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Boys Basketball

Dos Pueblos Steps Up in Second Half, Beats San Marcos for Second Time

Diego Riker scores 16 in a 30-point third quarter, leading Chargers to 65-61 Win

Dos Pueblos players celebrate after their 65-61 win over San Marcos before a packed house at Sovine Gym. It was DP’s second win over their rivals this season. Click to view larger
Dos Pueblos players celebrate after their 65-61 win over San Marcos before a packed house at Sovine Gym. It was DP’s second win over their rivals this season. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

Diego Riker soaked in the moment after he and his Dos Pueblos basketball teammates were mobbed by the Charger student section following Friday night’s intense 65-61 Channel League victory over rival San Marcos in a jam-packed and raucous Sovine Gym.

Riker caught fire in a big third quarter for the Chargers, burying four three-pointers and scoring 16 of the team’s 30 points to erase a 27-20 halftime deficit. The senior shooting guard finished with a team-high 20 points. Dylan Shugart scored 14 points, Cyrus Wallace had 10 and Thomas Jimenez added eight for DP, which swept the season series against their rivals.

“I was feeling it and my teammates were getting (the ball) to me; it felt awesome,” said Riker of his third-quarter outburst. “It was an awesome atmosphere and it felt great. That was the loudest crowd I’ve ever been in. Every time I made it (the crowd noise) was unbelievable.”

Said DP coach Joe Zamora of Riker: “A senior stepping out and wanting to be in the big moment against a cross-town rival. He loves that. All the guys really stepped up, the second group especially. We were down by seven and they cut into that lead and I was able to give my starters some rest and they were able to come in and finish it out. I’m proud of them.”

Riker also hit two clutch free throws with 1:54 left in the fourth quarter after DP recovered a loose ball, putting the Chargers ahead 63-59.

After a San Marcos miss and a pair of DP turnovers, Stefan Korfas of the Royals hit a jumper with 16 seconds to go to make it a 63-61 game.

Dylan Shugart was fouled on the inbounds pass and made one of two free throws to put DP up 64-61.

San Marcos still had 15 seconds left to tie it, but the Royals missed a three-pointer and fouled Cyrus Wallace after he grabbed the rebound. The DP point guard made the first of two free throws to clinch the team’s fifth straight league win and put it in the driver’s seat for the title.

The Chargers, ranked No. 8 in CIF Division 2A, are 5-0 in league and 19-3 overall. San Marcos, ninth in 2AA, fell to 3-2 (both losses to DP) and 17-7 on the season.

The Royals shot the ball much better than in their first meeting with DP at the Thunderhut. Ryan Godges went off in the fourth quarter, knocking down three straight three-pointers to erase a 56-49 deficit and pull the Royals to 59-58 with 3:40 left.

“I’m proud of Ryan,” San Marcos coach Landon Boucher said. “The guy really cares and when you care that much you can make plays like that. He’s an phenomenal shooter. I’m not surprised one bit by Ryan’s performance. He does it every day in practice. We just need to help him a little bit.”

San Marcos got the ball after a DP miss and worked it into 6-foot-8 Jackson Stormo. Swarmed by defenders, Stormo attempted to pass back to the point but it was blocked like a volleyball player by Thomas Jimenez. Wallace came up with thew ball and was fouled. He made both free throws for a three-point lead.

San Marcos looked sharp in the first half. Godges hit three triples and executed a nice pick and roll with Stormo, helping the Royals take a 27-20 lead into halftime.

Stormo scored 19 points and Godges had 18 to lead San Marcos.

Jackson Stormo of San Marcos drives past DP’s Marcellous Gossett. Stormo scored 19 points. Click to view larger
Jackson Stormo of San Marcos drives past DP’s Marcellous Gossett. Stormo scored 19 points. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

“They had more intensity in the first half than we did,” Zamora said of the Royals. “In the second half, we stepped up. First couple of possessions we had some turnovers, had some quick looks for ourselves and the intensity kept building and building, and they executed and were able to run.”

After a Stormo put back gave the Royals a 29-22 lead early in the third quarter, Dos Pueblos turned up the intensity. Gossett converted a three-point play, Riker followed with a three-pointer, Shugart made two free throws and fed Jimenez for a bucket and Jimenez scored on a drive following a San Marcos turnover to cap a 12-2 run and put the Chargers ahead 34-33.

“We knew they were going to turn up the tempo and we knew that they were going to push the ball and that’s exactly what they did in the third quarter,” said Boucher.

The lead changed hands six times. Riker scored the last eight points of the quarter (six on two three-pointers) for DP to give it a 50-47 lead going into the final quarter.

“I feel it was definitely lost on the defensive end,” said Boucher. “Thirty points in the third quarter they scored. They did a really good job of hitting the glass. We couldn’t keep them off the offensive glass in the third quarter. We did a pretty good job in the first half but they made the plays down the stretch.”

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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