BBK: Dons shut down DP to claim outright league title

Santa Barbara High?s boys basketball team has its own rap song that plays before games. Part of the lyrics go: ?Who?s house? Dons? house.”

The Dons did their job in defending their house down the stretch of a tight Channel League race. As a result, they are outright league champions.

Santa Barbara High's Jeff Paschke shoots over Dos Pueblos defender Devon Ray in Thursday's game.

Santa Barbara High’s Jeff Paschke shoots over Dos Pueblos defender Devon Ray in Thursday’s game.

Santa Barbara played some lockdown defense against Dos Pueblos and got big performances from its Big Three to beat Dos Pueblos 57-43 Thursday night in the league finale and the Dons’ Senior Night at J.R. Richards Gym.

The title-clinching victory came two days after the Dons beat San Marcos at home.

?It was a tremendous effort,? Santa Barbara coach David Bregante said. ?We didn?t lose after the first round (of league play). I?m really proud of these guys. They?re winners, they really are?

The title is Santa Barbara?s first since the 2006-07 season. The Dons went 9-3 and enter next week?s CIF 3AAA playoffs with a 20-4 record.

Dos Pueblos finishes at 7-5 in league and 15-8 overall. The Chargers will play in the 2A Division playoffs.

Santa Barbara limited DP to 26 percent shooting (9 of 34) and held the Chargers? high-scoring Zach Shugart to nine points.

Emilio Gonzalez guarded Shugart and made it tough for him to get inside for shots.

?He wanted him … Emilio wanted Shugart,? Bregante said. ?Shugart is one of the best players in the league, and Emilio said before the game he wanted him. We gave it to him. He did a good job on him.?

Santa Barbara?s Big Three of Gonzalez, fellow senior Jeff Paschke and junior Jack Baker combined for 41 points and 28 of the team?s 37 rebounds. Gonzalez and Paschke each scored 15 points and grabbed 10 and eight rebounds, respectively. Baker added 11 points and 10 boards, as the Dons posted their eighth straight win after starting the league season at 1-3.

?Me, Emilio and Jack … usually if two of us are on we?re going to win a game,? Paschke said. ?Tonight, it seemed like all three of us were on and we had a really good game. We?re going to CIF and we?re playing the best we?ve played all year.?

Chris Williams scored 14 points and Gerry Perez added nine for Dos Pueblos.

?We played hard and we?ll learn from the experience,? DP coach Joe Zamora said. ?Give it to Santa Barbara, they did a good job defensively and they hit their shots.?

The Dons made 21 of 43 from the floor.

After a sloppy first quarter, the Dons took control of the game after a brilliant play by Baker at the 5:12 mark of the second quarter. With Santa Barbara ahead 15-10, Dos Pueblos inbounded the ball from under its basket into the back court. Baker hustled to beat a Charger to the ball and went in for a layup. Seconds later, DP turned the ball over again and Paschke scored, was fouled and converted the three-point play. Baker scored inside again, boosting the Dons? lead to 22-10.

?They pressured us a little bit and got us going faster than we wanted to go,? Bregante said of the mistakes in the early going. ?We settled down and did what we wanted to do. It worked out well.?

Santa Barbara led 24-15 at halftime.

Paschke, Baker and Gonzalez all scored to get the Dons off to a fast start in the third quarter, and the lead increased to 31-15.

Williams ended the DP scoring drought with two free throws at the 4:53 mark before Shawn Ramos buried a 3-pointer for Santa Barbara and stole the ball, which led to a Matt Wagonhurst bucket to make the score 36-17.

Ramos played a solid game for the Dons.

Williams hit a 3-pointer to give DP its first basket of the period.

The Chargers cut the lead to 38-26, but then Paschke went off for three straight baskets, including a follow of a missed dunk by Baker.

?We?re not going to let a team come in here and beat us on Senior Night. It?s not going to happen,? said Paschke.

?I think Jeff was disappointed from the last game and wanted to do better. He?s a heck of an athlete,? said Bregante.

Baker would atone for his missed dunk after Noah Burke stole a DP inbound pass. Burke fed Baker and he scored with one second left in the quarter, giving the Dons a stunning 46-26 advantage in the championship game.

?Santa Barbara played well and executed,? said Zamora.

The lead got up to 28 (54-26) before Santa Barbara started to clear its bench with 5:21 to go.

Dos Pueblos kept battling, forced several turnovers and scored 12 straight points before Santa Barbara put its starters back to finish the game.

?I told the guys it?s OK to hurt tonight because you wanted something and you didn?t get it,? Zamora said. ?But, at same time, we live to play again tomorrow. That?s an exciting time for us, so we have to look at the positive and build from those negatives and go forward.?

When the final buzzer sounded, Santa Barbara celebrated winning a league championship in its house.

Comments

  1. Hemlockroid says

    Dons!

  2. Congratulations to the Dons…Good luck in the playoffs!!

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