Lusterio explodes late, Warriors beat Cards in OT

Carpinteria point guard Kevin Lusterio went into “beast mode” down the stretch against Bishop Diego on Tuesday at the Valley Christian Tournament.

The senior scored 28 of his 36 points after halftime as the Warriors defeated the rival Cardinals 64-60 in an overtime classic. Bishop would bounce back and defeat Morro Bay 52-51 later in the day, while the Warriors were beaten by Santa Ynez 51-41.

In the rivalry matchup, Lusterio complemented his scoring spree with eight assists, five steals and five rebounds. He went 8-for-8 from the charity stripe in the extra period.

“He played out of his mind in the fourth quarter and overtime,” said Cardinals coach Ray “Slash” Vazquez.

Lusterio and Manny Rodriguez scored all but 11 of Carpinteria’s points in the game, but it was a 3-pointer from reserve guard Travis Doop that was the game’s biggest shot. The Warriors had fallen behind by four in the final minute, and Doop came off the bench ice-cold only to nail a trey and make it a one-point game.

“That was the difference. If he misses that and we get the rebound the game is ours,” said Vazquez. “Credit to Coach (John) Ward — he does a good job. Only two of their players score and everyone’s okay with that.”

Rodriguez fouled out with four minutes left in regulation, having collected 15 points and 12 rebounds. That’s when the Cardinals dropped into the 4-point hole.

“We had pretty much shut the door on that one. We thought we weren’t gonna get back into it,” said Ward.

Noah Tack had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Bishop Diego, while Sam Kwock had 18 points — including four treys after the start of the fourth quarter.

Carpinteria went ice cold from the floor against Santa Ynez, shooting just 15-for-58.

“When we don’t shoot the ball well like that we’re in trouble, because they’re loading up on Manny and Kevin and daring the rest of our guys to shoot,” said Ward, pointing out that outside of his two stars the team shot 5-for-26.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, took a 27-19 lead into the half against Morro Bay only to fall flat in the third quarter, trailing by seven heading into the fourth.

“We kept reiterating to the kids that good teams win games like that,” said Vazquez.

Elias Muñoz, who had been slow to score throughout the day, came alive and scored six in the final minute as the Cardinals came back to win it. The Pirates hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left that cut the Bishop lead down to its final margin of one.

Kyle Holland hit some clutch free throws down the stretch and scored a season-high 13 points. Vazquez said that the junior forward is rounding into basketball shape after a season as the football team’s quarterback.

Carpinteria (7-4) plays Exeter on Wednesday while Bishop Diego (7-5) plays Kern Valley.


CARPINTERIA — Doop 3, Garcia 3, Lusterio 36, Silva 3, Saenz 2, Rodriguez 15. Totals 21 15-21 64.

BISHOP DIEGO — Holland 4, Garcia 7, Speier 7, Kwock 18, Gonz 2, Munoz 2, Tack 18, Ramirez 2. Totals 20 13-19 60.

Carpinteria…10 16 10 14 14 — 64

Bishop Diego…11 10 10 19 10 — 60

3-point goals — C 7 (Doop 1, Lusterio 3, Rodriguez 3), BD 7 (Kwock 5, Speier 1, Garcia 1). Total fouls — C 16, BD 20. Fouled out — Rodriguez, Garcia. Technicals — Garcia.