The Santa Barbara Breakers received news from Commissioner Jim Parks of the West Coast Pro Basketball today that their opponent in the Semi-finals will be neighborhood nemesis Ventura Jets. The Breakers have been successful three times this season against the Jets but each game has become much more even in score and of physical battle on the floor.
The first encounter was in Santa Barbara on May 3 with the Breakers coming away with a 118-95 win despite the Jets taking a first quarter lead of 22-9 at the 6:20 mark.
Game Two was played in Ventura at Ventura Community College on May 24. Once again, the Jets took a commanding 12 point lead in the first half and led 53-52 at intermission. The Breakers would then go on a 15-0 run to begin the third quarter for a 67-53 lead and never looked back. The final tally was 105-89. The most recent game was back at SBCC where the Breakers pulled out a squeaker 113-108. The May 30th contest was a see-saw battle at both ends of the court. Jermaine Small (34 points) and Dante Lincoln (26 points) were unstoppable in producing a 106- tie late into the fourth quarter. Offensive rebounds by Tim Taylor and Josh Merrill gave the Breakers second chance opportunities which they converted on in both possessions, thus keeping the Jets at bay.
Leading the Breakers after 15 games is former UCSB graduate Josh Merrill with a 21.3 points per game average as well as 8.9 rebounds ; 1.5 blocks and 1.9 steals per contest. Rashid Byrd, 7 foot one center leads the league in blocks per game at 4.2 while also recording 8.8 rebounds and 13.8 points per game. Adam Zahn (19.8), Tim Taylor (19.0), Allan Purnell (17.8), and Justin Johnson (17.3) round out the balanced scoring for the Breakers.
For the Jets, Jermaine Small leads the league in scoring at a 28.2 clip. He is also 3rd in rebounding at 10.4 per game. Adding to the Jets attack is former SBCC star, Julius Samuels at 18.1 PPG; Dante Lincoln 15.0 PPG and defensive whiz Carlos Bailey with 2.2 steals per contest.
The WCBL Playoffs will begin with the Carlsbad BeachDawgs facing off against the Pasadena Slam at 5pm on Friday Night at SBCC. The Breakers/Jets game will follow at 7:05 pm.
One price for both games will be honored. Adult admission is $10; Senior citizens $8; children $6 per person.