They finally did it. Girls basketball will now be among the 50-plus CIF championships won at Santa Barbara High School.
Sophomore sensation Amber Melgoza scored a game-high 38 points and senior Desirea Coleman added 16 as the Dons overwhelmed Lakeside 67-43 to win the CIF Division 3AA title. It's the Dons first Southern Section crown in girls basketball. They lost in the 1989 finals.
A jittery first quarter by both teams left Santa Barbara leading 10-6. The Dons found their rhythm late in the second quarter as they end the first half on a 12-0 run to lead 27-16. Melgoza had 14 first half points and Coleman had 11.
Santa Barbara played a strong second half as they got its fast break in gear with Melgoza scoring on several layups and acrobatic shots. The Dons led 49-31 heading into the fourth quarter.
With a big lead, the Dons were able to get all of their seniors some playing time.
Melgoza made 16 of 30 shots from the field and had a game-high 9 rebounds. Coleman, a four-year starter, had a game-high 7 assists along with those 16 points.
The Dons are now 26-5 and the season is not over. They will host a State Tournament game on Wednesday.