San Marcos Rallies to Defeat Righetti 74-73 in Season Opener

Micah Jacobi Leads San Marcos with 21 Points

Micah Jacobi drives in for a second quarter dunk in traffic. | Credit: Lily Chubb

Andre McCullough knocked down the second of two free throws with .8 seconds remaining, and the James Kinzler era of San Marcos High basketball got off to a thrilling start with a 74-73 victory over visiting Righetti on Tuesday night at the Thunderhut.

The Royals overcame a six-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter and surged to victory in their season opener.

“It means we got a win. It’s always nice to be on that side of things,” said Kinzler of his team’s victory in his first regular season game as varsity head coach. “We have so much work to do and so far to go.”

Micah Jacobi led San Marcos with 21 points, including nine in the fourth quarter to spark the Royals’ comeback. 

“We had some defensive breakdowns throughout the game, but in the end, our effort, our composure and our need and want to win the game towards the end is what did it for us,” Jacobi said. “We refused to lose and that’s something I’m looking forward to continuing throughout the season.”

It was a game of wild momentum swings as the two teams jockeyed for position in a fast-pace contest that spiraled out of control at times. Righetti got off to a strong start and took an 11-7 lead midway through the first quarter on a driving layup by Terry Butler.

Butler led all scorers with 25 points and drained a deep three pointer as the first quarter buzzer sounded to give the visiting Warriors a 23-18 lead.

After falling behind 27-18 early in the second quarter San Marcos clawed its way back into the game.

Jacobi sparked the run with a driving dunk in traffic that woke up the San Marcos bench and the student section. San Marcos outscored Righetti 25-12 to close out the second quarter and took a 43-39 lead into the locker room at halftime.

“Throughout the game we fought back from different deficits.” Kinzler said. “We got behind big, eight or nine points at one point and it’s funny because I  know that we have some guys like Diego Reyes, Wyatt Miller and Micah Jacobi, those guys are pretty talented scorers. For me it was just, can we get stops.”

The second half was much like the first as San Marcos quickly surrendered its lead and Butler knocked down another deep three-pointer as the third quarter clock expired to put the Warriors ahead 61-55.

A steal and layup by Wyatt Miller with just over one minute remaining cut the San Marcos deficit to 69-68 and the Royals took a 71-69 lead on a Jakobi three-point play with 51.9 seconds remaining. 

Wyatt Miller came on strong in the second half against Righetti. | Credit: Lily Chubb

Two free throws by Righetti’s Caleb Hughes evened the score at 71-71 with 39.9 seconds remaining, but Jacobi was fouled going to the rim with 27.6 second left and converted both free throws to put San Marcos back ahead 73-71.

A runner in the lane by Righetti’s Jonathan Mangayao tied the score at 73-73 with eight seconds remaining. 

Miller drove to the bucket in the final moments, but missed at the rim and McCullough scooped up the rebound before being fouled and converting the second of two free throws to put San Marcos ahead for good 74-73. 

Righetti’s desperate heave into the front court with under one second remaining hit the ceiling clinching the victory for San Marcos.

Owen Lauderdale was a key contributor off the bench for San Marcos and finished with 16 points. Miller poured in 15 points, including seven in the fourth quarter. 

The Royals will take on Newbury Park on Saturday. 

Santa Barbara 97, Channel Islands 62

The Dons cruised to an easy victory in their season opener. Santa Barbara was led by Luke Zuffelato with 20 points and eight rebounds. 

Carter Battle chipped in 16 points with multiple deflections on defense.  Will Harmon finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.  Julian Espinosa scored 12 and Tobin Shyrock contributed nine points, ten assists, and five rebounds.  

Santa Barbara will be on the road at Gahr on Friday.

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