SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara girls basketball fought back valiantly in the second half of Saturday's CIF Div. 2AA Second Round game, but the Dons' comeback came up short.
Athena Saragoza led the charge and the Dons had a chance to tie or win the game on the final possession, but the visiting Crean Lutheran Saints held on for a 55-53 win.
Caia Trimble helped the Dons rebound from a tough first half, but with the ball in her hands she could not get a shot off before the final buzzer sounded.
Trailing 31-19 at the break and by 18 points in the second half, Saragoza captained the Dons' offensive barrage with layups, free throws and pull-up jumpers. Santa Barbara came all the way back to tie the game at 53 on Saragoza's late free throws before a Saints bucket in the final minute gave them a slim lead.
It was a bitter way to end an exciting game and a terrific season for the Channel League champion Dons, who went undefeated in league play.