BBK: Nothing easy in Royals’ win over Warriors

Carpinteria’s Marcus Hutchinson (left) and Xavier DeAlba flank San Marcos’ Eric Rice for a rebound in the third period. (James Crosby Photos)

Carpinteria’s boys basketball team wasn’t going anywhere in Friday’s opening game of the Warriors’ very own Jim Bashore Holiday Cage Classic.

The hosts came into the game underdogs against San Marcos, a Channel League school ranked No. 11 in Division 3-AA. But it wasn’t until the final minute that the Royals sealed a 49-40 victory over the Warriors.

Wariors guard Kevyn Crocker fouls Royals guard Greg Zajic after Zajic retrieved a loose ball at the one-minute mark of the fourth period with San Marcos up by 4 points.

“We weren’t going to roll over just because they were – San Marcos – that’s a great basketball team there. But we came out ready to play. We came out fired up,” said Warriors head coach Johnny Ward. “I mean, this is our court. It’s our tournament and we’re not going to let anything go easy.”

The Warriors had leads in the third quarter but entered the fourth quarter down six. A Chris Widmer 3-pointer boosted the Royals’ lead to nine – San Marcos’ biggest lead of the night – with under six minutes to go.

Widmer scored 6 of the Royals’ 10 points down the stretch.

Carpinteria answered with a mid-range jumper from Kevyn Crocker and a 3-ball from Kyle Millhollin.

A free throw by the Royals provided San Marcos a five-point lead with a minute remaining and Carpinteria’s rally stalled.

No player from either team scored more that ten points. San Marcos’ Uriel Hurtado and Bryce Ridenour posted a game-high of nine points each. Carpinteria had four players with eight points: Marcus Hutchinson, Ian Craddock, Crocker and Millhollin.

San Marcos improves to 6-4 on the season and Carpinteria falls to 2-4.

San Marcos head coach Dave Odell said he thinks his team can be one of the best in the division but it’s still trying to find its identity.

Carpinteria’s aggressiveness on defense bothered the Royals for the entire game other than the third quarter, when San Marcos broke out for 21 points.

“They made us look really bad. It was all about what they did to us,” Odell said, citing Carpinteria’s hustle and determination.

“We play hard and we play tough. That’s Warriors basketball,” explained Ward.

Carpinteria came out stronger in the first quarter, taking leads of 4-0 and 7-4. The Royals gained their first lead and more on a 14-3 run that put them up 18-10 early in the second quarter.

“I loved how aggressive We came out to start. It seemed like we pushed first,” Ward said.

The Warriors defense clamped down again, shutting out the Royals until halftime. The game was tied 18-18 at the break.

The result moves San Marcos into the second round, where they will face Channel Islands at 4 p.m.

Carpinteria falls into a consolation bracket game with Orcutt Academy at 7 p.m.

All tournament scores and upcoming schedule can be found HERE


SM – Zajic 5, Ridgway 3, Rice 1, Raphaelian 2, Hempy 7, Hurtado 9, Ridenour 9, Widmer 6, Wheelock 7.

C – De Alba 4, Hutchinson 8, Craddock 8, Duncan 4, Millhollin 8, Crocker 8.

Carpinteria 10 8 15 7 – 40
San Marcos 14 4 21 10 – 49

3-pointers – SM 3 (Ridgway, Widmer, Hempy), C 1 (Millhollin)