Luke Zuffelato scored a team-high 16 points. | Credit: ENTENZA

Valley View’s one-two punch of Charles Knight and BJ Knight delivered a knockout blow as Santa Barbara faded late in a 68-48 loss to the visiting Eagles on day two of the Santa Barbara Holiday Classic.

The Dons were coming off an 80-77 victory over Holy Martyrs of Encino on day one of the tournament, but could not maintain their offensive rhythm against a Valley View team that was dialed in defensively.

“We were very undisciplined in the first half both offensively and defensively,” said Santa Barbara coach Corey Adam. “As bad as we played in the first half, and it reflected in the score, I thought we played a lot better in the second half, with more energy, but we couldn’t cut into the deficit.”

Santa Barbara jumped out to a 10-3 lead to open the game, forcing an early Valley View timeout. Luke Zuffelato knocked down two three-pointers during the game’s opening run and appeared poised for another huge scoring night as has been the case for much of the season. 

However, Valley View quickly took control and closed the first quarter on a 14-5 run capped off by a layup in transition by De’Pre Allen. 

The Eagles built on their lead in the second quarter and a stepback jumper by Charles Knight increased the Valley View lead to 34-21 with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.

Santa Barbara got back-to-back baskets inside by Carter Battle and Julian Espinoza to cut its deficit to 34-25 at halftime.

“We challenged them to play better … to be more fundamentally sound, get back back on defense, rotate and be dogs,” Adam said.” I thought we did that. We got better looks. We just couldn’t get the shots to fall.”

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The Dons opened the second half on an 8-4 run capped off by a turnaround jumper in the lane by Finn Whipps to cut their deficit to 38-33 midway through the third quarter, but that’s as close as they would get. 

Valley View closed the third quarter on a 14-4 run. A steal and layup by BJ Knight increased the Eagles’ lead to 52-37 going into the fourth quarter. 

Charles Knight led all scorers with 19 points and BJ Knight finished with 17 points. Santa Barbara was led offensively by Zuffelato who poured in 16 points.

Stockdale, 82; Dos Pueblos, 49

The Chargers ran into a buzz saw in Stockdale that came into the game with a 13-1 overall record. 

To make matters worse Dos Pueblos was without top big-man Grant Hughes, who was recovering from an illness, and Joe Talerico, who was coming off the best game of his career with 30 points against Righetti on day one of the tournament, was injured in the first quarter.

Justin Stock scored a team-high 16 points. | Credit: Gary Kim

“I think my kids were a little shell shocked not having their two leaders,” said Dos Pueblos coach Joe Zamora. “They are both captains so other guys had to try and step up.”

Dos Pueblos trailed 47-17 at halftime, but found some rhythm in the second half behind strong play from Justin Stock, who finished with 16 points.

Five Stockdale players finished in double figures led by Jhace Boston, who scored a game-high 20 points.

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