A fast start set the tone for the Dos Pueblos boys basketball team in a 59-44 Channel League win over Cabrillo on Thursday at Sovine Gym.
The Chargers hit a trio of three-pointers and went on a pair of scoring runs to open up a 19-10 lead in the first quarter and never trailed the rest of the way en route to their third league win against two losses.
“We asked for a fast start,” coach Joe Zamora said. “The first four minutes are really key against that team.
“Our guys got out, they shared the ball and they ran our stuff. We got wide-open looks. We like to run, and they made good decisions in transition tonight.”
Joaquin Riker and Joe Talarico hit three-pointers and Grant Hughes scored off a lob from Riker for an 8-0 run to put DP ahead 10-3 after three minutes. The Chargers ended the quarter on a 7-0 run, with Kael Rillie accounting for five of the points on a three-pointer and two free throws.
Cabrillo, behind slick point guard Lorenzo Martinez and Brad McCune’s strong play in the post, pulled to within three, 21-18, early in the second quarter and trailed by five at halftime, 29-24.
DP’s defense stepped up in the third quarter, and the Chargers were aided when Martinez picked up his third foul with five minutes left in the period.
Riker made a 15-foot shot and followed with a three-pointer to put the Chargers up by eight, 37-29.
He finished as DP’s scoring leader with 16 points following a tough shooting night at Santa Barbara on Tuesday.
“He can stroke it,” Zamora said of his senior. “He’s confident. He had a couple of missed layups here and there, and we joked with him about that. But that’s all part of it. We can know he can shoot it.”
McCune converted a three-point play to cut Cabrillo’s deficit to five (37-32), but DP answered with five straight points to go up by 10 at the end of the quarter.
Talarico hit two free throws, Krue Court scored on a drive and Talarico made another free throw after a violent collision with Zach Radabaugh on a drive in the key. Radabaugh was called for blocking.
Zamora said Cabrillo coach Steve Coleman thought Talarico was a football player.
“He asked me, ‘Who’s No. 10?,’” said Zamora. ‘Oh, that’s Joe.’ I forgot that (Coleman) didn’t see him play last year because he was playing baseball.
“He asked, ‘Does he play football?’”
Zamora replied, “‘No, he’s a baseball player.’”
Zamora said Coleman’s response was: “‘I‘ve seen him in the video and he’s all over (the place); he bumps off people, he’s like a running back.’”
The DP coach then added: “He’s a little sore right now.”
Riker and Hughes helped the Chargers pull away in the fourth quarter, combining for 13 points. Riker scored eight, with his last basket coming off a spectacular assist from Kael Rillie.
Rillie hung in the air and looked around before whipping a pass to his senior teammate for a layup and a 57-40 lead.
Hughes scored 15 points and Talarico added 13 for the Chargers.
McCune scored 18 points and Radabaugh had nine to lead Cabrillo, which is now 3-3 in league.