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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 7:25 am | Fair 45º

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Girls Basketball

Prep Basketball Tournament Season Begins With Gold Coast Classic

Athena Saragoza
Athena Saragoza of Santa Barbara averaged 12.9 points as a freshman last season. She and the Dons open the 2018-19 season in the Gold Coast Classic. (Noozhawk file photo)

The high school basketball tournament season gets under way Wednesday with the Gold Coast Classic, co-hosted by San Marcos and Rio Mesa.

Fourteen girls basketball teams will play over the next three days at the gyms of the host schools. The winners of the San Marcos and Rio Mesa brackets will play for the championship on Saturday at San Marcos at 7:30 p.m.

Santa Barbara High, which has several returning players from last year’s Channel League co-championship team, and Foothill Tech, a CIF-SS division finalist and regional semifinalist last season, lead the San Marcos bracket.

Santa Barbara plays its first game against Santa Ynez at 4:30 p.m., at San Marcos on Wednesday. The Dons originally were scheduled to play at Rio Mesa at 7:30 p.m., but poor air quality in the Oxnard area forced games there to be moved. 

Santa Ynez was slated to open against Ventura at San Marcos. Ventura is now hosting Rio Mesa at 7:30 p.m., at its Main Street Gym.  Two other games also are being played there.

The 6 p.m. at San Marcos pits Cabrillo against Buena followed by San Marcos against Foothill Tech at 7:30 p.m. 

The Rio Mesa bracket includes Simi Valley, Pacifica, L.A. Birmingham, Santa Clara, Oxnard and Bakersfield-Centennial. Simi and Pacifica switched spots in the bracket.

Among the returnees for the Dons is sophomore guard Athena Saragoza, who was the third leading scorer on the team as a freshman with a 12.6 points-per-game average. Other experienced players include Maya Banks, Mireya Gil, Maddie Miller and Grace DeBruynkops.

San Marcos returns four key players: Megan Cunnison, Ashley Day, Juliet Dodson and Taylor Hantgin.

Gold Coast Brackets 2018 by Barry Punzal on Scribd

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