Bulldogs defeat Dons 52-51 at first home game

DEFENSE! Buena coach matthew colton tells his players in their timeout,

Tanner Coatsworth, staff writer

The Dogs are back in the Dog house as the varsity Buena boys basketball team had their first home game this season facing Santa Barbara in a close battle that ended with Buena getting the upper hand. 

The game versus the Dons was close, with the lead changing back and forth between the teams, however Buena had a stronger start with  junior Daniel Ortiz making a three pointer from the outside elbow. Two plays after Buena trailed 3-4, senior Darin Cole drilled a three pointer from the same spot making the score 6-3 Bulldogs. 

Center Luke Ortiz was making plays by scoring with his two post hook shots, along with his assist to Cole, who got an “and-one” and converted the free throw to complete the play.

For the remainder of the quarter, Buena relaxed on outside shots and instead pounded the ball inside, with senior Jadon DuBransky getting a floater two. They were tough on the defensive end, playing a 2-3 zone with Dubransky getting a steal which led to Cole getting a fast break layup, ending the first quarter with a score of 17-9 Bulldogs. 

The first half was a defensive game, with Buena coach Matthew Colton, shouting for double teams and ball denia, which was working, and led to two fast break layups, one from senior Blue Sierra, and another from Darin Cole.

The rest of the quarter was back and forth with senior Moses Garman hitting a corner mid range jumper and junior Joel Ipatzi hitting a corner 3. Defense was slipping and fouls were growing, with Buena having 10 at the end of the second, which ended the half with a score of 28-27 Buena. 

Our coach makes us be really precise on the plays we run, which makes us more precise.

— Darin Cole


Second half was filled with clutch moments and close calls, with the Dons obtaining the lead multiple times in the half. 

No three pointers were made, but the playmaking from DuBransky, who was setting up the offense well, led to easy passes inside to the bigman, and Sierra, who had six points in the second half alone. 

Cole stayed aggressive with his tough drives and finishes inside, and with Sierra’s clutch charging foul taken with 1:39 remaining, gave Buena the lead which they kept until they secured the win with a final score of 51-52 Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs have been practicing for a long time, and with hard work comes rewards which is what this win came from. “Just Focusing and working hard in practice,” Cole said, “Our coach makes us be really precise on the plays we run, which makes us more precise.”

Cole finished the game with an efficient 23 points and was the games leading scorer, the offense seems to revolve around him as a player. 

“We have a lot of plays that focus around trying to get me shots,” Cole said, “A lot of times I have to create my own shots for the way they defend me.”

Surely, it being just the second game of the season, Buena has lots to improve on, and some of that was displayed in this game. “We did a bad job going to the ball,” two said, “Bad passes which are easy points, our free throws need to improve as well”

It has been more than a full year since their last home game, and more than two since a regular year of school, “It felt good, road games are always more tense,” Garman said, “when you come back to your home crowd, you have your support, and your home crowd, they are there cheering for you.”

The Bulldogs are 1-1 with a tough loss to Newbury on Monday night, securing this win was a sign of relief for the program. 

The loss also helped Buena recognize what they needed to do for Tuesday night’s game. “Not playing against a team for a while made it difficult,” Cole said. “the loss helped us realize what we needed to do this game to get the win.”