Practice pays off on Burke’s big shot

In a way, the amazing finish of Friday’s boys basketball game between Santa Barbara and San Marcos was a long time in the making.

At Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon, Royals head coach Dave Odell remembered when he used to see Noah Burke at the Eastside Boys & Girls Club practicing half-court shots.

The situation was the same on Friday night but the stakes were much, much higher.

Odell watched Burke track down a loose ball in the final seconds of Friday night’s game with Santa Barbara, then successfully heave a half-court shot for the improbable one-point win.

“I spent Friday night sleeplessly tossing and turning in my bed after Noah made his big shot,” Odell said.

Trying to see the positive of a tough loss, Odell said he was happy to see hard work and practice pay off.

“There were a lot of great lessons learned in that game,” Odell said. “I’m happy to be a part of it even though the loss is still stinging.”

Burke and Dons teammate Matt Wagonhurst were sitting 10 feet from Odell, joined by assistant coach Kim Kjar.

“It’s really neat to see a young man get an opportunity to be hoisted in front of a crowd and environment like that,” Kjar said.

The Royals and Dons are now just separated by one game in the standings going forward.

Dos Pueblos, which began the season out front in Channel League, has been knocked off balance with the loss of Jackson Wopat, Zachary Shugart and Cruz Mertens to injury.

Healthy bodies Jacob Rodriguez, Devon Ray and Eric Olson joined Chargers assistant coach John Slavin at the luncheon.

The other boys basketball team represented was Bishop Diego, which came with Will Busch and Male Athlete of the Week Caleb Richey.

Richey scored 25 or more points in three games last week, including a rivalry win over Carpinteria and a key Tri-Valley League victory over St. Bonaventure.

“He’s a leader by example,” said Cardinals assistant coach Patrick Davis. “He never takes a day off, works extremely hard.”

The three Channel League schools were present with girls soccer factions. Like boys basketball, there are multiple teams still in the hunt for a league title.

Dos Pueblos and Female Athlete of the Week Ady Willett handed Santa Barbara its first loss last week. Willett scored both goals in the important win.

Ian Hall was recognized as San Marcos’ Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Hall is a four-sport athlete that carries a 4.73 GPA in the classroom. The senior has been accepted to Yale University but hasn’t made his final college decision.

“But Ian Hall is much more than grades and sports,” said San Marcos teacher and coach Marylin Hantgin. “Three words come to mind to describe Ian: community, leadership, and dedication.”

Hall is a captain on the boys soccer team and also participates in cross country, football and track & field. The National Honor Society member is the San Marcos ASB President and has received the Santa Barbara Community Service Award and a California Youth Leadership Award.

The Westmont basketball teams reported on undefeated weeks. Both top-10 teams are climbing in the NAIA rankings and are in first place in GSAC.

SBCC sports information director Dave Loveton had more success to report on from the college basketball front. The Lady Vaqueros picked up a historic win at Ventura two weeks ago. SBCC ended the Pirates’ 66-game winning streak in the WSC North and snapped their WSC home winning streak that stretched back 23 years.

Next week’s luncheon will be held at Earl Warren Showgrounds for the annual Women & Girls in Sports Luncheon, which welcomes Olympic swimmer Kaitlin Sandeno as keynote speaker. The event is open to the public.

STUDENT-ATHLETES PRESENT

Caleb Richey, Bishop Diego Basketball
Matt Wagonhurst, Santa Barbara Basketball
Noah Burke, Santa Barbara Basketball
Ady Willett, Dos Pueblos Soccer
Jamie Benedetto, Dos Pueblos Soccer
Rachel Smith, Dos Pueblos Soccer
Brian Quintero, San Marcos Soccer
Joe Meza, San Marcos Soccer
Will Busch, Bishop Diego Basketball
Jacob Rodriguez, Dos Pueblos Basketball
Devon Ray, Dos Pueblos Basketball
Eric Olson, Dos Pueblos Basketball
Megan Flynn, Santa Barbara Soccer
Hannah Brisby, Santa Barbara Soccer
Kaitlyn Saperstein, San Marcos Soccer
Carly Yarnell, San Marcos Soccer
Erin Saito, Carpinteria Basketball
Amy Davis, Carpinteria Basketball
Natalie Saito, Carpinteria Soccer
Kelsie Bryant, Carpinteria Soccer
Andrea Delgado, Carpinteria Water Polo
Vanessa Vega, Carpinteria Water Polo
Kelsey Gellert, San Marcos Water Polo
Kelly Purling, San Marcos Water Polo
Madison Ballard-Rozok, Bishop Diego Basketball
Michelle Garcia, Bishop Diego Basketball

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