BBK: Dons dominate DP for 8th straight league win

Defending against the Santa Barbara High boys basketball team is like a double-edged sword.

If you play a zone, the Dons will cut you up with long-range shooting from Isaiah Tapia, Bolden Brace, Andrew Fay and Chris Wagonhurst.

If you try a man-to-man defense, Noah Burke will beat you on the dribble and score or dish off for a high-percentage shot. Or, they’ll pass the ball around and find Jack Baker cutting down the lane for an easy bucket.

And there’s always the fast break.

In its third meeting against Channel League-leading Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos chose to play man-to-man. The Dons proceeded to take the ball to the hoop and race out to a 9-0 start and 20-9 first-quarter lead. They rolled to a 75-41 victory Friday night at Sovine Gym.

The CIF 3A Division third-ranked Dons improve to 18-2 on the season and 8-0 in league. Dos Pueblos falls to 7-13, 3-5.

Baker recorded a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds and he blocked three shots and had two dunks to pace Santa Barbara. Brace scored 13 points and Fay had 10 and Burke and Tapia each scored nine points. Ben Clay led the team in rebounds with 12.

Dos Pueblos didn’t have anyone score in double figures. Matt Sessler and Anthony Trujillo each scored six points and three other players tallied five for the Chargers.

This was the biggest margin of victory for the Dons in their three-game sweep of DP.

In this game, DP coach Joe Zamora elected to play man-to-man defense against Santa Barbara.

“The reason we did that was we felt in the last game we weren’t as active in the zone and they had 14 3 pointers,” Zamora said. “So, we had to match up and put a hand on Isaiah. We didn’t want him shooting threes. I felt we did a pretty good job of that, but they have a lot of weapons and lot of transition points.”

The Dons were on the run from the start. Tapia fed David Trujillo for a layup, a steal on the press led to a 3-pointer by Tapia, Fay drove in for a layup and Tapia passed to Trujillo to complete a three-pass transition sequene for another easy basket before DP made its first bucket.

“I was very surprised,” Santa Barbara coach David Bregante said of the lopsided win. I was really worried about this game. I thought DP had been playing better. They’re a tough team physically; they’re a strong team, which is our weakness. But we came out with a lot of energy, moved the ball well and shot pretty decent, and we played good defense.”

Dos Pueblos made a little run early in the second quarter, pulling to within seven at 23-16. But Santa Barbara reasserted itself with an 8-1 run, which included a dunk by Baker and a 3-pointer by Tapia.

“The first half was real competitive,” said Baker. “(The Chargers) always play well at home. I think the last time we played out here we were 4-for 29 on threes, so we definitely shot better tonight and that made the difference.”

Baker said the Santa Barbara guards set the tone.

“When they get out and run, it’s pretty fun to see, and when they’re throwing ally-oops to each other it’s cool.”

The Dons blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring DP 22-9 to take a 61-32 lead.

“They’re a talented team,” Zamora said of the Dons. “They got the penetrators, they got shooters, they got a post presence; Jack does a good job; Ben (Clay) comes off the bench. We’re not at that level yet. We don’t have the athleticism they do. We don’t have the shooters they do, so we have to change it up and do it on the defensive end.
My kids got after it, they didn’t back down. We struggled again from the field. It’s hard to win games when you struggle and have 14 turnovers.”