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Turnovers Plague Chargers in Loss to Dons

By Tim Heiduk

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Senior Nick Ditmeijer drives to the basket early in the first quarter against Santa Barbara. Ditmeijer injured his knee on the play, and would not return. (Photo / Felipe Garcia).

Senior Nick Ditmeijer drives to the basket early in the first quarter against Santa Barbara. Ditmeijer injured his knee on the play, and would not return. (Photo / Felipe Garcia).

After trailing by 13 points, the Dos Pueblos boys’ basketball team used a 9-1 run to cut Santa Barbara’s lead to five. Following a timeout, SB responded with a 10-1 run of its own to end the first half, leading 40-26. The Dons remained in control the rest of the way, defeating DP, 69-47, on Friday, Jan. 17 in the Sovine Gymnasium.

Anthony Trujillo made a three pointer, Diego Riker hit a fall away jumper and Marcellous Gossett made a floater off a nice pass from Jayson Williams to spark DP’s comeback late in the second quarter. But the Chargers ultimately paid the price for their turnovers, including 12 in the first half.

“We had some crucial turnovers too that hurt us at times,” said DP head coach Joe Zamora.

SB played well defensively, not only forcing DP turnovers, but forcing the Chargers to take contested shots.

“We did a good job of staying in front of them [DP],” said Dons’ head coach David Bregante. “We did a good job of identifying their shooters.”

SB drew 28 DP fouls, which resulted in 43 free throws for the visitors.

“Against San Marcos we settled for too many jump shots,” said Bregante. “We got to get to the basket and we got to get to the free throw line.”

Bolden Brace, SB’s star scorer, led the Dons with 19 points after scoring 22 against San Marcos on Wednesday.

“Our plan was to just hopefully keep Bolden [Brace] under wraps,” said Zamora on his team’s game plan heading into the game. “We wanted everyone else to try to beat us.”

Brace was unphased by the Chargers’ attention on him, and was also effective in other areas of his game. The junior made plays on the defensive end and set up his teammates to score.

“Tonight he [Brace] really showed a lot of leadership,” said Bregante. “He was encouraging guys out there, telling guys where to be, telling them what we were running.”

SB’s Ben Clay was a force in the paint for the Dons, scoring points and bringing down rebounds. Clay finished with 16 points.

“Ben [Clay] started taking over the game on the rebounds,” said Bregante.

Nick Busch added 12 points for the Dons.

Gossett and Trujillo, both sophomores, led the young Chargers with nine points apiece. There are two other sophomores on DP’s roster, Riker and Dylan Shugart, and Zamora says all four are “getting a lot of experience right now.”

Williams, a junior, scored seven points for DP.

DP has only three seniors, and one of those seniors, Nick Ditmeijer, injured his knee on a drive to the basket 1:25 into the game. Ditmeijer did not return, which was a huge loss for the Chargers.

“Losing Nick [Ditmeijer] real early in the game really put us on our heels,” said Zamora.

The severity of Ditmeijer’s injury is not yet known, but Zamora said, “We’re going to hope for the best.”

DP travelled down to the San Diego area Saturday morning to take on Mira Mesa.

The Chargers will spend the night in San Diego, as part of “a good team-bonding trip,” Zamora said. “We’re going to go down there, we’re going to have fun as a team. We’re going to hopefully compete, and it will be an opportunity for us just to get away and play in front of the school where I used to coach at.”

DP (3-13, 0-2 Channel League) will search for its first Channel League win on Wednesday night versus Buena (13-4, 0-1 Channel League), before taking on rival San Marcos away on Friday.

“I think right now it’s [good that] we got our first two league games out [and] we know what we’re talking about,” said junior Eli Wopat. “Everyone’s now had experience with a big rival game.”

“We have the talent, we have the capability, we have the depth. It’s just getting the experience now and now getting the little things to fall together,” said Wopat.

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Turnovers Plague Chargers in Loss to Dons