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Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 2:29 pm | Overcast 60º

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Boys Basketball

Santa Barbara Can’t Overcome Cold-Shooting, Inspired Cabrillo Squad in Bashore Classic

The shots weren’t falling for the Santa Barbara High boys basketball team, and that spelled trouble against an inspired Cabrillo squad on the opening night of the Jim Bashore Holiday Cage Classic at Carpinteria High.

The defending tournament champions scored only 14 points in the first half and wound up falling 62-40 in its first pool-play game Friday night.

“We missed some shots and got down on ourselves,” Santa Barbara coach Dave Bregante said.  “The team we have we got to make shots. We don’t have much of a presence inside, and (Cabrillo) did a really good job on challenging us on the perimeter.”

Cabrillo’s defense shut down Dons senior guard Ben Brown, holding him to four points, while the Conquistadores’ all-everything player Leandrew Knight paced the offense. The junior finished with a game-high 22 points, including a trio of three-pointers in the third quarter that helped open up a 44-32 lead.

“He’s an all-around guy, he’s the head of the snake,” Cabrillo coach C.J. Simmons said of the 6-foot-2 Knight. “When he’s on, all the other guys are on.”

After knocking down threes in the third quarter, Knight opened the fourth with a steal and layup. He put the finishing touch on his productive night by banking in three-pointer to beat the shot-clock buzzer.

“I don’t think they can play much better,” Bregante said of the Conquistadores. “They were banking in threes and we couldn’t buy a basket in the first half.”

Jordan Taylor, Cabrillo’s 6-7 post player, scored 14 points and Blake Beecher added 11.

Anthony Trujillo was the lone Santa Barbara player in double figures with 14 points. He got hot in the third quarter, scoring nine straight points, including a three-pointer.

“I thought we played better offensively in the second half but we didn’t get any stops,” said Bregante.

He called the team’s overall shooting performance its worst of the season.

Santa Barbara fell to 5-4 on the season while Cabrillo improved to 6-1. The Conquistadores are ranked 16th in Division 3A of the CIF-Southern Section.

“In our preseason, we want to play for that,” Simmons said of being ranked, “to get that respect. And, to take care of a team like Santa Barbara, it helps.”

Cabrillo plays Atascadero in a battle of 1-0 teams in pool play at 1:30 p.m. Santa Barbara takes on Bishop Diego at 4:30 p.m.

Bregante expects a hard-fought battle against the Cardinals.

“It will be Bishop’s CIF game,” he said.

Atascadero 57, Bishop Diego 49

The Cardinals kept it close until the fourth quarter. Kyler Warren, Atascadero's 6-8 center, scored back-to-back baskets during a 7-0 run to open up a 10-point lead (54-44) for the Greyhounds with 1:53 left in the game.

Besides Warren, Atascadero has a 6-6 guard in Elijah Cooks. Warren scored 14 points and Levi Williams had 20 for the Greyhounds (4-1).

"We dug deep to keep it close in the second half but our shooting was off," said Bishop coach James Coronado. "I loved our effort on defense; we kept ourselves in the game, we just needed one or two key shots to fall."

Bishop Diego got 16 points from Nick Martel and 10 from Dylan Streett.

It was the first loss of the season for the Cardinals (3-1), who play Santa Barbara on Saturday.

Foothill Tech 47, Laguna Blanca 30

Jackson Hurley hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points for the Owls in a Group C game.

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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