BBK: Clutch play down stretch lifts Royals over Ventura

Elijah Johnson scored 14 points and came up with a key offensive rebound and putback late in the game to help San Marcos hold off Ventura, 55-51, on Wednesday in a Channel League boys basketball game.

Johnson’s offensive board gave the Royals a 54-51 lead. Christian Widmer sealed the win after Ventura missed what would have a game-tying three-point play. Widmer knocked down one of two free throws to give the Royals a four-point advantage with 3.7 seconds left.

Widmer played a key role in the win. He had 11 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Johnson was on target, making 5 of 8 shots. Marcus Alvarado made a big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, scored eight points and played solid defense against Ventura’s potent guards, said coach Dave Odell

Bryce Ridenour returned to the Royals’ lineup after missing the last couple of games with concussion symptoms from a collision in the Santa Barbara game. He played limited minutes due to foul trouble and contributed four points, three assists and two steals.

Odell said Kele Mkpado provided some quality minutes. He played some solid defense and made a pair of key free throws in the fourth quarter.

Bryce Fausset and Trevor LaCount each scored 16 points to lead Ventura.

San Marcos improves to 15-6 and 4-3 in the Channel League.