Michelle Arellanes of San Marcos girls basketball
Michelle Arellanes, shown in an earlier game, scored 25 points to lead San Marcos past Santa Barbara High. Credit: Lily Chubb / Noozhawk file photo

San Marcos’ defensive pressure and up-tempo attack overwhelmed Santa Barbara High for a 70-18 Channel League girls basketball win on Saturday at J.R. Richards Gym.

The Royals bolted out to a 23-2 lead in the first quarter and led 40-9 at halftime.

“Everyone on the team contributed to the win tonight offensively and defensively,” said San Marcos coach Tiffany Simms. “(We had) good energy and great communication on both sides of the floor. It was good to see the girls playing the game the way I know they can.”

Michelle Arellanes scored 25 points and Natasha Stapf had 20 to lead the Royals, who are 7-5 and one game behind fourth-place Buena with two games left in the regular season. They host second-place Pacifica on Tuesday and play at last-place Rio Mesa on Thursday.

Santa Barbara’s high scorer was Dayzia Mendoza with six points.

The Dons were hurt by early foul trouble and the defensive pressure of San Marcos. 

“I thought their defense was outstanding and we weren’t able to get anything going offensively,” said Santa Barbara coach Andrew Butcher. “We were unable to make the adjustments to handle their pressure.

“Back to the drawing board.”

Santa Barbara (2-19, 1-10) plays at Rio Mesa on Tuesday and finishes up with two games against Pacifica, at home on Wednesday and at Pacifica on Thursday.

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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.