Local Men’s Basketball Teams Start Santa Barbara Holiday Classic on a Winning Note | Sports
On Monday, three local teams and one out-of-town team with a local connection were victorious on opening day of the four-day Santa Barbara Holiday Classic men’s basketball tournament at JR Richards Gym in Santa Barbara. High.
Dos Pueblos started the local sweep with a 70-52 win over San Luis Obispo. A San Marcos team exhausted by COVID-19 protocols held off Troy, 54-49, and host Santa Barbara passed the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies, 66-40.
Bakersfield-Stockdale, who is coached by David Purdy, whose younger brothers, Matt and JJ, played at Santa Barbara High and father, Bob, coached the Dons in the 1990s, beat Nordhoff, 67-42.
In other day one action, Newbury Park blasted Righetti, 74-42.
After dropping two teams before starting, the Classic takes over Bishop Diego on Tuesday. The Cardinals take on Nordhoff at 12:30 p.m.
Santa Barbara High freshman Luke Zuffelato tries to score against Henry Tovmasyan of Sherman Oaks CES. Zuffelato scored 14 points for the Dons. (Photo by Gary Kim/Noozhawk)
Santa Barbara coach Corey Adam said the program will be revamped daily. There will be no champion, but a team from all tournaments will be selected.
The rest of Tuesday’s schedule has San Marcos playing Sherman Oaks CES at 11 a.m.; Santa Barbara against San Luis Obispo at 2 p.m.; Newbury Park meets Troy at 3:30 p.m.; Dos Pueblos takes on Stockdale at 5 p.m. and Santa Barbara returns to the field against Righetti at 6:30 p.m.
San Marcos 54, Troy 49
Only seven players suited up for the Royals, and varsity girls’ basketball coach Tiffany Simms coached the team.
The team was short of players and coaching staff after a COVID-19 test result came back positive during the Mission Preparation Tournament last week. Under health and safety protocols, half the team and all coaches had to self-isolate for 10 days, according to Simms.
The coaches and the rest of the squad are expected back on Wednesday, she said.
“I got the call late last night to see if I could coach today,” said Simms, whose 10-3 women’s side are out until the Channel League game starts on the 4th. January.
She said her game plan was “basic basketball 101. Push the ball and move the ball on offense; in defence, be aggressive, plug in the middle, turn on the screens.
Simms noted that this helped the Royals be a seasoned group.
“This team has been together for a few years. It’s like a well-oiled machine. Didn’t have to do much, but tried to cheer and plug.
Senior guards Shakir Ahmad and Julian Hicks took charge of the Royals. Ahmad threw a game-high 26 points, scoring 13 points in each half, and Hicks played tough defense and hit a three-point clutch in the fourth quarter to break a 47-47 tie.
“They are like coaches on the pitch. Their basketball IQ is high,” Simms said.
The Royals also got a good game from junior Owen Lauderdale. He was tough in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter. He drove the lane and scored on a left-handed shot for a 52-49 lead, made a steal that resulted in a field goal from center TJ Robinson with 1:02 left, then rushed to defend against a long pass.
Lauderdale pinned the Troy player against the sideline, so the player tried to kick the ball off his leg. Lauderdale, however, dodged the throw and the ball bounced off the baseline and returned to San Marcos.
“Great kid, good effort, the hustle is still there,” Simms said. “You can’t ask for anything more from players like that on the pitch.”
Jaden Reyes, Conner Acuna and Hicks each scored eight points for San Marcos, which improved to 5-8.
Troy was led by Rayaan Khan with 24 points and Vander Plook with 13.
Santa Barbara 66, Sherman Oaks CES 40
Senior forward Blaise Winston ignited the Dons, scoring 11 points, assisting on a three-pointer and playing good defense in a 24-6 first-quarter run. He finished with 13 points
“It might be his best game of the year,” Adam said. “He had a few blocked shots, he helped defensively, he had a real solid game. He’s getting better.”
Santa Barbara made her way into the paint against the school in the LA City section, but she struggled to make shots.
“We probably left 20 points on the floor,” Adam said.
Christian Perez of Dos Pueblos goes up for a shot against two San Luis Obispo defenders in the Chargers 70-42 win. (Photo by Gary Kim/Noozhawk)
Freshman Luke Zuffelato scored 14 points for the Dons, who improved to 5-7.
Santa Barbara gave their team a boost with the debut of Luke Gonzales, an athletic 6-foot-3 transfer from Camarillo. He scored seven points.
Dos Pueblos 70, San Luis Obispo 52
The Chargers (9-4) knocked down nine three-pointers in the game and opened a 27-point (58-31) lead late in the third quarter.
Ten players scored for DP, led by Joe Talarico with 12 points. Justin Stock buried three treys and scored 11 points, Joaquin Riker and Hudson Squires each had nine points.
Stockdale 66, Nordhoff 42
Adeola Adekoba scored 20 points to lead three in double figures for the Mustangs (12-2), who played with great discipline in their half-court sets.
Jeremy Stevens scored 15 points for Nordhoff (7-5).
Newbury Park 74, Righetti 42
Cooper Lucas scored 20 points and Charlie Muir added 12 for the Panthers (10-5), who took an 18-3 first quarter lead.
Destry Stevens had 14 points to lead Righetti, who suffered their third straight loss after starting 8-1.