It took a while for the Santa Barbara High girls basketball team to find a rhythm offensively in its Channel League opener against Dos Pueblos.
Eventually it was full-court pressure that sparked the Santa Barbara offense as the Dons secured a 52-38 victory on Tuesday night at Sovine Gym.
“The press gives us some scoring opportunities and we’re not quite there yet with our offense,” said Santa Barbara coach Andrew Butcher. “The defense always comes quicker than the offense and we have some good athletes and girls that our aggressive.”
At the end of an ugly first quarter Santa Barbara led 5-2 as both offenses struggled to generate quality opportunities. Dos Pueblos forced Santa Barbara to settle for outside shots with a zone defense that packed the paint.
Katrina Regalado ended a Santa Barbara drought with a layup inside ay the 7:30 mark of the second quarter. Caia Trimble followed with back-to-back midrange jumpers in transition, increasing the Dons’ lead to 11-2.
However, Dos Pueblos responded with a 7-1 run and cut its deficit to 12-9 when Lily Miers found Ava Sommer for a basket inside with 2:35 remaining in the first half.
Another layup by Regalado put Santa Barabra ahead 22-13 at halftime. In the second half, both teams found more consistency on offense. A three-pointer by Dos Pueblos guard Ashley Gerken cut the Chargers’ deficit to 26-20.
However, Athena Saragoza responded with a three-pointer that ignited a 18-2 run capped off by a Briana Trujillo three-pointer that gave the Dons a 44-22 lead at the end of the third quarter.
“I think our level of anxiety played a huge role where we’re inexperience and they got in our face and instead of just relaxing and passing through the press we made simple errors,” said Dos Pueblos coach Phil Sherman. “They made some really good plays on their press, but a lot of the (turnovers) were self inflicted by us I thought.”
Saragoza, who finished with 15 points despite a rough night shooting, led the Dons offensively. Caia Trimble chipped in 11 points and four steals. Maya Banks pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Gerken paced Dos Pueblos with a team-high 12 points.
With the victory Santa Barbara improved to 5-6 overall and 1-0 in Channel League. Dos Pueblos dropped the to 8-5 overall and 0-1 in Channel League.