John San Jule and Zorida Ibarra put on a scoring clinic when the Midland Oaks visited the Dunn School Earwigs in a girls/boys Condor League basketball doubleheader Wednesday afternoon and evening in a battle between the two Los Olivos high schools.
In the opener, Ibarra scored 35 of the Oaks’ 41 points in Midland’s 41-27 victory.
San Jule nearly matched that in the second game, scoring 29 in Dunn’s 66-25 victory.
After Midland won the opening tip in the boys’ game, San Jule immediately stole the ball and raced in for a fast break layup.
That set the tone for the game as San Jule and teammates’ tough defense made it hard for Midland to maintain possession.
After a steal by Aidan Waters, Mert Kantul swished a 3-point shot from the left side of the key and San Jule finished off another fast break and Dunn was off to a quick 7-0 lead.
The pace was fast and furious but both teams had trouble finding the basket in a four minute stretch before Midland’s Adam Xie hit the first of his three 3-pointers to get the Oaks within four at 9-5 with just over two minutes left in the quarter,
But San Jule was quickly back in attack mode with a layup, steal and another fast break layup to close out the first quarter, giving Dunn a 14-7 lead.
“The game didn’t start out the way I hoped,” said Dunn coach and Athletic Director Tim Weir. “It was only our second day back from our winter break and we were a little bit rusty but I liked the way we played in the second half.”
The scoring picked up in the second quarter but Dunn was able to extend its lead to 15 at the half.
The Earwigs were up by six points, 24-18, when San Jule ignited a 12-3 run to close out the half.
First he grabbed a rebound and put it back up for another two points. San Jule then stole the ball and raced down court for an easy layup.
After Xie hit another three, San Jule fed Eren Baltaoglu who banked one in off the glass.
Dunn’s Preston Lin then stole ball on two consecutive Midland possessions, feeding San Jule for easy fast break layups each time.
After another steal, Baltaoglu hit a shot at the buzzer giving Dunn a 36-21 halftime lead.
“I told the boys at halftime that being athletic and fast might win some games in January but not in February and in the CIF playoffs,” said Weir. “We played a much more controlled game in the second half. We really stepped up our defense.”
Dunn broke the game opening in the third quarter, outscoring Midland 16-2 — the Oaks’ points coming on two Luke Brennan free throws.
San Jule scored another eight points in the third before sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
Weir began replacing the rest of his starters early in the fourth.
Lin was the final starter left on the floor and when he intercepted a Midland pass and scored with exactly 5-minutes left in the game it gave Dunn a 64-24 lead. Lin came out, the referees called for a running clock and the game was soon in the Dunn win column.
"We turned the ball over too many times,” said Dunn coach Ulises Castaneda. “But we’re also just back from break and have only had one practice. Adam played a nice game — he hit a bunch of threes early but then they tightened up on defense and made it tough for him to sink any late in the game. Dunn played some really tough defense. They’re a good team.”
San Jule led Dunn with 29 points and Baltaoglu chipped in 11.
“John is a tremendous player. He continually wants to improve and that’s the sign of a great player,” said Weir. “Preston is another talented player. He’s coming along nicely. Eren stepped up his scoring today and Ethan Cloyd and Mert Kantul gave us some good, strong rebounding.”
Dunn (6-1, 4-0 Condor League) plays Saturday at Ojai Valley.
Midland (1-6, 0-3) is off until next Wednesday when they host Ojai Valley.
Castaneda, who coaches both the Midland boys and girls teams, had only seven girls available in the opener — he needed just one.
Ibarra scored Midland’s first seven points as the Oaks nearly shut out the Earwigs in the first quarter.
Jessica Ji’s layup with 6-seconds left in the first got Dunn on the scoreboard but Midland led 7-2 after one.
Dunn’s Jacqui Graham scored the first points of the second quarter on a nice mid-range jump shot but those were the only points the Earwigs scored in the quarter.
Dunn’s defense did a great job against Ibarra and the Oaks but Ibarra was able to swish a 3-pointer from the top of the key and then immediately stole the ball and raced in for a one-girl fast break to make the score Ibarra 12, Dunn 4 at the half.
“This is Zorida’s first year playing basketball for us. She played for Dunn in her freshman year and then transferred to Midland. She played on our soccer team the last two years,” said Castaneda. “But she didn’t’ do it alone tonight. Violet Denckla had five blocked shots and we had 14 blocked shots overall.”
“I started high school at Dunn and I still consider it home but when my dad (JoseJuan Ibarra) got the job as Dean at Midland, I transferred over,” said Ibarra. “I’m kind of new to the sport. I play all over the court, wherever coach plays me but mostly he plays me at center. I’d rather pass than shoot but if coach says he needs me to shoot, I just do it.”
Ibarra scored Midland’s first 12 points in the third quarter, personally outscoring Dunn 12-7 in the third, before Midland’s Amanda Leppilampi broke Ibarra’s scoring streak.
But even that didn’t happen without Ibarra’s contribution.
Ibarra blocked a Dunn shot and hit the ball to Leppilampi who raced down court for an uncontested layup and a 26-11 Midland lead.
Ibarra sank another layup and later hit a free throw as the Oaks’ lead grew to 29-12.
But Dunn battled back in the fourth.
Dunn went on a 6-0 run to start the quarter — Maddie Bailey scored on a layup, Miya Beiman hit a long jumper and Bailey hit a layup in traffic to pull Dunn within 11.
After Ibarra scored on a layup, Beiman hit consecutive layups and Dunn had closed the gap to nine.
But Ibarra hit two more layups to give Midland a 35-22 lead to put the game out of reach with 2:34 left in the fourth.
Midland’s Nimco Jama scored on a jump shot with exactly two minutes left in the game and teammate Andrea Hernandez finished off a fast break with 45-seconds left for the game’s final score.
“We just didn’t have enough practice,” said Dunn coach Tom Rogowski. “We had our shots but we couldn’t get enough to drop and we just didn’t have an answer for Zorida.”
Dunn (2-5, 1-4 Condor League) plays Saturday at Ojai Valley.
Midland (2-3, 1-2) is off until next Wednesday when they host Ojai Valley.