San Marcos scorched by Leuzinger outside shooting

The San Marcos boys basketball team was unable to keep up with Leuzinger’s perimeter players, and allowed 11 three-pointers in a 60-37 loss at the Santa Barbara Holiday Classic.

San Marcos lost its previous two games in the tournament to Clovis West and Ocean View, and played without starter Chad Ridenour.

“You’re talking about a senior who’s played three years on varsity. He’s our best perimeter defender, one of our best shooters, and probably our best ball-handler too,” head coach Jarrod Bradley said.

In its last chance to get a win in bracket play, the Royals were unprepared for Leuzinger’s up-tempo style of play.

The Olympians used a full-court press for nearly the entire game, and forced the Royals into 23 turnovers.

Leuzinger showed no signs of fatigue despite its aggressive defensive strategy, and beat San Marcos down the court to earn layups in transition.

San Marcos trailed nearly the entire game, but was most effective when it ran its offense through Thayer White.

“He’s a beast. He’s impossible to block out. He’s going to give us 100 percent effort all the time,” Bradley said about his 6’4” starting forward. “That’s a cliché usually in sports, but it’s not a cliché with him.”

White led his team in scoring with 15 points while Kevin Hempy added eight more.

When San Marcos was able to settle into its half-court zone defense, the Royals were able to keep the Leuzinger guards out of the lane.

The Olympians quickly abandoned any effort to drive towards the basket and beat the San Marcos defense with outside shooting.

San Marcos kept the game close into the second quarter, as Bryce Ridenour scored several times on aggressive drives to the basket. Ridenour finished with six points, which all came in the second period.

Leuzinger led 26-18 at the half, and opened up the third quarter with more long field-goal attempts.

Eric Childress pushed the Olympians’ lead to double digits with a shot from five feet beyond the three-point line, forcing San Marcos to call a time out with the score at 32-20.

Childress led all scorers with 21 points, and hit five three pointers in the game.

Leuzinger continued to frustrate and confuse San Marcos with its full court press, and turnovers consistently turned into layups for the Olympians.

The speedy and tireless Leuzinger backcourt sealed the game at the start of the fourth quarter by hitting a three point shot on the team’s first possession, then snatching three consecutive steals which all turned into easy baskets on the other end of the floor.

After going up 51-25 early in the final period of play, the Olympians cruised to a decisive victory.

San Marcos (8-6) will continue tournament play in a consolation match tomorrow.