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Boys Basketball

San Marcos’ Hot Shooting Key in Blowout of Rival Santa Barbara High

San Marcos center Jackson Stormo puts up a shot over Santa Barbara center Austin Lind Click to view larger
San Marcos center Jackson Stormo puts up a shot over Santa Barbara center Austin Lind (JC Corliss/ Noozhawk Photo)

While it may have been rainy outside, the San Marcos boys basketball team was on fire inside the Thunderhut on Wednesday night, routing Channel League rival Santa Barbara High, 72-44, in front of a raucous crowd.

The Royals (16-6, 2-1) shot 48 percent from the field and held their counterparts to 36 percent in a game that represented sweet revenge for San Marcos, who lost to the Dons (12-9, 1-1) three times last year.

After taking an early 9-8 lead, San Marcos broke the game wide open, closing the first quarter on a 16-0 run highlighted by the strong play of Stefan Korfas. Korfas scored seven of his 14 points in the first quarter while playing shutdown defense.

"Stefan is a really good on-ball defender, and he also played good team defense," said San Marcos head coach Landon Boucher. "It helped him by having four other guys playing really good defense too."

San Marcos’ Stefan Korfas lets loose a three-pointer in front of a packed Thunderhut. Click to view larger
San Marcos’ Stefan Korfas lets loose a three-pointer in front of a packed Thunderhut. (JC Corliss/ Noozhawk Photo)

Ryan Godges led the way for the Royals, scoring 16 points and knocking down four three-pointers. Jackson Stormo added 15 points and seven rebounds.

"My confidence has been building over the course of the season," explained Godges, who scored 28 points last Friday against Ventura, with eight three-pointers. "It feels great; all the hard work we put in, all the morning workouts, it's basically for Channel League and this moment especially, and it feels good to have it pay off a little bit."

Four different players made a three-pointer for San Marcos, and Stormo praised the ability of his teammates to make shots outside the arc. "It's amazing. I never have to be nervous down low if I'm having a bad game. I can find those guys."

San Marcos' defense forced 11 turnovers and only allowed Santa Barbara's shooters one made three-pointer on 12 attempts.

"We came out more loose, ready to go," explained Boucher. "Our defensive effort was really good. Our guys did a really good job of pressuring them. We were able to get stops and run in transition. Beating Santa Barbara must feel good for the boys."

On top of playing stellar defense, the Royals featured a balanced offensive attack. Ryan Fay and Kelly Mcdonald each scored six, while Grant Smith and Asher Luberto each added five points off the bench after the Royals pulled their starters in the fourth quarter.

Stormo was strong all night for San Marcos, holding Santa Barbara center Austin Lind to only six points. 

Davis Kim led Santa Barbara with 10 points off the bench. Ben Brown and Morgan Peus each added eight for the Dons, whose last Channel League loss came to San Marcos on January 14, 2015. The Dons were undefeated in Channel League play in the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 seasons.

"They took the perimeter away from us and we didn't have any inside threat," said Santa Barbara coach Dave Bregante. "Everywhere you could get beat, we got beat."

Santa Barbara’s Ben Brown floats a shot over the San Marcos defense Click to view larger
Santa Barbara’s Ben Brown floats a shot over the San Marcos defense (JC Corliss/ Noozhawk Photo)

Both teams will travel on Friday for league matchups, with San Marcos taking on Buena and Santa Barbara facing off against a red-hot Dos Pueblos. San Marcos and Santa Barbara will play each other again on February 3 at Santa Barbara.

— Noozhawk sports reporter Christian Eckert can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports and @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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