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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 10:10 pm | Fair 49º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Chargers Alone in 1st after 62-57 Victory Over Dons

Sean Park and Ryan Beall keep Dos Pueblos league-perfect, Roberto Nelson scores 31 for Santa Barbara.

The Dos Pueblos boys’ basketball team took a two-game lead in the Channel League with a 62-57 victory over Santa Barbara on Wednesday night. Led by Sean Park’s 22 points and nine rebounds and Ryan Beall’s 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals, the Chargers remained undefeated in the league with a 4-0 mark, 15-7 overall. Santa Barbara, now tied for second with San Marcos and Ventura, dropped to 2-2 and 11-12.

Both teams had extra emotional boosts, as if they were needed with a full gym at Santa Barbara High and first place at stake. Santa Barbara welcomed back senior Jimmy Sexton, who had missed 19 games with a broken foot. Dos Pueblos came out in warmup shirts proclaiming "family" to honor Jeffrey Zamora Jr., who died of leukemia Friday at age 2. Jeffrey is the son of assistant coach Jeffrey Zamora and the nephew of Chargers head coach Joe Zamora.

The Chargers played some of their trademark defense in the first half, fueling a 29-18 lead. In the third quarter, however, the Dons caught fire behind their leader, Roberto Nelson. Nelson, held to five points in the first half, scored on an assortment of three-pointers and drives on his way to a game-high 31 points.

At the end of the third quarter, the Dons had come all the way back, and led 41-40. The lead got as big as four points, and stood at 45-43 when Dos Pueblos made the decisive run of the game. Beall fed Park for a fast break layup to tie the score, and Daniel Placencia — who chipped in 11 crucial points — broke the tie with a three-pointer. Beall stole the ball from Nelson and converted the opportunity with a layup on the other end, and Park got to the basket for another score. A drive by Beall led to a Santa Barbara foul and a pair of free throws, and two more free throws by Placencia made the score 56-45. Nelson broke the run with a three-pointer over both Beall and Chargers center Ben Johnson, but with the clock dwindling the Dons had to foul, and DP made enough free throws to offset some spectacular hoops Nelson continued to make.

Both teams are back in action Friday, with Dos Pueblos hosting Buena at Sovine Gym, and Santa Barbara at home against Ventura in JR Richards Gym.

Will Beall is a Dos Pueblos parent.

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