BBK: Royals run over Santa Barbara, 61-42


Once the rivalry game jitters wore off, San Marcos wore out Santa Barbara High with tough man-to-man defense and a torrid fast break, blowing past the Dons 61-42 in a Channel League boys basketball game at J.R. Richards Gym on Friday.

Santa Barbara High vs San Marcos boys basketball 2013

Santa Barbara High’s Shawn Ramos has his shot blocked by San Marcos’ Bryce Ridenour in the first period.

Bryce Ridenour scored 20 points, many on aggressive drives to the basket, Uriel Hurtado added 13 points and Kevin Hempy chipped in 10 to lead the Royals, who trailed by nine points in the first half.

It was the Royals’ second straight league road win by 19 points. They won 59-40 at Ventura on Wednesday.

“Part of it is I think we’re a good team,” San Marcos coach Dave Odell said of the back-to-back lopsided road wins. “We’ve been at half strength without (point guards) Ian (Douglas) and Elijah (Johnson) at half strength. With them at full strength it really gives us a lot of depth. Having this bench is a real luxury.”

The Royals didn’t miss a beat when Odell went to his bench.

San Marcos turned the game around with a 12-0 run in the second quarter, going from an 18-12 deficit to a 24-18 lead.

“One of the things this team has had to learn is playing from behind,” Odell said. “The maturation of a team is how you play when you’re behind. We’re playing very maturely as a team in terms of waiting for opportunities and making teams play defense for more than 10 seconds.”

The Royals led 24-21 at halftime and blew it open to 41-26 after a three-point play by Ridenour.

When it wasn’t scoring off fast breaks, San Marcos ran a patient and efficient offense. They shot 56 percent (19-35) for the game.

Santa Barbara, meanwhile, struggled to score. The Dons shot 11 of 40 from inside the paint and made just 8 of 17 from the free-throw line.

The off-target shooting translated to poor defensive play, Santa Barbara coach David Bregante said.

“When you start missing shots on the offensive end, it carries over to the defensive end,” he said. “We got down on ourselves and, I don’t want to make an excuse, but we missed Emilio’s physical presence.”

Dons Noah Burke looks for an interior pass as San Marcos' Elijah Johnson applies pressure.

Dons Noah Burke looks for an interior pass as San Marcos’ Elijah Johnson applies pressure. (James Crosby Photos)

The Dons (12-3, 1-2) played without senior guard-forward Emilio Gonzalez, who was suspended for the game after being ejected in Wednesday’s game at Buena.

“He gives us muscle,” Bregante said. “Him and Jeff (Paschke) are the only guys who give us strength. San Marcos’ guards are so much stronger than our guards. They just overpowered us. They start going to the basket and they just power right through you.”

Odell said Gonzalez’s absence was a factor in the game.

“It was a weird game without Emilio here. He’s kind of their heart and soul. He handles the ball a lot,” said Odell.

This was the second meeting between the crosstown rivals. They played in the final of the Carpinteria Bashore Holiday Classic in mid-December, and San Marcos staved off a big second-half rally to beat the Dons.

The Royals didn’t let that happen on Friday.

“We talked about finishing games, sustaining our energy and continuing to attack,” Odell said. “I really liked the way, when they made a couple of shots, we ran clock but we kept attacking, attacking and attacking. That showed we’re evolving as a team.”

With Jeff Paschke struggling to score on inside shots and offensive rebounds, Jack Baker picked up the slack for Santa Barbara, scoring six of the Dons? 11 points in the first quarter. He finished with 11 points.

Michael Day scored off an assist from Noah Burke to put Santa Barbara up 14-5 early in the second quarter.

San Marcos (11-5, 2-1) then found its rhythm. Ridenour drove past his defender for a basket and Hurtado followed with a 3-pointer from the corner.

The Royals turned up their defensive pressure on the Santa Barbara guards, forcing turnovers and difficult shots. Their offense responded with baskets by Hurtado and Ridenour and a put-back by Jake Wheelock to tie the score at 18-18 with 1:37 left in the second quarter. They took the lead for good on a drive by Christian Widmer.

“Defense has been winning games for us,” said Ridenour.

Santa Barbara called timeout, but the Dons misfired when play resumed and Elijah Johnson scored for San Marcos. Ridenour then stole the ball, was fouled and hit two free throws to cap the 12-point run.

The Dons finally scored when Baker hit a straightaway bank shot from behind the arc to make 24-21 at the half.

Paschke converted an offensive rebound to start the third quarter, but Santa Barbara would go scoreless for the next three minutes. The Royals, meanwhile, kept pushing the ball and scoring. Hempy laid the ball in off a fast-break pass from Johnson, and Ridenour took a pass from Widmer, scored and was fouled.

Ridenour finished the third quarter by taking a rebound out of the hands of a Santa Barbara player and scoring.

San Marcos never let up in the fourth quarter and led by as many as 22 points.