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Boys Basketball

Jaron Rillie Scores Last 10 Points, Rallying Dos Pueblos Past St. Bonaventure, 56-55

Alex McCeney nails five triples and tops Chargers with 21 points

Jaron Rillie Click to view larger
Jaron Rillie scored 13 of his 20 points in the last 6:49, helping the Chargers to a 17-10 fourth-quarter advantage. (Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo)

When things were starting to look bleak for the Dos Pueblos High boys basketball team, Jaron Rillie put on his Superman cape.

With the Chargers trailing St. Bonaventure 53-46 with 3:02 to play on Friday night, the 6-1 senior left-handed guard scored the last 10 points, capped by two three-point plays in the last 37 seconds to give DP a dramatic 56-55 triumph at Sovine Gym.

Kai Rojas, who grew up in Santa Barbara, scored 12 of his 16 points in the final quarter for the Seraphs (3-1), who suffered their first loss after outscoring their first three opponents by an average of 71-40. Mikey Hinkle added 15 points.

The Chargers improved to 2-3 with their second win in three days.

Rillie, the son of UCSB associate head coach John Rillie, scored 13 of his team’s 17 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 20. Junior guard Alex McCeney hit five 3-pointers and led all scorers with 21.

“We just had to keep being aggressive,” said Rillie. “I told our guys at halftime, ‘They’re going to go on runs, we’re going to go on runs … basketball is a game of runs.’ We just had to keep our head in it and not get too high or too low.

“I’ve been working on my inside moves because a lot of teams are playing me for my 3-point shot. I know I need to get in there and finish. We cut down our turnovers this game, we rebounded better, we ran our offense better and it’s starting to come together.”

Rillie hit a follow shot with 1:52 to play, then forced a turnover and converted a layup, cutting the deficit to 53-50 with 1:21 left. Gavin Beerup got an offensive rebound and scored to push the Seraph lead back to five.

Rillie tossed in a short runner and was fouled with 37.1 seconds. He made the free throw to trim the lead to two points (55-53). St. Bonaventure was called for a 5-second infraction on an in-bound pass and DP called timeout with 35.4 seconds.

Rillie drove the lane and threw up a soft left-handed shot that landed on the left rim and slowly rolled through the net to tie it at 55 with 17.5 showing. He was fouled on the play and converted the free throw to put the Chargers ahead, 56-55, for the first time since they led 29-28 early in the third period.

Hinkle misfired on a long 3-pointer on the Seraphs’ final possession. Nick Imig grabbed the offensive rebound and his 12-foot try from the baseline caromed off the rim as time expired.

“We have an inexperienced team and I’m the only returner,” said Rillie. “We have a lot of guys who have to learn how to play at this level and they’re rising up.”

The Chargers canned a trio of 3-pointers in the first 5½ minutes and took an 11-4 lead when McCeney tossed in his second triple from the left corner. The Chargers led 11-5 at the quarter and 26-22 at halftime.

“That was a breakout night for Alex McCeney,” said Dos Pueblos coach Joe Zamora. “We know he can shoot it. He’s a gym rat who lives a block from here and he gets a lot of shots up.”

The Seraphs won the third quarter 23-13 behind eight points each from Rojas and Hinkle to take a 45-39 lead heading into the fourth period.

“Jaron is my only guy with experience and he’s a real good kid who gets after it,” added Zamora. “He understands the game as a head coach’s son and knows how to make the right decisions.

“We played great defense in the last few minutes. We tried a couple different defenses on the last few possessions and then went back into a switching man, which created some turnovers and got us into transition.”

Riles Neff drove the lane and hit a 6-foot floater, giving the visitors an eight-point advantage (52-44) with six minutes to play. Baylor Huyck got free for a breakaway layup at the other end to ignite the Chargers’ 12-3 game-ending run.

DP returns to action on Tuesday with a non-league game at Oak Park, starting at 6:30 p.m.

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