The Santa Barbara Breakers Professional Basketball team won two games on saturday, May 28, to take back the WCBL crown that denied them in 2010, with a resounding 130-108 semi-final win over the Venice Beach Ninja’s (3rd seeded of 8 teams) and 4 hours later, defeated the West LA Advantage 110-107 in the Championship Game at Santa Barbara High School Gymnasium.
In the earlier semi-final contest, the Advantage came back from a 26 point deficit to defeat the previous undefeated Nationwide Allstars (11-1) 120-115.
The hero’s for the Breakers were MVP Keith Closs who set WCBL and Breaker Alltime Records with 25 rebounds and 13 blocked shots in the semi-final game. He followed this up with 11 rebounds and 6 blocked shots in the Title game and was supported fully by Tim Taylor’s 31 points, Deon Marcus’s 26 points and the saavy defense of James Powell and Tony Dandridge.
In the Title Game, the Breakers trailed early 23-16 but got the transitional game ignited with the inserted bench additions of Stan Fletcher and Donald Lee. At the end of the break, it was tied up at 28 apiece.
In the second quarter, the fastbreak tempo continued for the Breakers behind Powell’s 9 and Marcus’s 11 points, respectively. With the aid of Closs’s patrolling of the paint, the Breakers gained a 61-46 until the
Advantage finished the quarter off with a 7-0 run, resulting in a Breakers 61-53 lead at halftime.
The third quarter witnessed the Breakers unleashing another “tsunami attack” with the transitional game behind the smaller lineup of Taylor, Powell, Fletcher, Dandridge and Closs. This produced a 80-63 lead.
But, like their previous game character, the Advantage staged a monolith defense, hit transitional 3’s and when the dust cleared, the Breakers were holding on to a precious lead of 86-80 at the end of 3 quarters.
The Breakers re-built their lead to 11 points in the 4th and final frame but gutsy play by the Advantage notted the game up at 105-105 with 40 seconds to play. An off balance 13 footer on the right wing produced a 2 point lead and off a missed jumper, Tim Taylor secured the defensive rebound and was fouled excessively by Jushay Rockett of the West LA. James Powell sank the technical free throw and Taylor hit both of his charity shots for a 110-105 lead. David Vik, 6’11 center for West LA, hit a quick bucket with 2.0 seconds to play. And just to keep the suspense and drama alive, the inbounds pass was deflected off a Breakers fingertips and the Advantage had the ball back for a possible 3 point shot attempt and tie. Fortunately for the Breakers, Vik’s deep 3 pointer over the outstretched hands of James Powell was short and the Breakers recorded their 3rd WCBL title in 4 years.
All WCBL Tournament selections, besides Closs’s MVP award, went to Tim Taylor and Deon Marcus. Additional WCBL All-League Awards will be announced on June 3.
Scheduled next for the Breakers is a Tour to Germany in September and their annual Fall excursion to China.
For more details on the Breakers and their Summer Camps, logon to www.breakersbasketball.com or call 969-7542.
Santa Barbara Breakers 130 Venice Beach Ninja’s 108 Semi-final Game
Moses Marbury 23 points 10 assists 3 steals
Keith Closs 23 points 25 rebounds 13 block shots
Donald Lee 23 points 14 rebounds
Tim Taylor 19 points 7 rebounds 5 assists
Deon Marcus 17 points 6 rebounds
James Powell 11 points 6 assists 2 steals
Tony Dandridge 10 points 4 rebounds
Santa Barbara Breakers 110 West LA Advantage 107 WCBL Championship Game
Tim Taylor 31 points 9 rebounds 4 assists 2 steals 2 blocks
Deon Marcus 26 points 4 rebounds
James Powell 12 points 4 assists
Stan Fletcher 10 points 5 rebounds 4 assists 3 steals
Donald Lee 9 points 7 rebounds 2 steals
Keith Closs 8 points 12 rebounds 6 block shots
Moses Marbury 6 points 7 assists 2 steals