BBK: Royals give Righetti a tough game

Righetti standout Cameron Walker showed off his all-around game and scored a game-high 23 points on Tuesday night at the San Marcos Thunderhut. Those points came in handy for the Warriors as the host Royals gave them all they could handle.

San Marcos pulled to within four points with 2:15 left in the game and had some good looks to get closer. The shots, however, wouldn’t drop, and Righetti guard Justin Garcia went off for seven straight points in the final 1:38 to give the Warriors a 42-31 non-league basketball win.

“I felt we were one 3-pointer away from being back in this thing,” said San Marcos coach Landon Boucher, whose team suffered its first loss after three straight wins. “I was very comfortable with all the looks.”

A Scott Everman dunk off a lob pass from Ryan McCarthy pulled the Royals to 33-29 with 4:06 left. The Stanford-bound 6-7 Walker sank two free throws for Righetti before Kele Mkpado scored off an Everman assist. Mkpado led the Royals with 10 points.

San Marcos went cold down the stretch and Garcia stepped up to put the game away for Righetti. The point guard had been scoreless until hitting a jump shot to give the Warriors a 37-31 lead with 1:38 to go. He then buried a trey and was fouled. He missed the chance at a four-point play but later knocked down two free throws to complete the scoring.

“The last two minutes, that’s when we were at our best,” said Righetti coach Kevin Barbarick.

The first half was dominated by defense and referee whistles. There were 13 fouls in the first quarter alone. A starter on each team went to the bench with two fouls in the first three minutes and San Marcos had eight team fouls with nearly three minutes left in the period.

“When we came out in the first quarter, we were a little caught off guard with their size and intensity defensively and we got away from our offense,” said Boucher.

Walker outscored the Royals 9-5 in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Everman picked up his third foul at the 6:10 mark and San Marcos fell behind 23-14 by halftime.

“We just told our players you got to adjust,” said Barbarick of the tight officiating. “You got adjust to the fouls being called and play the game. I was pleased with our defense. We gave up only 14 points in the first half and we really did a great job of talking and helping and not giving them any open driving lanes. And we contested all the shots in first half.

“Conversely, San Marcos did a good job with their defense, and you got to credit both team’s defenses for the ugliness of the offense because both teams were really playing their guts out.”