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Girls Basketball

San Marcos Girls End Channel League Drought by Holding Off Dos Pueblos

Milan McGary of San Marcos drives to the hoop during the Royals’ 38-31 victory over Dos Pueblos. Click to view larger
Milan McGary of San Marcos drives to the hoop during the Royals’ 38-31 victory over Dos Pueblos. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

San Marcos won its first Channel League girls basketball game since 2010, beating crosstown rival Dos Pueblos, 38-31, in the league opener on Friday night at Sovine Gym.

"We wanted it really bad," San Marcos coach Chris Hantgin said. "We tried really hard and I think at times maybe too hard. But we've been really working hard on defense, we kept preaching it throughout the game. We said our defense was going to do it for us. (DP) hit 20 in the first half and had only 11 in the second half."

The Royals used a scrambling, trapping defense to take DP out of an offensive rhythm.

Senior Milan McGary paced the San Marcos' attack with 17 points, including a pair of three-pointers in the fourth quarter that allowed the Royals to break open a one-point game (29-28).

"Milan showed up when we needed her," Hantgin said. "She struggled for a lot of  the game but made a big three and a couple of free throws and did a good job on defense."

McGary played her first two years at DP, and Hantgin felt she pressed hard to beat her former team.

"She was dead tired and found a way to get through it," he said.

San Marcos went on an 8-0 run late in the third period to overcome a seven-point deficit (25-18) and take a 26-25 advantage. Sierra Cavaletto of DP hit a three-pointer with 31 seconds left in the quarter to put the Chargers up 28-26.

The Royals used a trapping defense to force turnovers and prevent DP from getting good looks at the basket. The Chargers went scoreless for nearly five minutes in the fourth quarter.

Sierra Cavaletto scored 13 points to lead Dos Pueblos (2-4, 0-1).

Ashley Day had nine points and Taylor Hantgin six for San Marcos (10-2, 1-0).

The Chargers pulled to 32-31 and had the ball out of bounds. But San Marcos stole the inbounds pass and McGary buried a three  to give the Royals a cushion with 1:05 left.

Dos Pueblos stole the ball only to throw it away down the stretch.

"If it wasn't for a couple of bad mistakes in the fourth quarter, we had a chance to win," said DP coach Phil Sherman.


Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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