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Santa Barbara County Tournament "Won"
By Santa Barbara--(Dec. 6, 1998)

This really isn't a "tournament" in the classic sense. Each team plays at the host team's gym, and the games took place over an entire week.  Because of the limitations on the number of games played, each team can only play three games in the event (because there are only 8 teams, or at least that's what we remember from the first article we did on this last week).  Anyway, Santa Barbara's coach Jeff Lavender thinks they won, so who are we to say any different.

Santa Barbara 74, Santa Maria St. Joseph 52-- Tony Freeman scored 21 points as Santa Barbara High capped its undefeated run through the Santa Barbara County Boys Basketball Tournament with a 74-52 romp at St. Joseph Saturday night."We were both 3-0 going into this game, so I guess this makes us unofficial tournament champions,'' said Dons' coach Jeff Lavender. "We were very nervous coming in because they're very good, we were on their own court and it was a big game, playing for the championship of this tournament. We also hadn't played well the last night out against Righetti.``But we came out and played our best game of the year, with good intensity on defense throughout the whole game."

The Dons forced 24 Knight turnovers while committing just nine themselves. Point guard Ben Shelton made five steals while Freeman had four. Freeman also grabbed nine rebounds and made 10-of-13 free throws."They really had trouble guarding him," Lavender said. Brent Williams scored 14 points while Craig Crist and Sean Kelley added 11 apiece. Kelley also took three charges and grabbed five rebounds.  St. Joseph, which returns four starters off last year's CIF 4-AA championship team, was led by Chris Merlo with 15 points and Matt Cova with 14. 

In other Santa Barbara County Tournament games:

Dos Pueblos 77, Righetti 63: The Chargers sank seven 3-pointers to conclude Santa Barbara County Tournament play with its victory at Righetti. Johnny Ortiz drilled a trio of treys for 20 points while ShanTay Legans hit two more while scoring a game-high 28 points. Alex Jenkins added 16 points for DP. The Chargers, 3-1, trailed 32-31 at halftime before edging ahead 51-47 by the end of the third quarter. John Thomas scored 17 points to lead Righetti, 2-2.

Lompoc 64, Carpinteria 58: After Carpinteria jumped out to a 25-13 lead in the first quarter, Lompoc whittled away at it and overcame the tiring Warriors in the second half. Carpinteria's junior forward Chris Redfield sank four 3-point shots in the first half and seven in the game, leading all scorers with 22 points. John Barbieri added 20 points for the Warriors before fouling out. Jermon Barnes scored 20 for the Braves, and Lyndon Conaway had 12 points. It was Lompoc's first victory of the season, leaving both teams with 1-3 records.

Santa Ynez 68, Valley Christian 67 (OT)--Sheldon Muller grabbed a deflected shot and reversed in the game-winning basket as time expired to give the Pirates an overtime victory over the visiting Lions in a Santa Barbara County Basketball Tournament game. Santa Ynez, which trailed by nine points with four minutes left in regulation, rallied behind Corey Berghoefer, who scored 16 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. That included a basket with just two seconds left in regulation which was assisted by point guard Kelly Muller. The Pirates, 3-2, also got 15 points from Sheldon Muller and 12 from Don Dreher."They just killed us from the 3-point line,'' said Pirate coach Greg Zuffelato. "They extended our big guys and kept running them in circles, but we made a big comeback in the fourth quarter."  Valley Christian, 0-5, made 8-of-22 shots from the 3-point line, with Mike Christopherson sinking three and David Carnell and Aaron Ophaug adding two apiece. Ophaug led the Lions with 21 points, Carnell scored 19 and Christopherson added 13.

The Swish Award
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