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Boys Basketball’s Memorable Season

Boys basketball makes history during their memorable 2023-2024 season, making a run in Division 3AA CIF playoffs and competing in Division 3 state playoffs. The team ended with a 24-9 overall record and the Dons were Channel League champs ending 13-1. The boys accomplished many goals this season such as making the playoffs, beating Oxnard, becoming league champs, breaking both individual and team records, and qualifying for state, leaving many excited for next year’s basketball season.

The Dons played at home for the first round of playoffs against Viewpoint High School and won, 72-48, then traveled to West Torrance and won 63-44 to continue their playoff run. The Dons returned home to face the number one seed, San Clemente. It quickly turned into an exciting face-off against the Tritons when the Dons bounced back in the fourth quarter. The game ended with junior Luke Zuffelato’s game-winning three-pointer to advance to the semi-finals. The Dons won 61-59 and traveled to Bosco Tech the following week. It turned out to be the end of the run for basketball in CIF playoffs due to losing to the Tigers 59-57. Boys basketball qualified for state finals, but sadly the season came to an end when losing to San Marcos 85-81. Even with the loss, the boy’s basketball team made history becoming the sixth team in Santa Barbara High School history to make it to the state playoffs.

Junior captain Luke Zuffelato was asked if he expected to make it this far, and Zuffelato answered, “I did expect to go this far and further, I think we came up shorter than expected, but a great season could’ve ended a lot earlier.” He stated the miracle comeback against San Clemente helped the Dons get to their ultimate goal. Zuffelato added, “We couldn’t capitalize, but us not winning CIF or state shouldn’t minimize all we accomplished this year.” In response to whether he believes there’s hope for another long-run season next year, Zuffelato responded the team will be good if not better next year and it should be fun. Luke Zuffelato has had a remarkable season this year beating multiple scoring records. The records broken were most points in a game, most points in a season, most career three-pointers, most three-pointers made in a season, and most three-pointers made in a game. Next season look out for possibly more records being broken.  

Senior and team captain Tobin Shyrock was asked if there was a different game plan for state compared to playoffs and responded, “I think based on the team we played against, we had a much different game plan on how we wanted to stop this team and score on them.” Shyrock added, “From an outlook standpoint, we just wanted to get rolling again and start winning games, but came up just short.” To him, this season was the most memorable and the great coaching staff had a lot to do with it, but also because of the time and effort the players put into everything. Since the Dons are the sixth team in SBHS history to make it to state, Tobin felt honored to be a part of the experience and was proud of everyone on the team. 

Coach Zuffelato and the team during a time out. [Photo Courtesy of Dean Willson]

The Dons will continue to work hard during the off-season in hopes of another good season. It seems Santa Barbara High School’s basketball team will continue to make history and break records. The team is losing six seniors leaving some to wonder how next season will go.  The Dons will have junior Carter Battle back next season and junior Monte Owens will be making his Dons debut. The basketball team’s future is looking great and with the continuous hard work, next season is promising. 

Moments before the state game. [Image Courtesy of Dean Willson]  


  • Viviana Ruiz

    Viviana Ruiz is a junior who is from Santa Barbara. She likes to write in the forge because she is able to write what she is interested in.

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