Visitors from Seattle rain down on Royals

A couple of transition dunks highlighted the end of a very strong third quarter for the San Marcos boys basketball team on Friday night, but the throw-downs by Christian Mkpado and Nick Marquez were shining moments in a game that was dim in the first half.

The Royals (8-5) struggled against intense ball pressure from the Curtis Vikings, falling 54-36 in the opening round of the Santa Barbara Holiday Classic. After falling into a 32-14 hole at the half, San Marcos played even with the Vikings after the break.

Marquez led the way with 16 points and San Marcos won the third quarter 13-10, but the visitors from Seattle were pesky enough to keep a safe distance from the Royals throughout.

“I though our third quarter was really good. They were playing their starters, we were playing our starters, and we just had some really good energy,” said coach Jarrod Bradley. “Those two transition dunks for us were great. I wish we could have played with that intensity on the first half.”

Mkpado threw one down to cap a fast-break with 1:40 left in the third, then picked up an and-1 lay-up on the next Royals possession. Marquez then threw down a dunk from the right side with less than a minute remaining to cut the Curtis lead to 42-27.

But the opportunities for close-range buckets didn’t pan out regularly enough for the Royals.

“Our point guards definitely had some trouble against their ball pressure. We were able to back-cut, but we just couldn’t finish when we had that situation,” said Bradley, who had Marquez step into the point-guard role for certain stretches and found some positive results because of it.

The Royals scored only one basket in the first half, relying on free throws for all but two points.

“You’re just not going to win games with only one basket… We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball,” said Bradley.

San Marcos is off until Monday, when it will play an opponent to be determined.


CURTIS—DaWilliams 16, DoWilliams 1, Langlow 13, Rasmussen 11, Van Essen 4, Vaughn 2, Tran 2, PCooks 2, JCooks 3. Totals 21 9-13 54.

SAN MARCOS—Vines 3, Johnson 2, Marquez 16, Koopmans 5, Yinger 2, Guild 4. Totals 8, 17-23 36.

Curtis…………16  16  10  12 — 54

San Marcos….8  6  13  9 — 36

3-point goals — C 3 (DaWilliams, Rasmussen, JCooks), SM 1 (Koopmans).

Total fouls — C 18, SM 18.