Michael Palia – 4/16/2008
The Santa Barbara Breakers christened their 2008 season at Santa Barbara City College with two victories over the Newport Beach Surf and Hollywood Shooting Stars. On Friday night, the Breakers played in the inaugural opening game of the West Coast Professional Basketball League, and defeated the Newport Beach Surf 106‐94.
The Breakers jumped out to an early 10 point advantage at the end of the first quarter, thanks to 6‐2 guard Justin Johnson, who was perfect from 3‐point land in the first quarter draining all three of his attempts. The Mississippi graduate paced the Breakers with 24 points on 9‐of‐15 shooting.
The Surf closed the gap on the Breakers, outscoring them in the second quarter 29‐19 to send the game tied at halftime 47‐47. Surf guard Thomas Taylor poured in two of his three treys and added another field goal in the quarter to put Newport Beach back in the game.
Santa Barbara outscored Newport Beach 29‐10 in the third quarter to stretch its lead to 76‐57, and pulled away for good. Breakers guard Tim Taylor scored 14 of his 22 points in the quarter, including a perfect 8‐8 from the free throw line. Both teams combined for 63 points in the fourth quarter, and the Surf hit 6 three‐pointers, but the Breaker lead never slipped under double‐digits.
On Saturday, Justin Johnson scored a season‐high 31 points as the Breakers dominated the Hollywood Shooting Stars 106‐87. Johnson netted 14 of his 31 points in the first half to give the Breakers a comfortable 50‐38 lead heading into halftime.
Backed by Tawaris Gilbert, the Shooting Stars were able to cut the lead down to single digits with 6:00 remaining in the third quarter. Gilbert poured in 8 of his 22 points, including two three‐pointers in the quarter to close the gap. The Breakers were able to hold on, outscoring the Shooting Stars 23‐17 in the final quarter to ensure the victory.
The Breakers were also paced by guard Tim Taylor, who tallied 15 points on 5‐9 shooting. Three other Breaker players cracked double figures including Mark Peters (13), Rashid Byrd (10), and Josh Merrill (14), as the team shot 51.7% from the field.
Catch the Santa Barbara Breakers in action Saturday, April 19 as the Breakers battle the Carlsbad Beachdawgs. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Santa Barbara City College Sports Pavilion.