A hot shooting first quarter gave the San Marcos High boys’ basketball team a cushion on the scoreboard and the Royals cruised to a 63-55 victory over rival Dos Pueblos on Thursday night at Maury Halleck Gymnasium.
San Marcos connected on all seven of its attempts from three-point range in the first quarter led by Isaiah Hicks, who scored nine of his eleven points in the opening stanza, all of which came from behind the arc.
“The second round of league they’re going to try and focus on Beau (Allen) and so once we recognize that we want to exploit it by having him kick out and then us making the right play,” said San Marcos coach Jelani Hicks. “The threes happened to fall for us so that was good.”
The first time the two teams met, Dos Pueblos point guard Jaron Rillie exploded for 25 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter. San Marcos was determined to avoid a similar scoring outburst from Rillie and hounded him the entire game with multiple defenders. Rillie was held to just one point on a first quarter free throw.
“We’re developing a defensive mentality and so that was something we didn’t like, having one player score that many points in one quarter,” Hicks said. “That was something that we really wanted to “finish the job” in a sense tonight.”
The Royals jumped out to a 9-0 lead over the first 90 second of the game on three-pointers by Max Sheldon, Isaiah Hicks and Tommy Condon. A three-pointer by Hicks closed the first quarter scoring and increased the San Marcos lead t0 21-8.
For the remainder of the game Dos Pueblos held its own. The Chargers received excellent production from Alex McCeney and Baylor Huyck, who scored 16 and 13 points respectively, which was vital in the absence of Rillie’s normal production.
“Everyone knows the scouting report. (Rillie) is going to get attention no matter where we go,” said Dos Pueblos coach Joe Zamora. “(Rillie) is in my eyes the best player in the Channel League and so he is going to get that attention.”
A steal and fast break dunk by Allen increased the San Marcos lead to 27-10, but Dos Pueblos responded with a 10-2 run capped off by McCeney three-pointer that cut the Chargers’ deficit to 29-20 with 1:50 remaining in the first half.
San Marcos maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the second half, but a Alex Perez three-pointer at the six minute mark of the fourth quarter cut the Dos Pueblos deficit to 53-44.
San Marcos was effective knocking down free throws late and a driving layup plus the foul by Allen with 1:10 remaining was a dagger that extended the San Marcos lead to 62-50.
Dos Pueblos will take part in the Nike Extravaganza on Friday against an Orange Lutheran team that is ranked No. 15 in the state according to Maxpreps. Orange Lutheran features 6’ 11” junior Makur Maker, who is among the nations top 100 recruits in the 247 composite rankings.
San Marcos junior guard Tommy Condon, finished with a team-high 16 points. Allen chipped in 13 points. The Royals will host Santa Barbara with a chance to stake their claim to at least a share of the Channel League title on Tuesday.