For the second time this season, the San Marcos High boys’ basketball team held off rival Dos Pueblos with a last ditch defensive stand.
Dos Pueblos guard Justin Stock attempted a buzzer beater that went long and the Royals held on for a 55-54 victory, on Monday night at the Thunderhut.
“We were able to defend the pass in such a way that they were going away from the basket there and then just put good pressure on,” said San Marcos coach James Kinzler. “Zamora’s got 100 plays that he’s going to come up with so we can’t strategize as much as we can just say, be gritty, be determined, talk and close out with high hands.”
It was a must win game for the Royals as they jockey for position in the middle of the Channel League standings. San Marcos is currently tied for fourth place with Rio Mesa at 5-4 in Channel League and the top four finishers receive automatic playoff bids.
“After losses, after wins, we talk for 10 minutes and we move on to the next,” Kinzler said. “We had to have it and now we turn our attention to Buena.”
Dos Pueblos trailed 47-40 early in the fourth quarter, but got an offensive rebound and put-back from Daniel Mauldin followed by a three-pointer by Grant Hughes that cut the deficit to 47-45 with 3:47 remaining and forced a San Marcos timeout.
The Chargers took their first lead of the second half, 52-51, on a driving layup by Hughes with just under two minutes remaining in the game.
However, San Marcos responded with two free-throws by Owen Lauderdale to take a 53-52 lead. Andre McCullough followed with a wild reverse layup with 14 seconds left that increased the Royals lead to 55-52.
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San Marcos made a mistake in fouling Shane Grant with just over ten seconds remaining and he knocked down both free-throws cutting the Dos Pueblos deficit to 55-54.
After the ensuing inbound Dos Pueblos fouled Ben Treadway and he missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free three opportunity. Dos Pueblos rebounded the ball and called timeout with 2.5 seconds remaining, setting the stage for the final sequence.
Forward Micah Jacobi is back from injury for San Marcos and offers some much-needed size. He led the way offensively with 12 points. McCullouugh chipped in 10 points and played stellar defense. Three San Marcos players: Wyatt Miller, Jack Wilson and Lauderdale scoffed eight points.
Dos Pueblos was led by Joe Talerico, who scored a game-high 14 points, but fouled out with just over two minutes to play. Hughes finished with 12 points and Stock added 11 points.
“Guys wanted to compete. We gave ourselves an opportunity,” said Dos Pueblos coach Joe Zamora of his team’s play down the stretch. “We had a look. We had two options out of that.”
Oxnard, 84; Santa Barbara, 52
The Dons hung tough for one half of play, but were outscored 49-27 in the second half of a home loss to first-place Oxnard.
Luke Zuffelato led the way for Santa Barbara with 16 points and Carter Battle added ten points. Santa Barbara drops to third place in Channel league play at 6-3 with the loss.
Cate, 61; Carpinteria, 55
The Rams led by 14 going into the fourth quarter, but Carpinteria battled back to make it a tight non-league game.
Cate’s Babacar Pouye led all scorers with 18 points. Kainoa Glascow led the way for Carpinteria with 12 points.