DP pulls out dramatic victory over Dons in double OT

It was a hectic Friday morning for the Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos girls basketball teams, and not because they had some last-minute Christmas shopping to do.

The Channel League rivals engaged in a wild, crazy and exciting double-overtime 13th-place game in the Gold Division of the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions at Sovine Gym.

Talitha Draper scored eight of her game-high 24 points in the extra periods to help Dos Pueblos pull out a 75-74 victory.

“Sometimes we have to grind it out and work to our strengths,” DP coach Jelani Hicks said. “Today, they had good guard play and we had good guard play, but the difference was the (play in the) post, and we had to exploit that and we tried to do that the best we could. (Santa Barbara) did a good job, obviously … the game went double overtime.

“It was a great game for both teams. We both played hard. It was a true rivalry game.”

The result could easily have gone the other way. Santa Barbara had a chance to go up by three points with 4.8 seconds left in regulation but it missed the first of two free throws. That left the Dons ahead 54-52.

DP’s Chiara Dimarco took the inbound pass, dribbled coast to coast and scored a tying layup just before the buzzer to send the game into the first overtime.

“In the timeout we said, ‘Keep her in front of you and don’t let her go to the rack,’” Santa Barbara coach Andy Butcher said.  “We missed up, we didn’t help. That’s high school sports. It’s the fourth day of a tournament, it’s overtime, those things are going to happen.”

The Dons made two of four free throw in the last 30 seconds of the first OT to knot the score at 62. DP had chance to win it in the final four seconds but it fumbled the ball away, forcing the second extra period.

A Melissa Lemus free throw gave Santa Barbara its last lead at 69-68 with under two minutes left in the second overtime.

The 6-1 Draper used her height advantage and scored back-to-back inside baskets for a 72-69 DP lead, and she drew the fifth foul from the Dons’ Desirea Coleman.

Santa Barbara had a chance to tie when DP fouled Sylvia Hoover while she was attempting a 3-pointer. The Dons made one of three free throws, leaving the score 72-70.

After a Jessica Escalante free throw put the Chargers up 73-70, Santa Barbara’s Ivette Gil attacked the basket, drew a foul and sank two free throws to make it 73-72 with 19 seconds left. Lemus then stole the inbound pass and Hoover got an open look from 15 feet, but the shot went in and out.

A tie-up on the rebound gave the ball back to Santa Barbara, but it threw away the inbound pass with nine seconds left and were forced to foul.

Kristen Gowdy knocked down two free throws to put DP up 75-72.

Hoover raced down court and scored on a layup with 1.8 seconds left and the clock ran out.  Butcher pleaded he called time out after Hoover’s basket, but the officials ruled the game was over.

Despite the loss, Butcher was pleased how his team played and improved.

“We love playing a league team in the preseason because of all the lessons we learn and all things we can improve,” Butcher said. “It was a great game. Our last two games have been our best two of the year and that’s all we can ask at this point.”

Both teams had four players score in double figures. Gil led Santa Barbara with 21 points followed by Hoover with 17, Coleman with 14 and Lemus with 10 points.

Escalante added 20 points, Gowdy scored 15 and Dimarco finished with 12 points, including two 3-pointers.

SANTA BARBARA — Coleman 14, Gallegos 7, Gil 21, Lemus 10, Hoover 17, Temporal 6.

DOS PUEBLOS — Dimarco 12, Mata 4, Gowdy 15, Escalante 20. Draper 24.

Santa Barbara…12  20 13  9 8 12 — 74

Dos Pueblos…20  12 11 11 8 13 — 75

3-point goals—SB 0, DP 3. Total fouls—SB  16, DP 27. Fouled out—Coleman, Dimarco