Dons, Royals go down to wire for second time

Ian Douglas takes the ball upcourt for San Marcos while being tracked by SB's Angel Lopez.


Just when Wednesday’s Channel League clash between rivals Santa Barbara and San Marcos looked as though it wouldn’t match the drama as their previous game, the Royals staged a ferocious comeback in the fourth quarter only to fall 40-38 in JR Richards Gymnasium.

The Royals trailed by 17 in the third quarter before starting to shave off points all the way into the final minute. The curtain finally fell when Kevin Hempy missed the front end of a 1-and-1 situation with five seconds remaining and the Dons rebounded.

“It got really loud in here down on that shot,” Sam Cohen said. “And I think they’re(the crowd) definitely a big part of that win.”

Dons junior Emilio Gonzalez takes a jumpshot in front of the San Marcos student section. (Presidio Sports Photos)

In their first meeting – a double-overtime, 2-point decision in favor of Santa Barbara – San Marcos was able to catch the Dons multiple times.

“I knew they were going to come back. This is Santa Barbara-San Marcos,” said Dons head coach David Bregante. “I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

“I was waiting for them to make a run and they finally did.”

Santa Barbara was led in scoring by Angel Lopez’s 11 and Emilio Gonzalez’s 9. The pair accounted for half of the Dons’ scoring. All eight of Cohen’s points came in the second half to help fend off the Royals.

The victory improves Santa Barbara to 5-2 in league play while the loss drops San Marcos to 3-4.

“It stings a lot. This was for second place,” said Royals head coach Jarrod Bradley.

San Marcos started poorly, getting shut out in the first quarter. The 17 points the Royals scored in the fourth quarter were almost as much as the 21 they had after the first three quarters together.

Uriel Hurtado came off the bench to spark the Royals in the second half, scoring seven of his nine points in the final two periods. Then Chad Ridenour picked up the torch and poured in 11 points in the final quarter alone, including a very deep 3-pointer that made the score 40-38 with 44.8 seconds on the clock.

It was too late as the Royals were unable to score again.

“If they don’t believe that Santa Barbara’s is for real, they do now,” Bradley said.

The two teams face each other for the third and last time of the season next Friday at San Marcos.


San Marcos – Bryce Ridenour 2, Cade Ridenour 3, Ridgway 4, Hempy 3, Hurtado 9, Chad Ridenour 11, White 6.

Santa Barbara – Fay 3, West 3, Lopez 11, Busch 3, Wagonhurst 3, Gonzalez 9, Cohen 8.

SAN MARCOS 0 10 11 17 – 38

SANTA BARBARA 6 11 14 9 – 40

3-pointers – SM 4 (Chad Ridenour 3, Cade Ridenour), SB 5 (Lopez 2, Gonzalez, Wagonhurst, Fay). Total Fouls – SM 13, SB 16