A fourth-quarter swing went Santa Barbara High’s way on Monday as the Dons came from behind in a 56-47 victory over Bishop Diego on the first day of the Holiday Classic.
It took 9 points from Andy Busch and a number of second-chance points to overtake Bishop Diego, which took a seven-point lead into the final period.
“Andy just took over the game the last four or five minutes of the game; he just really dominated the boards,” said Dons head coach David Bregante. “Without him, we would have been in big trouble.”
Busch led all scorers with 19 and carried the Dons down the stretch. Emilio Gonzalez was also a key figure for the Dons, who held a noticeable size advantage over the Cardinals in the frontcourt. Gonzalez totaled 18 points and dished off a key assist that help spur the Dons’ rally in the fourth quarter.
On defense, Santa Barbara stymied the Cardinals to the effect of five points in that final eight minutes.
The Dons took their first lead since the first half on a second-chance layup by Busch that made the score 46-44 with two and a half minutes remaining in the game.
“We picked it up and got the momentum turned our way,” Busch said. “We got a couple of easy baskets and that really helped us out.”
Elias Munoz, who led the Cardinals with 16 points, dropped in a long 3-pointer from straight-away to give Bishop Diego the lead again, but only briefly.
Matt Wagonhurst put the Dons back up 58-57 with a layup on an offensive rebound putback. After Emilio Gonzalez’s putback layup on the Dons’ next possession, Santa Barbara’s previous seven points were all scored on second-chance opportunities.
“We gave up some O-boards and fouls and put them on the line – that killed us again,” said Cardinals head coach Dean Prophet.
Bishop Diego led for most of the game. The Cardinals connected on nine 3-pointers in the game and had extended their lead in the third quarter to their biggest of the game at 42-35.
It’s not the first time the Cardinals have let go of a win in a game that they led late. They have been battling consistency issues all season with players in and out of the lineup. Bishop played with a seven-man rotation on Monday.
“I think some of it’s fatigue,” Prophet said. “Like I said, our shooting percentage in the fourth quarter is very poor.”
Tournament play continues on Tuesday. The Dons face Burroughs at 6:30 and the Cardinals play Santa Barbara High’s Junior Varsity team at 2 p.m.
SANTA BARBARA 56, BISHOP DIEGO 47
Bishop Diego – Munoz 16, Kwock 8, Tisdale 8, Moulton 3, Renick 2, Poindexter 2, Halston 4.
Santa Barbara – West 2, Gonzalez 18, Fay 6, Busch 19, Wagonhurst 2, Lopez 6, Ramos 1, Cohen 2.
SB 7 17 11 21 – 56
BD 14 13 15 5 – 47