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Boys Basketball

Santa Barbara Beats Buena on Ben Brown’s Clutch Free Throws

The pressure was on. Santa Barbara High was down by one point to Buena in its Channel League boys basketball opener and shooting free throws with 10 seconds left in game.

Santa Barbara’s Ben Brown drives to the basket for two of his 22 points against Buena. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara’s Ben Brown drives to the basket for two of his 22 points against Buena. (Gary Kim photo)

It was no problem for senior Ben Brown. He calmly sank them both and the Dons escaped with a 59-58 victory at J.R. Richards Gym.

Brown, a starter on last year's team that won a CIF-Southern Section title, scored 22 points to lead all scorers. Morgan Peus had nine points, Aiden Douglas eight, Davis Kim six and Anthony Trujillo five.

After getting outscore 16-8 in the first quarter, Santa Barbara (12-8, 1-0) erupted for 22 points in the second and led 48-45 after three quarters.

"We just settled down," Santa Barbara coach David Bregante said of the difference in the first quarter and the rest of the game. "I think we were nervous. I think all of a sudden this game was bigger than life. I called a time out and told them to settle down and relax."

Buena missed the front end of a one-and-one and Santa Barbara rebounded with 30 seconds to go. The Dons put the ball in Brown's hands and he was fouled.

Bregante knew Brown would come through with the game on the line.

"He's been there," Bregante said of Brown's experience. "He's a guy who played big minutes in the CIF championship game. He hit a shot at La Mirada in the semifinals that won the game for us. He's been there, he's been in big moments before."

Josh Edward hit four three-pointers and finished with 19 points to lead Buena, which fell to 0-2 in league. Devin Cole had 18 and Tito Mendez 13.

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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