CHANNEL LEAGUE BOYS BASKETBALL: Beau Knows for Royals
The season of giving is over, and San Marcos High boys basketball standout Beau Allen made sure of that against rival Dos Pueblos on Friday night.
Allen’s steal at midcourt and subsequent dunk with seconds remaining capped a sensational night for him, and allowed the Royals get out of Sovine Gym with a 69-66 Channel League win.
Allen’s defensive gem and two-handed flush would have just been another terrific play in a season full of them for the talented senior had San Marcos not squandered nearly all of a 17-point fourth quarter lead.
But it wasn’t just a highlight-reel play, it was a play the Royals needed after the Chargers had the ball and a chance to tie with a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining in the game.
“That really excited me,” Allen said of his final play. “I got the steal, we were up by three and I just wanted to put two points on the board, and make it a little flashy.”
Allen held on to the rim a little too long following his dunk.
It resulted in a technical foul and two successful free throws for the Chargers, which put it back to a three-point game. Dos Pueblos had the ball and another chance to tie with a 3, but Jaron Rillie’s effort from the left wing with three defenders around him hit off the backboard, and the Royals collected the loose ball as time expired.
Allen finished with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds, and San Marcos kept its Channel League winning streak alive that dates back to the 2016-17 season.
“We’ve been just kind of following his lead,” Royals coach Jelani Hicks said of Allen. “He’s been playing great for us all year. He just does a good job of being a good leader on and off the floor for us, intensity-wise, making big plays, and just kind of keeping the guys into it.”
While Rillie’s potential game-tying 3-pointer missed for the Chargers, there would have been no last-second thrills for DP’s vocal student section and its other fans in attendance had it not been for the fourth-quarter performance of the Chargers’ senior leader.
After San Marcos point guard Isaiah Hicks made a conventional 3-point play with a layup and free throw at the 5:51 mark of the fourth to put the Royals up 61-44, Rillie went off. He buried back-to-back 3-pointers and scored 17 of his game-high 25 points in the final period. Rillie’s two successful free throws with 26 seconds remaining brought Dos Pueblos to within two at 66-64, but the Chargers would get no closer.
“I’ll tell you, I love Jaron Rillie,” Dos Pueblos coach Joe Zamora said. “He’s one of the top four guards I’ve ever coached, and I’ve coached some pretty good guards.
“He understands the game. He puts everyone on his shoulders. He’s a leader. He doesn’t point fingers, and everything he does emulates someone who’s basically a leader, and the son of a coach.”
Rillie’s father is John Rillie, the associate head coach of the UCSB men’s basketball team.
“If I had five Jaron Rillie’s, I’m going really far,” Zamora added.
San Marcos improved to 4-0 in the Channel League, while DP fell to 2-2.
Along with Allen’s effort, the Royals also benefitted from a solid game by Isaiah Hicks, who finished with 13 points and seven assists. Hicks, a sophomore, was also a pest on defense, helping to slow down Rillie for the first three quarters.
“He just brings a lot of good energy, was competitive again and showed his toughness. He did a great job,” said coach Hicks, who is Isaiah Hicks uncle.
Dos Pueblos junior forward Baylor Huyck did his part to keep the Chargers within striking distance throughout the first three quarters.
Huyck finished with 15 points, which included three 3-pointers in the second quarter and another in the third.
“He’s really stepped up for us,” Zamora said.
Dos Pueblos did itself no favors at the free-throw line.
The Chargers finished 11-for-21, missing five of them on the front end of 1-and-1s.
“Every practice we spend 10 to 12 minutes on free throws,” Zamora said. “We missed five front ends of 1-and-1s, and that hurts to lose by three points.”