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Boys Basketball

Dos Pueblos Rides Fast Start to Victory at San Marcos in Channel League Opener

Chargers contain Royals' big man in 57-48 win at the Thunderhut

Cyrus Wallace of Dos Pueblos blocks a shot attempt by Jackson Stormo of San Marcos during the Channel League opener at the Royals’ Thunderhut. Click to view larger
Cyrus Wallace of Dos Pueblos blocks a shot attempt by Jackson Stormo of San Marcos during the Channel League opener at the Royals’ Thunderhut. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

It all went according to plan for the Dos Pueblos boys basketball team in the Channel League opener at San Marcos on Wednesday night.

The Chargers jumped on the Royals early, played tough defense, contained 6-foot-8 Jackson Stormo and left the jam-packed Thunderhut as 57-48 victors.

Stormo scored 18 points, but 10 of them came from the free-throw line. The Chargers (12-2, 1-0) fronted him and often had two players collapse from the back side when he got the ball in the low post.  He was the only San Marcos player to score in double figures as the Royals struggled to make shots from the outside.

Cyrus Wallace led the Chargers with 19 points, Diego Riker had 12 points and Thomas Jimenez finished with eight.

Jimenez got the Chargers going in the first quarter. He buried two three-pointers, blocked a shot by Stormo and made a steal that resulted in transition baskets by Dylan Shugart and Wallace for a 10-0 lead. 

Colton Huyck of Dos Pueblos tries to shoot over Jackson Stormo. Click to view larger
Colton Huyck of Dos Pueblos tries to shoot over Jackson Stormo. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

“Thomas came out with two quick threes and all of us fed off those points,” said Wallace.

San Marcos (14-6, 0-1) didn’t score its first points until the 1:53 mark when Stormo made two free throws.

“We came out tight,” San Marco coach Landon Boucher said. “They did a good job covering Stormo early and we settled for open shots from the outside and we missed them, and that resulted in us going down 10-0. From then on we played even, but that was huge deficit. As low scoring as the Channel League games have been, to go down 10-0 was not good.”

The Royals, capitalizing on DP fouls,  pulled to within three in the second quarter before the Chargers went on a 7-0 run to go up 22-12. Wallace scored on a rebound-follow from the weak side and dished a slick no-look pass to Shugart and Riker knocked down a step-back triple. Riker and Wallace hit two more threes for a 28-17 advantage late in the second quarter.

Dos Pueblos received solid play off the bench from Keaton Krutenat and Max McCeney. They took turns battling Stormo in the post when Jimenez was saddled with foul trouble.

Wallace said the plan was to “stop Stormo and stop the shooters that we know. He’s a dominate force and they have a lot of shooters.”

“We really worked on having to defend (Stormo) because he’s such a big post,” said DP coach Joe Zamora. “We wanted to work on getting in front of him, work on our rotations. The kids did a really good job with their slides. I’d seen teams triple team him. I wasn’t willing to triple team him yet, but the guys did a really good job, they stepped up in the post for him.”

Wallace hit a three-pointer to open the third quarter, giving DP 35-23 lead. San Marcos charged back on Jake Sofro and Stef Korfas jumpers and a Stormo basket inside to make it 37-33. At 39-33, Dos Pueblos threw the ball away but the Royals were unable convert at the other end. Shugart drove for a score to pad the Chargers’ lead to 41-33.

A Stormo basket off a lob pass kept San Marcos in striking distance at 41-35 going into the fourth quarter.

The Chargers, however, never let up. Wallace hit a sweet turnaround jumper to start the final period and Colton Huyck scored on a long pass to make it 45-37. Jimenez challenged Stormo inside for a basket and McCeney hit a three-pointer for a 50-39 DP lead with 3:26 left.

In the last two minutes, Marcellous Gossett converted a huge offensive rebound after a Riker miss on a drive and Wallace scored after a steal for a 54-43 advantage with 1:02 remaining.

“That was one of our challenges before the game as well,” said Zamora. “We wanted to work on getting more 50-50 balls, more rebounds, more steals and deflections. That was a big key for us.”

Boucher agreed that was big difference in the game. 

“I’ll give to to DP, they were ready to go,” he said.

On his team, Boucher said: “We really didn’t recognize ourselves. It didn't look like the December San Marcos team. It looked like a team that was second-guessing itself on offense. I think it comes with the territory of big moments and you got to step up. And I thought DP stepped up in this big moment.”

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