Carter Battle drives to the basket
Carter Battle of Santa Barbara drives past Oxnard's Reese Widerburg during the the first half of the Channel League game at J.R. Richards Gym. Credit: Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo

The 52 points scored by the Santa Barbara High boys basketball team against top-ranked Oxnard were the most allowed by the Yellow Jackets in Channel League play this season.

Oxnard countered that with its biggest scoring output in league and beat the Dons 84-52 on Monday night at J.R. Richards Gym.

Santa Barbara trailed by 10 (41-31) early in the third quarter after a Luke Zuffelato three-point play. Oxnard’s Marcos Ramirez then buried a three-pointer to start 10-0 run, and the Dons never got close again.

Oxnard, (21-2, 10-0) the No. 1 team in CIF-SS Division 2AA, made 10 three-pointers in the second half and 14 for the game compared to Santa Barbara’s total of four from behind the arc.

Reese Widerburg buried four threes and scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half to lead three Oxnard players in double figures. Ramirez buried three treys in the third quarter and finished with 18 points and post player Dominick Contreras had 16 points, all coming in the first half.

“They got the complete team,” said Santa Barbara coach Corey Adam of Oxnard. “Dom’s a really good post player and then in the second half he gets in foul trouble and goes out, and then it seemed like they didn’t miss a three, for crying out loud.”

Oxnard made six threes in the third quarter and extended its lead to 62-41.

Adam shook his head as Widerburg made a crazy three from the corner in the fourth quarter. Under tight defensive pressure, he stepped back and leaned back to knocked down the shot for a 68-43 lead.

“What are you gonna do?” said Adam.

Zuffelato hit a pair of threes in the first half and finished the game with 16 points to lead Santa Barbara (6-3 in league, 12-11 overall). Carter Battle made some impressive drives to the basket and finished with 10 points.

“That’s a good team. They’re top 20 in Southern California for a reason,” said Adam of the Yellow Jackets. “I thought we were better tonight than when we played them the first time. We just couldn’t make any three pointers. If we’re gonna be close in a game like this, we got to make 10 or 12. If we make 10, it’s a 10-point game.”

Adam was pleased how much better the Dons played than first meeting at Oxnard (a 73-29 loss). 

“We really felt like the kids made great improvement,” he said. “We feel they executed the game plan, but they just didn’t make the shots.”

Santa Barbara’s next game is at Ventura on Wednesday before a Friday crosstown showdown with San Marcos on Friday.

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

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