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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 6:56 am | Fair 45º

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

San Marcos Girls Come Through in Crunch Time to Turn Back Cate

San Marcos sophomore Kiana Rojas hit a three-pointer to give San Marcos a one-point lead over Cate, and the Royals played tough defense down the stretch before Juliet Dodson knocked down two free throws to seal a 38-35 girls basketball win on Tuesday night at Maury Halleck Gym.

Dodson, a senior, made a key steal and was fouled to go to the line with the score 36-35. She made both free throws.

With time running out, Cate attempted a couple of three pointers. Leticia Romer grabbed the final rebound, and the Royals escaped with the exciting victory.

"Juliet was so important tonight for us," San Marcos coach Chris Hantgin said. "She gutted it out and had great senior leadership and intestinal fortitude this evening. "Leti (Romero) kept us in the game in the fourth quarter with her three buckets  and her rebounding. And then Kiani, with her outside shooting all evening, was key."

San Marcos led by nine at the end of the third quarter, but Cate fought back, going on a 17-6 run to take a 35-33 lead with a little over two minutes left in the game.

"The Cate team we were afraid of showed up," San Marcos assistant Aaron Solis said. "Elle Smith had been killing us all night long and then Meena Baher and Maya Blattberg started making plays to take the lead. We knew they were a good team and hopefully this can be a good local rivalry game in the future." 

Smith collected 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead Cate Blattberg had seven points, 12 rebounds, and three assists and Baher, a freshman, finished with seven points and four assists.

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