BBK: Dons beat Mission Oak in State opener

Max Henderson looks for the open teammate out of the double team on Wednesday.

Max Henderson looks for the open teammate out of the double team on Wednesday.


Santa Barbara High fended off a pair of rallies from Mission Oak on Wednesday in a 77-67 victory at JR Richards Gymnasium in the first round of the CIF State Division 2 Tournament.

The Dons jumped out to an 11-0 lead to start the game and led 28-14 early in the second quarter. But Mission Oak bounced back with a 12-0 run that tied the game at 30-30.

Santa Barbara answered with a run of its own and entered halftime with a 43-32 lead. The Dons’ 13-2 run to close out the half started with four straight points by Nick Busch and then Max Henderson scored five straight. Henderson picked off a pass on the perimeter and took it in for a breakaway layup. Bolden Brace then drove and kicked out to Henderson in the corner for a three-pointer.

Mission Oak rallied again in the third quarter and pulled to within one at 58-57 early in the fourth quarter.

“One thing I like about this team, you know, is that the other team can make a run and we don’t panic. We could have fell apart there a couple different times,” said Dons head coach David Bregante.

Ben Clay’s 18 points and 12 rebounds while Brace collected 14 points and six assists. Busch had a good game, scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting with three steals and two blocked shots. Henderson made it four Dons in double figures with 12 points.

Austin Molezzo’s 21 points led Mission Oak. Jonell Burton added 19 points for the Hawks, who finish their season with a record of 29-3.

Mission Oak never went away. The Dons took off on an 11-2 run after the Hawks cut the lead to one. With the score 69-59, Burton knocked down a three-pointer to make it 69-62. Santa Barbara then scored on its next three possessions to ice the game.

“It was a good team. Their quickness really gave us trouble… on our offense they got their hands on so many balls,” Bregante said.

Turnovers and foul trouble hounded the Dons. Brace and Busch picked up three fouls each in the first half. When they were on the bench Mission Oak rallied in the second quarter.

The Dons advance to Saturday’s second round where they will face top-seeded La Costa Canyon in San Diego. LCC defeated Tesoro 74-53.


2015 CIF State Boys Basketball Championships Presented by Farmers Division II