Dons look on positive side after loss to Ventura

Santa Barbara lost by 20 points against top-ranked and Channel League champion Ventura, but coach Chris Hantgin was upbeat about the way his team performed in the game.

“The guys played really hard,” Hantgin said after the 65-45 defeat. “We outscored them 24-18 in the second quarter. We got down early, 15-2, and it looked like it would be a runaway train. But we had a very good second quarter and got some momentum going into halftime.”

The Cougars pulled away in third quarter, but the Dons played them even in the final stanza.

Sophomores Caleb Hal and Brandon Fay led Santa Barbara (2-21, 0-11)with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

“The effort was strong throughout,” Hantgin said. “I was proud of our seniors. We were able to persevere. I felt we were competitive.

“The second quarter definitely was the highlight, and a couple of sophomores helped us,” he added. “We’ll use that as a starting block for next year.”