GBK: Dons cruise into the second round

Wendy Hernandez - Santa Barbara High Girls Basketball

Santa Barbara High’s Wendy Rodriguez picks up her dribble to make a pass on Wednesday. (Presidio Sports Photos)

Santa Barbara High made the most of its No. 1 seeding in the CIF 3AA Division girls basketball playoffs.

Playing an overmatched opponent in the first round, the Dons blew out Firebaugh of Lynwood, 64-11 on Wednesday at J.R. Richards Gym.

Michaila Miller - Santa Barbara High Girls Basketball

Santa Barbara High’s Michaila Miller led the Dons in scoring with 15 points.

Santa Barbara led 45-0 before Firebaugh scored on a three-point play with 4:09 left in the third quarter.

Santa Barbara came into the game with a 21-5 record, while Firebaugh, which plays in a small schools league, was 6-17. It was the final at-large team picked to fill out a 32-team bracket.

The Dons came out pressing and forced turnover after turnover. They led 20-0 before Firebaugh attempted its first shot — an air ball. It was 25-0 by the end of the first quarter.

Santa Barbara coach Andrew Butcher was apologetic about putting on a full-court press against the Falcons.

“We hadn’t seen them. I feel bad pressing, in hindsight,” he said. “If I knew they were that inexperienced, I wouldn’t have pressed.”

Michaila Miller, showing a nice touch in the paint area, scored eight of her game-high 15 points in the opening stanza. Amber Melgoza, the team’s leading scorer, played sparingly and finished with nine points. Alyssa Cosio and Wendy Hernandez each scored eight points.

“It was nice to hit some nice shots in the second half, and it was nice to get all the kids playing,” Butcher said.

The Dons played without point guard Dezzy Coleman, who was resting an injured ankle. She is expected to be ready for Saturday’s second-round game against either Calabasas or El Monte.