On Monday, three local teams and one from out of town with a local connection claimed victory in the opening day of the 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 victory over San Luis Obispo. A San Marcos team exhausted by COVID-19 protocols detained Troy, 54-49, and the Santa Barbara host zipped past 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, defeated Nordhoff, 67-42.
In the other action of the first day, Newbury Park eliminated Righetti, 74-42.
After seeing two teams give up before starting, the Classic takes over Bishop Diego on Tuesday. The Cardinals face 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 schedule will be shuffled every day. There will be no champion, but a team from all tournaments will be selected.
The rest of the schedule Tuesday has San Marcos playing Sherman Oaks CES at 11 am; Santa Barbara opposite San Luis Obispo at 2pm; Newbury Park meets Troy at 3:30 p.m .; Dos Pueblos faces Stockdale at 5 p.m. and Santa Barbara returns to court against Righetti at 6:30 p.m.
San Marcos 54, Troy 49
Only seven players have adjusted for the Royals and women’s basketball coach Tiffany Simms has led the team.
The team was missing players and coaching staff after a COVID-19 test result tested positive during the mission preparation tournament last week. According to 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 team are expected to return on Wednesday, she said.
“I got the call late last night to see if I could coach today,” said Simms, whose women’s 10-3 team is out until Channel League play begins on Jan. 4.
She said her game plan was “Basic basketball 101. Push the ball and move the ball on offense; in defense, be aggressive, plug in the middle, turn on the screens.
Simms noted that it helped the Royals be a seasoned group.
“This team has been together for a few years. It’s like a well-oiled machine. I didn’t have to do much, but tried to encourage and hook up.
Senior guards Shakir Ahmad and Julian Hicks took charge of the Royals. Ahmad scored 26 points, a game-high, scoring 13 points in each half, and Hicks played solid defense and scored three points in the fourth quarter to break a tie 47-47.
“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 led the way and scored on a left hand shot for a 52-49 lead, made a steal that resulted in a basket from center TJ Robinson with 1:02 to go, then rushed for defend against a long pass.
Lauderdale tackled Troy’s player on the sideline, so the player tried to throw the ball off his leg. Lauderdale, however, dodged the shot and the ball bounced off the baseline and returned to San Marcos.
“Big kid, good effort, the hustle and bustle 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, who 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-point shot and playing good defense in a 24-6 first quarter streak. He finished with 13 points
“It just might be his best game of the year,” said Adam. “He had a few blocked shots, he helped defensively, he had a real solid game. He’s getting better.”
Santa Barbara worked his way into the LA City Section school-versus-school painting, but struggled to snap shots.
“We probably left 20 points on the ground,” said Adam.
Christian Perez of Dos Pueblos tries 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 his 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 up a 27-point lead (58-31) 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 have nine points.
Stockdale 66, Nordhoff 42
Adeola Adekoba scored 20 points to lead three double-digit players 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 lead in the first quarter.
Destry Stevens had 14 points to lead Righetti, who suffered his third straight loss after starting 8-1.