Overtime win makes first Dons victory a reality

Hats off indeed.

Santa Barbara’s boys basketball team snatched its first victory of the season on Saturday, beating out Northwood 42-41 in a back-and-forth overtime decision on the first day of the Holiday Classic.

The Dons, playing in only their second home game, recorded their first win in 13 tries thanks to Spencer Mikles’ 3-pointer with 2 minutes and nine seconds left in the four-minute overtime. Mikles also scored on a driving layup with less than a minute in regulation to give Santa Barbara a 37-34 lead and accounted for five of the Dons’ final seven points.

Santa Barbara’s RJ Rosborough looks to pass with his back to the basket

“It’s all about confidence so hopefully this is something we can hang our hat on,” said Dons head coach Chris Hantgin.

The Dons’ defense held the Timberwolves to one free throw after Mikles’ big shot, closing out the victory.

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“We don’t have any stars so everybody has to do what they have to do and I thought for the most part we did a good job of that tonight,” said Hantgin, who had everyone of his players experience their first varsity win on Saturday.

It looked like Santa Barbara would clinch it in regulation after Daniel Marshall’s layup gave the Dons a 39-36 lead with 15 seconds remaining. Northwood’s Nick Cope had different plans though, hitting a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left to force overtime.

“We’re coming together a little bit. Hopefully we’ll keep handling pressure like that,” said Daniel Heddon, who had four second-half points.

Santa Barbara jumped out to an early start and entered the second quarter with a 16-11 lead. Marshall scored eight of his ten points in the first quarter.

“It kind of shocked us to start how hard they were playing,” admitted Northwood head coach Richard Fujii, whose Timberwolves are 6-6 on the year.

The Dons held a two-point lead at halftime but found themselves five points down after Connor O’Brien, Northwood’s high scorer with 15, knocked down a straight-away 3-pointer to make it 29-24 halfway through the quarter.

Clifford Anderson and Heddon responded with consecutive baskets to get the Dons within one point and the Dons defense held the Timberwolves scoreless for the next five minutes. The Dons offense proved even less effective, keeping the game tight by going scoreless for a six-minute stretch.

PHOTO GALLERY

RJ Rosborough broke the spell by scoring 2 of his 7 points on a layup to make it 32-30 with 4:30 on the clock. Heddon followed with his second bucket, a leaning 15-foot jumper from the left side, to draw the Dons even.

Cope gave Northwood a 34-32 lead before Rosborough answered with a 3-point play to give Santa Barbara a 35-34 advantage.

“I thought for us to weather that storm was crazy-crucial,” Hantgin said. “For us to take that punch and keep working at it, I think that’s really important.”

The tournament takes a one-day break on Sunday and resumes on Monday. Santa Barbara is in Pool B with the Timberwolves, Pacific Palisades and Monday’s opponent Troy (7 p.m.).  Northwood faces Palisades at 2:30 p.m.

SANTA BARBARA 42, NORTHWOOD 41, OT

NORTHWOOD — Singh 4, Burt 4, OBrien 15, Elter 4, Annunziata, Cope 11, Mohammadi 2

SANTA BARBARA – Mikles 5, Aronson 4, Heddon 4, Anderson 10, Marshall 10, Rosborough 7, Adams 2.

Santa Barbara  16  8  4  11  (3) — 42

Northwood  11  11 7  10  (2)  —  41

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