Owen Lauderdale blocked a potentially game-tying three-pointer by Joe Talarico in the closing moments and the San Marcos High boys’ basketball team pulled off a fourth-quarter rally to defeat rival Dos Pueblos 49-46 on Wednesday night at Sovine Gym.
Jack Wilson led the way for San Marcos with a team-high 15 points, Wyatt Miller added 11 points, and Joe Pasternack knocked down three three-pointers to finish with nine points.
“We talked in the time-out that Talarico is coming off a double screen somewhere. You know it’s going to happen,” said San Marcos coach James Kinzler. “That was a great play, and as it’s unfolding, I was thinking, ‘I don’t know if we’re ready for that one.’”
Talarico and his fellow senior captain Grant Hughes carried the load for Dos Pueblos with 13 and 16 points, respectively, but the Chargers struggled to muster offense in the fourth quarter, scoring just six points as San Marcos came from behind for the win.
“I felt like we did a better job in the fourth quarter than we did in the first quarter, but we had a hard time scoring,” said Dos Pueblos coach Joe Zamora. “They held us to six points in the fourth quarter. That’s big.”
The first half featured wild momentum shifts between the two teams. San Marcos opened the game on a 12-3 run capped off by a Miller corner three-pointer with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter.
The Royals continued to roll as a Wilson floater gave them a 21-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, the second quarter belonged to Dos Pueblos, and a 14-4 run by the Chargers capped off by a Hughes three-pointer cut their deficit to 25-22 with 3:40 remaining before halftime.
An acrobatic reverse layup by Talarico gave Dos Pueblos its first lead of the game, 26-25, with 2:30 remaining in the second quarter. A fast-break layup by Wilson with under a minute remaining in the first half brought the San Marcos deficit down to 28-27 at the break.
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The Chargers threatened to break the game open with a 6-0 run to open the second half, which concluded with a transition layup by Matthew Zamora that extended the Dos Pueblos lead to 34-27.
But San Marcos refused to fold, and Pasternack came up huge with a three-pointer that trimmed the deficit to 38-33 with just under three minutes remaining in the third quarter. Pasternack played most of the second half and had the ball in his hands orchestrating the San Marcos offense despite coming off the bench.
“He’s so confident. He just likes the big moments,” said Kinzler of Pasternack. “I’m just super proud. Joe hit one, [Ben] Treadway hit one, and Andre [McCullough] hit one obviously at the end. There were just moments when that game started to get away and we just got shots at the right times.”
Another Pasternack three-pointer cut the San Marcos deficit to 40-39 at the 7:05 mark of the fourth quarter.
The two teams went back and forth down the stretch. A driving layup by Talarico gave Dos Pueblos a 46-44 lead with 1:30 to play. On the ensuing San Marcos possession, McCullough drilled a three-pointer that put San Marcos back ahead 47-46.
A steal by Pasternack with under a minute to play set up a driving layup by Miller off a slick crossover with 21 seconds remaining that put San Marcos ahead 49-46. Dos Pueblos got a couple chances to tie with three-point attempts in the final moments, including Talarico’s last-gasp effort, but it was not to be.
With the victory, San Marcos improves to 4-11 overall and 2-1 in Channel league play. Dos Pueblos dropped to 5-9 overall and 0-3 in Channel League play.