against his upper body resulting in the injuries.
Adam Zahn is expected to be ready for Friday’s contest, having recovered from a bicycle accident two weeks ago. He missed the Breakers final road game but is cleared to perform for the League tournament.
Coach Curt Pickering has been searching for 1-2 replacements and may have found a gem in 6’11 270 pound Jeremy Vague, who has played overseas professionally, in the ABA minor leagues and collegiately at Pepperdine/Utah State.
For the Breakers, they are attempting to complete a season in which they have been tested several times, tailing late in the fourth period. Leadership from Josh Merrill and the gutsy play of Tim Taylor has stood out in fourth quarter challenges. The defense of Mark Peters, Allan Purnell and Rashid Byrd has also been the consistent mantra of the Breakers ability to bend but not break.
For this weekend, it comes down to the core of players finishing what they started on March 31 at the Staples Center, with an exhibition game. Pickering says that the player’s greatest qualities have been that for each individual on the squad, they have great listening skills, they put team first and they harmonize with each other.