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Fast start leads Dons to season sweep of the Royals in boys basketball

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Santa Barbara uses a big first quarter to defeat San Marcos 57-43.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sometimes it's how you start a game that leads to a victory.

Santa Barbara jumped out to a 17-5 lead after the first quarter and San Marcos could not never quite catch up.

The Dons beat the Royals 57-43 to complete a season sweep over their rivals as they stay on track for at least a share of a Channel League title.

DJ Wilson made three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter to lead the Dons to a wire-to-wire victory.

Luke Zuffelato scored a game-high 20 points for Santa Barbara who looked like they would blow out the Royals after leading by 19 points in the second quarter.

Will Harman finished off a 21-4 Santa Barbara run with two of his 11 points as they led 26-7.

But sophomore Koji Hefner made a 4-point play and then a tough mid-range jumper to lead the Royals to a 9-0 run to close the first half and they were down just 26-16.

Hefner scored a team-high 13 points for San Marcos.

Zuffelato made a couple of tough shots driving into traffic in the third quarter as the Dons built up a 36-24 lead.

But the Royals answered back behind Shane Kadlec who made a sweeping hook shot and a three-pointer and it was 39-33 after three quarters.

Kadlec cut the Dons lead to a one possession game early in the fourth quarter at 39-36.

He finished with 10 points and sophomore guard Brody Green added 9 for San Marcos.

But after the Royals cut the deficit to three Santa Barbara immediately responded.

Tobin Shyrock dished off one of his 8 assists as Finn Whipps scored inside plus he was fouled and he completed a 3-point play.

Whipps collected 12 rebounds for the Dons.

Wilson, who finished with 15 points, nailed his fourth three-pointer to push the lead to 45-36 with under five minutes to go and the Royals did not have another push left.

The Dons and their visiting fans celebrated a win at the Thunderhut to improve to 20-7 overall and 12-1 in league.

Santa Barbara remains tied for first with Oxnard with one regular season game left.

The Dons are at Rio Mesa on Wednesday and the Yellowjackets host Ventura.

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Mike Klan

Mike Klan is the sports director for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Mike, click here.


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