BBK: DP’s defense shuts down San Marcos

Some of the kids in the Dos Pueblos student section wear gold hard hats at basketball games.

The basketball team played like it was wearing hard hats and carrying lunch pails on Friday night against San Marcos. The Chargers put in a hard night’s work at the defensive end and derailed the Royals’ running game for a stunning lopsided 48-31 Channel League victory at a sold-out Thunderhut.

Chargers forward Devon Ray drives inside on Royals guard Elijah Johnson and scores on a layup in the third quarter. (James Crosby Photo)

Chargers forward Devon Ray drives inside on Royals guard Elijah Johnson and scores on a layup in the third quarter. (James Crosby Photo)

Dos Pueblos’hard-nosed defensive effort forced 21 turnovers and limited San Marcos to 9 of 38 shooting in its home gym.

The result puts the Royals into a first-place tie with Santa Barbara at 7-3, with DP right behind them at 6-4. The local rivals meet next week to determine the league championship. San Marcos visits Santa Barbara on Tuesday and DP travels to play the Dons on Thursday.

A full-court press and gritty DP guards Chris Williams and Gerry Perez were primarily responsible for taking San Marcos out of its rhythm. Williams led the Chargers in scoring with 13 points and had three steals. Perez scored 11 points and harassed Royal ballhandlers all night.

“Gerry and Chris, they stepped up on the defensive end,” DP coach Joe Zamora said. “Gerry stepped out and said: ?We win all the 50-50 balls about two minutes into the game.?

“They’re mentally strong,” he noted about his senior guards. “They want the ball in their hands down the stretch, they want to be at the free-throw line, they want to make that shot for us.”

San Marcos vs Dos Pueblos boys basketball

Chargers CJ Zajic knocks the ball loose from San Marcos’ Jake Wheelock in the second quarter.

On the team’s defensive effort, Zamora said: “We pressed a lot; we extended our pressure and we put pressure on the ball. We do a pretty good job of keeping guys from getting the looks they want and we get them deep in the shot clock. The other thing I thought we did a good job on was a lot of the shots they took were forced. Our guys had their hands up and we were able to get the long rebounds and go in transition ourselves.”

The usually steady Bryce Ridenour scored 10 points for San Marcos but he was 2 of 7 from the floor. Jake Wheelock led the Royals with 13 points.

San Marcos coach Dave Odell said he didn’t know what team showed up in Royals uniforms.

“I was shocked at what team showed up tonight, because we haven?t been that way,” he said. “We haven?t been selfish; we haven?t been the team that sticks its shoulder down and runs over people for a shot when two people are wide open.

“We were loose before the game but we played like we were stressed out.”

DP’s front line of Zach Shugart, C.J.Zagic and Devon Ray played physical and made it tough for the Royals to score inside. Shugart, in his second game back since having a procedure done on his knee, struggled with his shot, but he was a force on defense and on the boards. He had five steals to go along with five rebounds. Ray and Zajic also grabbed five rebounds.

“They had a great game plan,” Odell said. “They played really hard; they played really physical and we didn?t match it. They killed us on the boards and had so many second chances.”

It was Perez and Williams that got DP going early. Perez scored six points in the first quarter and Williams hit a 3-pointer that gave the Chargers a lead (7-5) they would never lose.

The Chargers (14-8) led 15-7 after the first period and expanded it to 19-7 early in the second period when Williams banked in a 15-footer after a San Marcos turnover.

San Marcos (16-7) showed its form in the second quarter, going on an 8-0 run to cut DP’s lead to four, 19-15. Shugart made two free throws to give the Chargers a 21-15 advantage at the half.

Dos Pueblos’ defense took control of the game in the third quarter and held San Marcos to just seven points, all scored by Wheelock. The Chargers took a 34-22 into the final period.

“The last game we played them we didn?t have Zach and our post players felt a little undersized and they didn?t work as hard, and San Marcos did,” Zamora said. “This game we wanted to come out and prove we were ready to play, so the guys really stepped up in the post.”

DP kept the pressure on in the fourth period and won at the Thunderhut for the second time this season.

“This is a hard place to win in,” Zamora said. “We haven’t been too successful the last couple of years here, so to get two this year is great. It’s a good thing for us and now we can look forward into going into next week. It’s going to be a battle as well.”


  1. YAY DP!!! So proud of you Christopher!!! XOXO your Nina Lee