The 2019-20 season came to an end for the San Marcos High boys basketball team Friday night, as they fell to Bonita High by a score of 63-48.
The Royals (18-9, 9-1 in Channel League), who came in ranked No. 11 in the CIF-SS Div. 2A rankings, fell behind 20-13 at the end of the first quarter before the Bearcats, who were ranked No. 3 in Div. 2A, opened up a 38-24 lead at the half.
Bonita (27-2, 10-0 in the Palomares League) took a 48-35 lead after three quarters, though a late-game run by San Marcos cut the deficit to six points midway through the fourth. The hosts would close the game on a run of their own to secure the win and advance.
“We just played a really good team,” San Marcos coach Jelani Hicks told the News-Press by phone after the game. “They were very similar to us. They were scrappy and a tough bunch.”
Isaiah Hicks finished with a team-high 13 points for the Royals. Senior Gideon Van Bogelen finished with 10, while fellow seniors Tony Njia and Tommy Condon each scored seven.
“We played well in stretches, but in the playoffs, it comes down to execution and getting stops. Tonight, we just weren’t consistent enough in those areas,” Hicks said.
John Connolly had a solid defensive game for San Marcos, but as a team, the Royals just were unable to sustain enough offense to breakthrough. Hicks gave credit to the Bearcats for being the aggressor and keeping the Royals off-balance throughout the game.
“That’s a testament to (Bonita),” Hicks said. “They just kept attacking. Their bigs were very active, they got solid guard play and they had a bunch of shooters. It was a good group effort for them, not just like one person just dominated.”
For Bonita, Michael Horne finished with 13, Gavin Eckler had 11 and Jordan Lopez had 10 points.
“I’m obviously proud of our guys,” Hicks said. “We wanted to make a run and go further, but this is just how it turns out.”