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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 7:26 pm | Fair 56º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Etiwanda Turns Out Lights on Electrifying Chargers Season

Dos Pueblos' magical run ends in 57-34 loss in CIF quarter-finals.

A magical season for Dos Pueblos ended Friday night with a 57-34 defeat by Etiwanda in the CIF 1-A quarterfinals.

All year, the Chargers have relied on their defense to keep them in games. Friday night, the Eagles gave them a taste of their own medicine, holding their second consecutive playoff opponent under 35 points. Etiwanda — ranked No. 10 in California — improved to 29-1 while Dos Pueblos finished its season at 21-8.

The game started with a flurry of scoring as Dos Pueblos took a 17-16 lead at the end of the first quarter behind eight points from Sean Park and five from Devean Davison. Etiwanda clamped down, though, as Davison never scored again and Park had no more field goals in the game. A late three-pointer from Rome Draper staked the Eagles to a 28-24 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, the Eagles turned up the intensity, challenging every shot. When called for fouls, they even proved their defensive ability extended to free-throw defense, as the Chargers could only convert five of 12 from the line. Those five points were all they could muster in the third quarter, as Etiwanda moved out to a 42-29 lead.

The fourth quarter was more of the same, as the Chargers could only muster two baskets. Chargers fans — a surprising number of whom made the long trek to the Inland Empire — complained that their side might have been entitled to a few more free-throw attempts, but one can only tip one’s cap to the Eagles long-armed defenders, particularly Christian Katuala, Jordan Finn and Tre Brewer, who made it extremely difficult for Park and Ryan Beall to catch the ball, and contested every shot they took. Park finished with 11 points, completing a season in which he scored in double figures in every game, and Beall was able to chip in six, but nothing came easily.

After the game, the seniors tearfully greeted the Chargers faithful. The pain of the loss won’t linger long, and the team can reflect on the things it accomplished: A Channel League championship by three games, a city championship, a perfect league season, a 21-win season in which three of their eight losses were to teams ranked in the top 10 in the state, and two pulsating playoff wins in front of their home fans.

For seven seniors, their high school careers are over. For the younger players, there are some large high-tops to fill. But for the Dos Pueblos High School community — team, students, faculty, parents and alumni — the success of this season will be long-remembered.

Will Beall is a Dos Pueblos High parent.

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