GBK: Dons can’t overcome shooting woes, lose at Mira Costa

Mira Costa didn’t put a lid on the basket when Santa Barbara High showed up for their second-round Division 2 CIF State Tournament girls basketball game on Saturday.

It only seemed that way for the Dons.

Santa Barbara and leading scorer Amber Melgoza struggled to score all night and the result was a 52-31 loss to the Mustangs in Manhattan Beach.

The Dons, who reached the Division 3 State Final last season, finish the year at 24-7. Mira Costa will play Bay League rival Redondo in the next round on Tuesday. Redondo beat Mira Costa for the CIF-SS Division 2AA title last week.

It was strangest thing to happen to Santa Barbara and Melgoza. She attempted only six shots and went scoreless in the first half, as the Dons fell behind 31-16. It got worse in the third quarter as Mira Costa shut them out, 16-0.

Melgoza scored her first points at the 7:20 mark of the fourth quarter. She finished with 11 points on 5 of 17 shooting.

“We missed a bunch of layups early and it just snowballed,” Santa Barbara coach Andrew Butcher said. “We weren’t good mentally. It was bad.”

It was the lowest scoring output of the season for the Dons. Their previous low was 44 points.

“Fifty-two points … we can win with them scoring 52 points, but we did not score,” Butcher lamented. “We had lots of turnovers and very little patience on offense.”

Senior Jocelin Petatan played a solid game for Santa Barbara, scoring a team-high 13 points.

“She played with heart the whole game,” Butcher said. “She didn’t hang her head. She was mentally really stable. It was a nice way for senior to go out. I told the team she had a heroic effort.”

He said Mira Costa was a good defensive team and had a good game plan, “but we weren’t great. We were a step behind all night.

“It’s rough,” he added. “It’s hard to go out of a game when you lay an egg and play poorly. I felt bad for the players, but some times it happens. I think we were prepared and healthy. We had decent trip down, we knew their offense, we knew what they were doing; we just weren’t able score.”

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