GBK: Strong 2nd half lifts Dons past Lompoc

Amber Melgoza scored 28 of her game-high 34 points in the second half, propelling Santa Barbara High’s girls basketball team to a 73-68 win over Lompoc in the opening game of the Gold Coast Classic on Wednesday at San Marcos’ Thunderhut.

“It was a wild game,” Santa Barbara coach Andrew Butcher said.

The teams met five days ago at the Lompoc Tournament and the Dons won 68-46.

The athletic Braves forced Santa Barbara into 14 turnovers and jumped out to a 38-21 lead at halftime.

The Dons regrouped in the second half and outscored the Braves 29-12 in the third quarter and trailed by one 51-50. Santa Barbara maintained the momentum in the fourth quarter and escaped with the win.

Santa Barbara had only one turnover in the second half.

Kimberly Gebhardt enjoyed her biggest game of the young season, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Jocelin Petatan had 12 points and dished out nine assists.

The competition gets tougher for the Dons (4-0) in the second round as they face a strong Centennial of Bakersfield team on Thursday at 6 p.m. at San Marcos. Centennial defeated Buena, 65-50, in a first-round game Thursday,