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Friday, February 22 , 2019, 3:22 am | Fair 46º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Boys Basketball

San Marcos Achieves Goal of Winning Channel League Title With a Perfect Record

Four starters score in double figures in a 65-64 victory at Buena

The San Marcos boys basketball team celebrates winning the Channel League title with a perfect 8-0 record. Click to view larger
The San Marcos boys basketball team celebrates winning the Channel League title with a perfect 8-0 record. (Ryder Riva photo)

VENTURA — It was a “goal-den” moment for the San Marcos boys basketball team on Thursday night.

The Royals achieved their goals of winning the outright Channel League title with a perfect 8-0 record by beating Buena, 65-64, in the Bulldogs’ gym.

It’s the school’s first boys’ league title since 2010 and the first spotless league record since the 1980-81 Runnin’ Royals. That team went to the CIF-SS Finals.

“Our goal was to win league, go 8-0, beat Santa Barbara and DP twice,” San Marcos coach Landon Boucher said. “And, it was a goal for our seniors to leave a legacy, and I think tonight was a legacy-earning night.”

Godges was ecstatic about winning the title outright. 

“It’s amazing,” he said. “I’m so proud of my team. No one cares about scoring, no cares about their personal agendas, it’s all about the team. I don’t care if I have zero points as long as we win.”

Godges made three three-pointers in the game, giving him 101 for the season.

Thursday’s performance, however, was a testament to the superb teamwork and balance the Royals (21-6) have demonstrated all year. Four of the five starters were in double figures, with point guard Stef Korfas scoring 15 and Ryan Godges, David Frohling and Jackson Stormo each dropping in 14 points. 

“I’ve never been on a team my entire life, in any sport, where the guys are so unselfish. It’s amazing, Godges raved. “Everyone has been stepping up. I’ve been playing with Stormo since 7th grade and we’ve been working our butts off every day. I’m proud of him, too.”

Stef Korfas gets off a shot while being pressured from behind by Buena’s Devin Cole. Click to view larger
Stef Korfas gets off a shot while being pressured from behind by Buena’s Devin Cole. (Ryder Riva photo)

Said Boucher: “They’re so balanced and they play well together and make each other better. We have a lot of guys creating their own baskets, but a lot baskets are because someone is making them better. That has a lot to do with the balance.”

Devin Cole played a stellar game for Buena (19-5, 6-2 in league), pouring in 25 points while being hounded by Nate Fay and Beau Allen all night. Micah Rea had 11 points.

Korfas set the tone for the Royals in the first, handling the ball against Buena pressure, hitting three shots from behind the arc and attack the rim. His play propelled San Marcos to a 37-25 lead at halftime.

“We hit seven threes in the first half. That’s good,” said Boucher.

“I thought  it was a team effort even though I was hitting the shots,” Korfas said. “Guys were finding me and we did a great job. Everybody is worried about Stormo in the paint, so it’s easy for me to get open looks and David kicking it out. It was a team effort. I’m just so proud of everyone.”

Stormo grabbed an offensive rebound and fed Frohling inside for a layup, giving San Marcos a 46-36 lead late in the third quarter. Buena then got hot. Cole found Rea for a basket, Coby Barbar buried a three and Cole scored after some nifty dribbling to shake Fay’s tough defense, pulling the Bulldogs within six, 49-43, at the end of the quarter.

The Bulldogs scored the first two baskets of the fourth quarter to cut the San Marcos lead to two (49-47). Frohling then knocked down a huge three-pointer. Phil Drescher scored off a Tito Mendez assist before Stormo and Beau Allen combined for three free throws to make it 55-49.

San Marcos pushed its lead to 61-54 after Korfas made a tough 10-foot jumper following an Allen offensive rebound and Stormo scored inside with a minute left.

The Royals made 4 of 6 free throws in the final 37 seconds to hold off the Bulldogs and finish as undefeated league champions.

“The last time was my dad’s senior year,” said Korfas, whose father Jon, is an assistant coach. “I’m also so happy for him because I know he wanted us to go 8-0.

“And, after everything we’ve been through, it’s a great accomplishment.”

Now come the CIF playoffs. The Royals started the week ranked fifth in the 2A Division. 

“I still feel like we have a lot more to give," Korfas said. "There are five more games, and hopefully we can accomplish our other goal.”

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