Bitter loss to Dons sweetened by Fernandez’s collegiate commitment
By Philip Spadoro | Staff Writer
January 24, 2013
Wednesday night’s boys basketball game was bittersweet for Charger fans.
Despite an amazing late fourth quarter comeback attempt, the Dons ended up defeating the Chargers in DP’s very own Sovine Gymnasium.
Final score, 61-53.
However the loss was paired with the unusual halftime show of senior student-athlete, Bryan Fernandez, announcing his commitment to University of Oregon on a running scholarship.
Before the halftime entertainment, Santa Barbara started out with aggressive defense.
Within the first quarter alone, the Dons had four defensive fouls and were able to match the Dos Pueblos offensive, finishing the quarter tied at 17-17.
The Dons began to pull ahead at the beginning of the second quarter with the lead of 21-17 and kept the momentum the rest of the game. Another five unanswered Santa Barbara points put the Dons up 26-17. Before the quarter was over the Dons had expanded their lead and sent the Chargers back to the locker room down 37-22.
Halftime was a well needed pick-me-up for the Dos Pueblos fans.
The show began when Fernandez, number one in the state in cross country, stepped out on the court in his well earned letterman jacket. Underneath he wore the shirt of the university that recruited him to compete in cross country at the collegiate level. When the buttons of his letterman’s separated and revealed the gray University of Oregon t-shirt, the Charger stands erupted with applause and cheers.
Despite the Chargers’ down at halftime, the mood of the gym had shifted and fans were ready and excited to bring their energy into the second half.
With drive and determination, DP returned from the locker room ready to take over the game.
They battled their way back to the score of 34-45 when Dos Pueblos player Cruz Mertens fell to the court grabbing his ankle. Mertens was helped off the court leaving the Chargers short of a key player in their lineup.
Santa Barbara took advantage of the Charger loss and ended the third quarter with the lead of 49-36.
Determined to make sure they left absolutely everything on the court, the Chargers attempted one last comeback.
They charged their way back point by point and with 1:05 left in the fourth quarter, Erik Olson made a three-point basket which brought DP back within three points of the Dons. With only 40 seconds left, Santa Barbara made a total of six straight free-throws which sealed their victory and improving their record to 4-3 in Channel League.
The win left the Dons tied for second place with Dos Pueblos who also have a league record of 4-3 so far this season.
Despite the scoreboard displaying the Chargers on the short end, Dos Pueblos fans left the gym with pride as they all had the chance to congradulate and celebrate the hard work and dedication of Bryan Fernandez as a State Champion and soon to be Oregon student and athlete.