BBK: Royals wait to turn it on vs. Cougars

San Marcos came away with a 51-40 Channel League win over Ventura on Friday night but it didn’t look that way from the start.

The Royals scored a season-low 16 points in the first half.

“We did not come out with the same energy that has carried us into first place,” said San Marcos head coach Dave Odell. “We are not good enough to take nights off and we looked like we were heading in that direction. I was proud of how the guys pulled themselves out of the funk and picked up the effort and execution in the second half. To be a great team, we need to sustain efforts for the full 32 minutes and then have that carry over to the next game.”

Jake Wheelock led the Royals with 20 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Uriel Hurtado collected eight points and eight rebounds.

Paxton Ridgway handed out five assists and knocked down an important 3-pointer as momentum shifted in San Marcos’ favor.

Odell credited Christian Widmer and Ian Douglas for their defensive work, especially holding Ventura’s leading scorer Dustin Houck to nine points.

San Marcos will take its 5-1 league record into its next game on Wednesday at Buena.

Ventura, 1-5 in league, plays next on Monday in a non-league game against Rancho Verde.