After two close defeats on the visitor’s home court, the Goleta Lady Bulls returned home to defeat the Santa Barbara Ballers 17-16 on Tuesday at the Goleta Boys and Girls Club. Led by their twin towers, Jordyn Lilly and Hallie Magee, the Bulls were able to hold off a late charge by the Ballers.

Trailing 7-5 early in the second half, the Bulls went on a 7-0 run to take a 12-7 lead. During that span, Lilly scored four points and Devan Staggs scored three. The Ballers made a nice run to tie the game at 12-12, but free throws by Magee near the end of the game gave the Bulls a 17-16 lead.

With 10 seconds left in the game, the Ballers had the ball and a chance to win or tie the game, but a steal of the ball by Brandy Jimenez with five seconds left sealed the victory for the Bulls. Lilly led the team in scoring with eight points and 10 rebounds. Magee had three points, nine rebounds and five steals.

“Our defense is our team strength,” coach Norman Lowe said. “It keeps us in the game until our offense comes around.”

Lowe also praised the play of Staggs and the tenacious defense of Gwennie McInnes. The other Bulls players contributing to the victory were Angie Arzate, Nicole Rea, Maisie Schulman and Cassandra Sanchez.

The Bulls play next in the Swoosh-sponsored tournament Sept. 27-28 at the UCSB Thunderdome.

Norman Lowe is a coach and parent for the Goleta Lady Bulls.