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Breakers Make Title Run

Undefeated Season, Championship On the Line This Weekend

This year's S.B. Breakers team.
Paul Wellman

The Santa Barbara Breakers will try to wrap up a perfect campaign this weekend at the SBCC Sports Pavilion. The semipro team, which went 16-0 in the West Coast Pro Basketball League’s regular season, will face the Ventura Jets Friday night, June 20, in the league’s Final Four semifinals. Tipoff is at 7:05 p.m. In the other semifinal, the High Desert Rattlers are playing at the Pasadena Slam.

The Breakers will play again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday for the championship, if they defeat Ventura; for third place, if they are upset in the semifinals. In the latter case, the game will be played at 5 p.m. Saturday at SBCC.

Although they swept three games from Ventura during the season, Breakers coach Curt Pickering said they are in for a tough test Friday night. In their last meeting at SBCC, Santa Barbara scraped out a 113-108 victory. Pickering said the status of Rashid Byrd, the Breakers’ 7’1″ shot blocker, is in doubt after he was injured in a traffic accident.

UCSB graduate Josh Merrill leads Santa Barbara in scoring (21.3 points per game) and is one of the top rebounders along with Byrd, both averaging about nine a game. Shantay Legans, another local product (Dos Pueblos High), is a spark in the backcourt. “Josh and Shantay are the biggest influence on our team emotionally,” Pickering said. “They are mature leaders.”

Ventura’s Jermaine Small leads the WCBL in scoring at 28.2 points per game.

FORESTERS OFF TO CUBA

The Santa Barbara Foresters are boarding a bus at 2 a.m. Friday to begin their historic trip for a three-game series (June 21-23) against Cuba’s national baseball team in Havana. The team will fly out of LAX to Miami, then take a short flight to Havana.

Local players making the journey include UCSB pitcher Mike Ford, slated to start one of the games; Dos Pueblos hurler Chris Joyce; and two other Gauchos, pitcher Michael Martin and first baseman Eric Oliver.

The Cubans are expected to go all-out. They have a roster of 43 players that must be pared down for the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Meanwhile, a split squad of Foresters remains in Santa Barbara to play a pair of league games against the Santa Maria Indians at UCSB. Starting times are 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Dan Yokubaitis will take over as field manager for Bill Pintard, who is leading the main squad to Cuba.

FREE RUN

Chuck’s is sponsoring its 29th Beach Run at low tide Sunday morning, June 22. There is no entry fee. Register at 7:15 a.m. at Leadbetter Beach and start running at 8 a.m. to Hendry’s Beach and back.

Top Sporting Events: June 20-July 13

Friday, June 20

Basketball WCBL Playoffs at SBCC Sports Pavilion: Santa Barbara Breakers vs. Ventura Jets, 7:05 p.m.

Saturday, June 21

Baseball Santa Maria Indians at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 5 p.m.

Basketball WCBL Finals at SBCC Sports Pavilion, 7:05 p.m.

Sunday, June 22

Running Chuck’s Beach Run, 6 miles, Leadbetter Beach, 8 a.m.

Baseball Santa Maria Indians at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 1 p.m.

Monday, June 23

Baseball Santa Barbara Foresters at Santa Maria Indians, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, June 25

Baseball San Francisco Seals at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 5 p.m.

Run-walk-swim Night Moves at Leadbetter Beach, 6:25 p.m.

Thursday, June 26

Baseball San Francisco Seals at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 5 p.m.

Friday, June 27

Baseball Monterey Bay Sox at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 5 p.m.

Saturday, June 28

Baseball Monterey Bay Sox at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 5 p.m.

Sunday, June 29

Baseball Monterey Bay Sox at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, July 1

Baseball Santa Barbara Foresters at Urban Academy, Los Angeles, 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday, July 2

Run-walk-swim Night Moves at Leadbetter Beach, 5:30 p.m. (Opening event of Semana Nautica Sports Festival)

Baseball Santa Barbara Foresters at Urban Academy, Los Angeles (2), 4 p.m.

Thursday, July 3

Baseball Conejo Oaks at Santa Barbara Foresters, Carpinteria High, 5 p.m.

Friday, July 4

Baseball Maxim Yankees at Santa Barbara Foresters, Pershing Park, 4:30 p.m.

Semana Nautica 15-Kilometer Run, San Marcos High School, 8 a.m.

De Lisle Mixed Pairs Lawn Bowling, Santa Barbara Lawn Bowls Club, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Age Group Swim Meet, Elings Aquatic Center at Dos Pueblos High, 12-7 p.m.

Saturday, July 5

Baseball Maxim Yankees at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 5 p.m.

Semana Nautica Age Group Swim Meet, Elings Aquatic Center at Dos Pueblos High, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

1-Mile Ocean Swim at East Beach, 9 a.m.

Sunday, July 6

Baseball Maxim Yankees at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 1 p.m.

Semana Nautica Age Group Swim Meet, Elings Aquatic Center at Dos Pueblos High, 6 a.m.-5 p.m.

3-Mile Ocean Swim at East Beach, 9 a.m.

Tuesday, July 8

Baseball Urban Academy at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, July 9

Baseball Conejo Oaks at Santa Barbara Foresters, UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, 5 p.m.

Run-walk-swim Night Moves at Leadbetter Beach, 6:25 p.m.

Thursday, July 10

Baseball Rawlings California Cup Tournament at UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Friday, July 11

Baseball Rawlings California Cup Tournament at UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Saturday, July 12

Baseball Rawlings California Cup Tournament at UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Semana Nautica 5-Mile Biathlon, East Beach, 9 a.m.

Sunday, July 13

Baseball Rawlings California Cup Tournament at UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Semana Nautica 6-Mile Ocean Swim, Goleta Beach to Hendry’s, 7:30 a.m.

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