Gold Coast Roundup: Dons surge back, beat Pirates

Santa Barbara High’s girls basketball team went 3-0 in the Lompoc Tournament last weekend, winning by an average of 29 points. Dos Pueblos also went 3-0 in the tourney, while San Marcos was busy winning the title at the Fillmore Tournament.

It’s not so easy in the Gold Coast Tournament.

Santa Barbara was the only team to remain perfect, surging back from a 31-23 deficit at halftime to defeat Santa Ynez 63-54 on Wednesday at the Thunderhut.

Tess Emerson had a hefty double-double, scoring 16 points with 17 rebounds. Rebecca Griffin made six treys for the second straight game en route to 26 points, while freshman Ivette Gil had 11 points and seven assists.

Griffin is an impressive 12-for-22 from long range in the last two games.

“She has the green light, but the problem was everybody thought they had the green light in the first half,” said coach Andrew Butcher. “That doesn’t work so well against a zone defense, and it doesn’t help with offensive rebounding either.”

The Dons (4-0) cleaned it up in the third quarter, winning the period 25-12. They turned the ball over just three times after halftime.

Emerson grabbed 11 of her boards in the second half.

“She’s been working real hard. She has the potential to do really good things,” said Butcher. “In the second half she was making good decisions and taking high-percentage shots.”

One of the tournament’s marquee match-ups is set for 4 p.m. Thursday, as the Dons will face an Agoura squad which went 22-4 last season and returns all five starters.

“We’re just gonna try to play 32 minutes of good basketball. We’re excited. Beating Agoura would be big, whether we win the tournament or not. We’ll learn a lot about ourselves tomorrow,” said Butcher.

AGOURA 65, SAN MARCOS 32 (scores were initially incorrect, sorry for the inconvenience)

Kimmy Sanchez had 11 points and Vanessa Curiel had six points, but Agoura dominated the Royals at the Thunderhut.

Last season, the Chargers beat the Royals by close to 40 points in the tournament, but San Marcos got a rematch in the CIF playoffs and lost by only six.

San Marcos point guard Kimmy Sanchez

San Marcos point guard Kimmy Sanchez

“We had a little bit of hope going into this game, knowing that we can play with them if we don’t give up the three-ball and we keep our wits about us,” said coach Kristyn Miller. “It was just their intensity and their pressure, and the fact that they’re all bigger than any of us that was intimidating a little bit I think.”

San Marcos had trouble getting good looks inside against the bigger Chargers. Agoura’s Brittany Oster and Kylie Cunningham combined for 36 points.

Curiel said that the level of play in the Gold Coast Tournament is a lot higher than what the Royals saw in Fillmore last weekend.

“Oh it’s a big difference, but we’re prepared and we’re going to go as hard as we can to get it done tomorrow,” she said assertively.

The Royals play Chaminade at the Thunderhut at 5:30 p.m.


Sophomore Jessica Escalante put up good numbers, scoring 18 points while tallying three rebounds, an assist and a steal, but the Chargers endured some shooting woes which led to their first loss.

DP (4-1) went 12-for-48 on the night, managing just four points in the third quarter — all from the charity stripe.

“We tried to make a comeback down the stretch but we just couldn’t make a shot,” said coach Maynard Pilapil. “I definitely thought we were an even matchup.”

Kaylynn Martin and Jordan Oster each tallied 13 points for the Centurions (2-4).

Chargers point guard Chiara DiMarco played in her first game for nearly two months after suffering an ankle injury during her club season. Pilapil said that her presence should add a big boost once she finds her rhythm again.

On Thursday, Dos Pueblos plays Santa Ynez for the second time in the young season. Last Monday, the Chargers defeated the Pirates 54-50 behind 23 points from Jasmine Mata.

“Tomorrow’s matchup is dangerous because we’ve played each other so many times and it could have gone either way. They’re definitely looking to get over the hump and beat us,” said Pilapil.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.