Santa Barbara High held off a fourth-quarter rally by Ventura and escaped with a 54-50 non-league boys basketball victory at Bob Tuttle Gym on Monday.

The Dons led by as many as 13 points in the second half before the Cougars came roaring back.

“In the fourth quarter, our inexperience reared its head as we allowed Ventura to cut into the lead,” said coach Corey Adam.

Mikey Denver converted a clutch three-point play with 2:30 to go to give Santa Barbara a cushion.

Freshman Luke Zuffelato led the Dons with 20 points and Andre Battle chipped in 10.

“It was a good team effort all the way around and we gained valuable experience learning to close out a foruth quarter,” said Adam.

The Dons (2-2) play their home opener on Thursday against Pioneer Valley.

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.