Dons give DP a dose of experience, 61-45

Tis’ the season in which the Dons are more seasoned.

For the last two years, the Dos Pueblos girls basketball team has been the more experienced squad, but this year Santa Barbara’s got more know-how, and it showed in Monday’s 61-45 win over the Chargers in the Green Division of the Tournament of Champions.

“The bottom line is that it was an experienced team versus an inexperienced team,” said DP head coach Maynard Pilapil. “My team hung in there and kept it manageable, but Santa Barbara has a plethora of post players and we just have a few.”

Dons coach Andrew Butcher has been through his share of growing pains with the current crop of players, and is now reaping the rewards.

“What’s great about this group is that they really like to play defense, which they didn’t so much when they were younger,” he said.

Brandi Blackwell has been a double-double factory so far this season, and she had a neat-and-tidy 14 points to go with 14 boards on Monday. Siondra Pereyra had her best game to date with 10 points, five boards and three assists, and Tess Emerson added 11 points. Larissa Lavender dished out four assists.

Point guard Rebecca Griffin had a game-high 18 points with six makes from beyond the arc. Sure, she had 17 attempts, but Butcher is comfortable enough with his players to know what they can and can’t do.

“She always has the green light to shoot it. We’ve seen what she can do,” he said of Griffin, who is averaging around 20 points per game.

Meghan Murphy, the Chargers’ lone senior, scored 11 points on the night, including an NBA-trey to beat the halftime buzzer. Freshman sensation Jessica Escalante added 11 of her own, and junior Sara Crane tallied a team-high 12.

With Ventura and Buena in Tuesday’s Gold Division championship game, it is safe to say that the third and final playoff spot out of the Channel League will be a crosstown, three-way battle between DP (5-5), Santa Barbara and San Marcos. On Monday, the Dons (9-2) established themselves as the early favorites in that race.

“I know we can’t get too comfortable,” said Griffin like a true vet. “But this offense is working for us. It’s just good this year.”

Meanwhile, Pilapil is doing what he can, even pulling JV players Natalie Hilton and Syliva Hoover-Purter up for the game (he said both did a great job).

“We got even younger,” he said with a chuckle.

DP plays Channel Islands at San Marcos on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., while Santa Barbara plays Beaverton at 2:15 p.m. on the same court.

(Photos by Blake Dorfman/PresidioPics. To order prints, e-mail [email protected])


SANTA BARBARA—Blackwell 14, Ramirez 2, Griffin 18, Crispin-Ibarra 4, Emerson 11, Pererya 10, Boscacci 1. Totals 16 3-8 61.

DOS PUEBLOS—DeMarco 4, Gill 4, Murphy 11, Hoover-Purter 3, Crane 12, Escalante 11. Totals 18  5-10  45.

Santa Barbara….15  17  17  12 — 61

Dos Pueblos……9   13  7  16 — 45

3-point goals—SB 6 (Griffin 6), DP 4 (Gill, Hoover-Purter, Murphy, Escalante)

Total fouls—SB 16, DP 8.

Fouled out—Emerson.