Tuesday, June 27 , 2017, 2:47 am | Fair 57º

 
 
 
 
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Santa Barbara Can’t Keep Up With Los Alamitos in TOC Gold Division Opener

Sophia Torres of Santa Barbara tries to score against Sydney Gandy (14) and Olivia Clark of Los Alamitos. Click to view larger
Sophia Torres of Santa Barbara tries to score against Sydney Gandy (14) and Olivia Clark of Los Alamitos. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

The struggle to score from close range and a 30-point performance from sophomore sensation Cailin Crocker of Los Alamitos were too much for the Santa Barbara High girls basketball team to overcome in its Gold Division opener Tuesday at the Tournament of Champions.

The Dons shot a meager 19 percent from the floor (10 of 52) and scored just eight points in the second half in a 46-26 loss to the Griffins at J.R. Richards Gym.

Santa Barbara will next play Hanford in a consolation-round game at noon on Wednesday at home. Hanford lost a 52-50 decision against Bishop Montgomery at the San Marcos Gym. Los Alamitos plays Bishop Montgomery at 6 p.m. at Santa Barbara.

(TOURNAMENT SCORES, RESULTS)

Santa Barbara played well defensively and got some big shots from Cassandra Gordon and Kimberly Gebhardt in the first quarter to take an 11-7 lead. The Dons were up 18-15 at halftime, but the lead could've been much larger had they shot better inside five feet. The misses and Crocker's scoring kept Los Alamitos close. She had 13 of the Griffins' points in the half.

"We missed 10 lay-ups in the first half," Santa Barbara coach Andrew Butcher lamented. "So, if we made half the lay-ups, we'd have a pretty good lead.

"You know we have 11 points back from last year's squad, and offensively we struggle some times," he added. "In the second half, we were 3 for 26. I told the kids after the game if they stick together, good things can happen. Those are shots we can make."

As Santa Barbara continued its struggles at the offensive end in the second half, Crocker got some scoring help from her teammates. Asia Avinger and Olivia Clarke hit three-pointers as the Griffins outscored the Dons 12-2 and fell behind 32-20.

In the fourth quarter, Crocker made a tough three-pointer while being tightly guarded and added a pair of two-pointers and another triple to finish her big scoring night.

Gebhardt had a huge night rebounding for the Dons, grabbing a career-high 20 boards to go with eight points and four steals. Gordon finished with six points.

Kristen Sullivan, Santa Barbara's three-point threat, was held to just four shots and scored two points on free throws.

"They did a good job on her, but offensively we have to execute plays," Butcher said. "We aren't to the point where we can execute a play. First half we did some good things in transition. (Los Alamitos) adjusted and then we were done."

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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