Royal seniors deliver in thrilling win over DP

Fittingly, two seniors made big plays in the final 30 seconds as Senior Night at San Marcos ended with the girls basketball team picking up its first Channel League victory, 53-49, over the pesky young Dos Pueblos Chargers on Monday.

Marissa Unzueta drove baseline and did a funky little hop-turn before hitting a short shot to put the host Royals up 51-49 with a half-minute left. Then, with 12.3 seconds left, Kimmy Sanchez stepped to the free throw line in a one-and-one situation and buried both shots to put the game virtually out of reach.

“Every time we didn’t capitalize on securing the rebound or winning the loose ball battle they burned us and torched us with a three,” said Chargers coach Maynard Pilapil.

The Royals (11-14, 1-6) hit six treys on the night, including four in the second half.

Sanchez finished with a game-high 17 points, making 5-of-6 free throws. She had two 3-point plays on lay-ups in the second half. Both offenses caught fire in the third quarter as the Royals won the period 22-18. The game went into halftime with DP (11-14, 1-7) up 19-15.

“That was definitely one of the most exciting games this season,” said Sanchez. “In the second half I came out a little more aggressive and got some fouls and and-1s. When I was going up to the free-throw line I was just telling myself ‘just like practice, just like practice.'”

Barring a huge San Marcos upset over Ventura, both teams will finish at 1-7 in league, but have decent chances for at-large berths in the CIF playoffs based on schedule strength and the prestige of the conference. Last season, DP earned a berth despite going winless in league play.

The youthful Chargers led 34-29 after a drive and leaning lay-up by Chiara DiMarco. The Sophomore guard took it to the hole all night, scoring 14 points, including three steals followed by coast-to-coast lay-ups. Her last one came with just 45 seconds remaining to tie the score at 49-49.

Kristen Gowdy also had 14 points, going 8-for-8 from the charity stripe and hitting two 3-pointers in the first half. As a team, the Chargers were 14-for-16 from the line.

“We put all we had out there, we just couldn’t pull it out,” said Gowdy. “They’re senior-loaded and it was their Senior Night, and they came out with all they had too and beat us.”

A surprise showing from a reserve junior also provided a big spark for the Royals, as Gabby Sandoval scored eight points in a two-minute span at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth that left the Royals up 42-37 with 6:15 to play.

“She sure capitalized from the start of the minutes she got… She was a huge aspect to our comeback,” said coach Kristyn Miller. “I’m very excited for the seniors to get their first league win in.”

The Royals capitalized on the offensive boards at crucial times, and Desiree Porter-Ray made some stellar plays in the post en route to 10 points. Unzueta finished with six points and fellow senior Lindsey Hyslop added three.


DOS PUEBLOS — Hilton 3, DiMarco 14, Mata 7, Murphy 1, Gowdy 14, Escalante 8, Draper 2. Totals 15 14-16 49.

SAN MARCOS — Curiel 7, Hyslop 5, Porter-Ray 10, Sandoval 8, Sanchez 17, Unzueta 6. Totals 21 5-13 53.

Dos Pueblos…7  8  22  12 — 49

San Marcos…8  11  18  12 — 53

3-point goals — DP 5 (Escalante 2, Gowdy 2, Hilton 1), SM 6 (Sanchez 2, Sandoval 2, Curiel 1, Hyslop 1). Total fouls — DP 15, SM 16.


  1. Rebecca, Brigitte and Emmitt says

    Way to go Kimmy! Congratulations on your Senior Night win!

  2. Rebecca, Brigitte and Emmitt says

    Way to go Kimmy! Congratulations on your Senior Night win!