In a nail biting seesaw battle that gave the Breakers (4-0) their toughest test in the inaugural season of the West Coast Basketball League, a well-balanced offensive attack and late fourth quarter surge allowed Santa Barbara to come out on top, winning 124-112 over a talented Pasadena (0-1) squad that kicked off their season with a road loss.
“They [Pasadena] are very skilled, very experienced and love the game of basketball,” Breakers Head Coach Curt Pickering said. “They really wanted to win this game but fortunately for us we found the right ingredients in the final three or four minutes.”
The Breakers were a little flat coming out of the gates, allowing an energetic Slam team to capitalize off turnovers early. AND 1 street ball legend and Pasadena team captain Robin “Syk Wit It” Kennedy anchored his team for the entire first half alongside fellow point guard Horace Wormely II, who led Pasadena in the first half with 14 points sliding to the off guard position. Kennedy and Wormely would finish the game with 20 points apiece.
“It’s a tough match-up because Pasadena has really good guards and point guard play,” Breaker guard Allan Purnell said. “Their ability to drive inside and dish it out to open three-point shooters was probably was our biggest match-up problem.”
The Breakers would right the ship and hold a lead for the majority of the second quarter, led by guard Tim Taylor who scored a team-high 16 points in the first half. Forward Tyler Newton, making his return to the Breakers after missing the first three games of the season, also had a great first half chipping in 13 points thanks in part to some clever post moves. Though the Breakers looked primed to go into halftime with a double digit lead, a brief spurt in the final minute from Pasadena closed the deficit to seven heading into the second half.
“I think we shot ourselves in the foot with a lot careless turnovers right before halftime,” Newton said. “It’s a little tough playing with all the new guys this year, but I felt pretty good out there tonight.”
When the second half began, it looked as though Santa Barbara would run away with it, building their lead all the way up to 20 in the third quarter. The Slam would show great perseverance, coming all the way back to tie things mid-way through the fourth quarter. Pasadena forward Tony Farmer hit some big threes down the stretch to lead the Slam on the way to finishing the game with a team high 27 points.
“Tony is a great shooter and showed off his NBA range,” Purnell said. “He kind of surprised us by going to the basket but that just shows that he’s made improvements in his game.”